Churchill's Dilemma: The Real Story behind the Origins of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign

Churchill's Dilemma: The Real Story behind the Origins of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign

Churchill's Dilemma: The Real Story behind the Origins of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign

Churchill's Dilemma: The Real Story behind the Origins of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign

Synopsis

In January 1915, Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, intended to activate plans to kill Germans in northern Europe. The Dardanelles campaign was conceived as a temporary diversion. Instead, circumstances contrived to make the campaign the defining event in Churchill's tenure as First Lord-and one of the most significant failures in his extraordinary career.

Excerpt

In August 1911, Winston Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty and, thereby, inherited one of the most powerful military weapons on the face of the earth. This extraordinary inheritance came at a time when Britain was resigning herself to the probability she would soon become embroiled in a war with Germany on the European continent alongside the French Army. This book is a study of Churchill’s search for the ways and means to bring to bear, in a decisive manner, the immense offensive power of the British Navy upon this continental conflict.

Although other schemes will be considered, two offensive thrusts—each intimately linked to the other—take center stage in this work. the first is Churchill’s advocacy, from the earliest days of the war, of full-scale amphibious operations along the northern coastline of Europe. the second is Churchill’s promotion of a navalonly attempt to force the Dardanelles in January 1915.

Churchill’s northern schemes, best exemplified by his Borkum/ Baltic plans, were borrowed from ideas for close blockade and military descents conceived by Lord Fisher and Sir Arthur Wilson between 1905 and 1908. Churchill believed that Borkum, the westernmost of Germany’s East Frisian islands, could be successfully occupied to blockade the Ems Estuary and facilitate mighty amphibious assaults on Schleswig-Holstein and Germany’s Baltic coastline.

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