A History of the Great War - Vol. 2

A History of the Great War - Vol. 2

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A History of the Great War - Vol. 2

A History of the Great War - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The First Hint of an Eastern Diversion—Discussions in the War Council—Lord Kitchener, Lord Fisher, and Mr. Churchill—Subsidiary versus Divergent Operations—Topography and History of the Dardanelles—Justification for the Naval Attack—Fortifications of the Straits—The Naval Attack and its Results —The Origin of the Military Expedition—Sir Ian Hamilton—The Tactical Problem—The Battle of the Landing.

Towards the close of 1914 the mind of the British Cabinet was much exercised by the deadlock in the West. To some of its members it seemed, in spite of Sir John French's hopefulness, that the German defence was impenetrable except by an attrition so slow that success would entail the bankruptcy of the conqueror. They believed victory to be certain, but wished it to come soon, and would fain have ended the war before the great drafts on Britain's man-power fell due. In this impatience there was a sound strategical instinct. There were no flanks to be turned in France and Flanders, but vulnerable flanks might be found elsewhere. The main gate of the enemy's beleaguered fortress was strongly held, but there were various back doors which might be found unguarded. Above all, they desired to make use of all the assets of Britain, and in the campaign in the West, since Sir John French's scheme of an advance by the coast road had been discarded, there was no direct part which the British navy could play. But in other regions a joint enterprise might be possible, where the sea-power of Britain could be used to decisive purpose.

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