HjemGrupperSnakMereZeitgeist
Søg På Websted
På dette site bruger vi cookies til at levere vores ydelser, forbedre performance, til analyseformål, og (hvis brugeren ikke er logget ind) til reklamer. Ved at bruge LibraryThing anerkender du at have læst og forstået vores vilkår og betingelser inklusive vores politik for håndtering af brugeroplysninger. Din brug af dette site og dets ydelser er underlagt disse vilkår og betingelser.

Resultater fra Google Bøger

Klik på en miniature for at gå til Google Books

Indlæser...

Gallipoli: The End of the Myth

af Robin Prior

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
652399,872 (4.06)1
A decisive account of the dramatic Gallipoli campaign of World War I, with a devastating assessment of its pointless losses The Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16 was an ill-fated Allied attempt to shorten the war by eliminating Turkey, creating a Balkan alliance against the Central Powers, and securing a sea route to Russia. A failure in all respects, the operation ended in disaster, and the Allied forces suffered some 390,000 casualties. This conclusive book assesses the many myths that have emerged about Gallipoli and provides definitive answers to questions that have lingered about the operation. Robin Prior, a renowned military historian, proceeds step by step through the campaign, dealing with naval, military, and political matters and surveying the operations of all the armies involved: British, Anzac, French, Indian, and Turkish. Relying substantially on original documents, including neglected war diaries and technical military sources, Prior evaluates the strategy, the commanders, and the performance of soldiers on the ground. His conclusions are powerful and unsettling: the naval campaign was not "almost" won, and the land action was not bedeviled by "minor misfortunes." Instead, the badly conceived Gallipoli campaign was doomed from the start. And even had it been successful, the operation would not have shortened the war by a single day. Despite their bravery, the Allied troops who fell at Gallipoli died in vain.… (mere)
Ingen
Indlæser...

Bliv medlem af LibraryThing for at finde ud af, om du vil kunne lide denne bog.

Der er ingen diskussionstråde på Snak om denne bog.

» See also 1 mention

Viser 2 af 2
Australian military historian Robin Prior has taken on the task of “mythbusting” WWI battles: the Somme, Passchendaele (with coauthor Trevor Wilson), and now Gallipoli.


The “conventional wisdom” about Gallipoli is Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, was casting around for something for the Royal Navy to do while waiting for the Imperial German Navy to come out of Kiel and fight. (Apocryphally a colleague is supposed to have remarked “Well, the Navy isn’t breaking much crockery, is it, Winston?”). Churchill, always a fan of the soft underbelly, thereby got the idea to send the Navy to the Mediterranean, land troops on the European side of the Dardanelles, capture the Turkish forts, sail a bunch of obsolete battleships into the Sea of Marmara, bombard Constantinople (the Allies always called it that despite the fact that the natives had named it Istanbul in 1453), force Ottoman surrender, open a sea route to Russia, bring Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania into the war on the side of the Allies, march triumphantly into the guts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and end the war in 1915. However, this brilliant plan went awry when incompetent British generals swanned around offshore on yachts while Aussie troops were first left directionless with victory in their grasp, then squandered in frontal assaults on Turkish trenches that inaction had given them time to build.


As is usually the case, it’s a little more complicated.


The politics are interesting. Churchill really did want to give the Navy something to do, and had a number of schemes. These were:


*Sailing the Royal Navy along the Belgian Coast while the BEF marched under the protection of their guns. This had the disadvantage that the occupied part of the Belgian coast was covered by German minefields and small craft, and even a successful march would bring the BEF to the Netherlands border. There were various mumblings about how Holland could be persuaded to enter the war on the Allied side, but nobody could give a good reason why a neutral nation surrounded by the Imperial German Army on three sides would suddenly join the Allies for the privilege of getting itself invaded and crushed.


*Seizing on island in the North Sea, off the German coast; Borkum was suggested. The island would then be fortified and turned into a base for submarines and torpedo boats to operate against the German Fleet. This seemed to be Churchill’s favorite; once again the observation that the waters were heavily mined and that the Royal Navy would be exposed to German submarines and torpedo boats while seizing the island and keeping it supplied was cogent.


*Sailing the Royal Navy all the way into the Baltic (which would have violated Danish and/or Swedish neutrality), picking up the Russian army at St. Petersburg, then turning around and dropping off said Russian army somewhere on the Prussian coast where the Russians would march triumphantly to Berlin. There were a lot of objections to that idea.


*Turning to the Mediterranean, landing at Alexandretta (Iskenderun nowadays) in conjunction with the French and cutting the railroad from Turkey proper to Egypt.


*Finally, the aforementioned Gallipoli campaign. Apparently Jackie Fisher pushed this idea, not because it was a good one but because it at least kept the RN away from the German coast. Fisher may have thought nobody would go for it; when it was actually adopted, he had a nervous breakdown and resigned to seclusion.


So, then, some geography and related history. Earlier in 1914 the German battlecruiser Goeben, caught in the Mediterranean when the war broke out, eluded the entire French and British squadrons present and made it to Constantinople. When the Allies indignantly protested to the still-neutral Ottomans, the Germans simply sold the ship and crew to Turkey, and eventually persuaded the Turks to enter the war on the side of the Central Powers (the means of persuasion was rather interesting; the Yavuz sailed off and bombarded Sevastapol, thus getting the Russians to declare war on Turkey. It’s not clear if the Turks were in on it in advance).


That changed the “balance of power” somewhat; now the Russians had another front to fight on. The Goeben (she was renamed to Yavuz Sultan Selim but everybody still called her the Goeben, just like they still called Istanbul Constantinople) was a threat to both the Russian Black Sea fleet and the eastern Mediterranean. What’s more, the rest of the Allies were now deprived of Russian grain exports; Russian was one of the world’s largest food exporters until the Communists took over and improved the agricultural system. Thus the attack on Gallipoli made a little political sense. The grain exports were apparently taken very seriously, to the extent that Russia was promised Constantinople despite the fact that Russian participation was limited to reading the news.


The Gallipoli peninsula is on the European side of the Turkish Straits; it borders the Mediterranean (well, technically the Aegean) on one side and the Dardanelles on the other. The Dardanelles (there’s only one) is a narrow channel from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Marmara, basically a wide spot in the Straits and where Constantinople is. The exit to the Sea of Marmara is the Bosporus, another narrow channel leading to the Black Sea. On a map it looked like a relatively simple job to land some troops on the peninsula, march along the shore collecting Turkish gun emplacements, and stand by and cheer while the Royal Navy demolished Constantinople.


As it happened, the Royal and French navies got first crack. This requires some more background (most of you probably already know this, but I’ll digress anyway). The world’s naval powers had built up large fleets of “battleships”, which were basically big ships with big guns intended to fight other battleships. In 1905, the aforementioned admiral Jackie Fisher of the Royal Navy introduced a new concept, the “all big gun” battleship or Dreadnought, named after the first of the class. The “all big gun” name is something of a misnomer; previous battleships had as many guns as could be possibly crammed into the hull without capsizing it – IIRC at one point the US Navy had a ship with 10”, 9”, 8”, 7”, 6” and 5” guns. The Dreadnought had ten 12” guns. The key for the “all big gun” concept was not so much that all the guns were big, but that they were all more or less under central fire control. Range had increased to the point that an individual gunner, even with a telescopic sight, could no longer tell if he was hitting anything; a whole battery of guns of the same size could fire salvos under central control. The Dreadnought made all the major naval vessels of the world obsolete overnight –including Great Britain and France – until they built their own “Dreadnoughts”. That left them with a large stock of reasonably new “pre-Dreadnought” ships that could no longer stand up against a “Dreadnought” in battle but were still heavily armed and armored. These were the ships that the British and French navies intended to send through the Dardanelles to deal with Constantinople – not much good for fighting in a battle line but still believed to be perfectly adequate for shelling Turkish fortresses and Constantinople.


It did not go well. Prior notes that the pre-Dreadnoughts did not have very accurate fire control (which was kind of the point). A few seaplanes were available for spotting but they didn’t have radios; the pilots had to note where shells were falling, write down corrections, put the note in a waterproof pouch, fly back to a ship, and try to drop the pouch on the deck. Vice Admiral Sackville Carden was very apprehensive about the Yavuz/Goeben, and therefore tried to save as many shells as possible to deal with her when he made it to the Sea of Marmara. Finally, the Dardanelles were full of minefields. Then (as now) navies didn’t like mines very much; there’s nothing very glamorous about cruising peacefully along only to have the bottom blown out of your ship as opposed to glorious gun actions against a visible enemy. As a result, the attitude often was (and is) “if we ignore the mines they’ll go away”. As a result, Carden didn’t have any of the Royal Navy’s few minesweepers; instead he had a fleet of fishing trawlers manned by civilians that were supposed to go in at night and sweep the mines. Needless to say, they weren’t very enthusiastic about the idea – it turned out that the current was so strong many of the trawlers couldn’t make headway against it, much less sweep mines, and the minefields were covered by searchlights and gun emplacements. Thus, no mines got swept, and about a third of the naval force was lost to mines and gunfire – the French Bouvet and British Ocean and Irresistible were sunk and the Inflexible and French Gaulois and Suffern were put out of action through damage. One Turkish gun was destroyed (the naval force thought they did better than that, not realizing that the Turkish forts had ceased fire not because they were destroyed but because the mines were doing such a good job).


So now it was up to the Army. The basic idea wasn’t all that bad – a force would land at the very tip of the peninsula, at Cape Helles. Then other landings would be made on the Aegean shore, sweep across the peninsula to the Dardanelles, and cut off all the Turkish troops. This didn’t go well, either. There were actually multiple landings at Cape Helles, at several beaches. On paper, it seems like a very good idea – a force at the very tip and other troops on each side, where presumably there would be sort of a amphibious Cannae with the troops at Cape Helles holding the Turks in place while the others marched toward the center and cut them off – sort of a miniature version of what was seemingly planned for the whole campaign. As it happened, not only did nobody bother to tell the troops that, it wasn’t even what was intended; the central force was supposed to push the Turks back and the flank landings were just supposed to sit there and wait until the central force reached them. As it happened, the troops at beaches S and Y on the flanks got ashore without much problem and could clearly see the struggles at beaches W, X, and V – but they had no orders to go and assist, so they didn’t. Eventually the central landing did force the Turks back after a hellacious struggle and linked up with the flanking forces, only to settle down to Western Front style trench warfare.


Meanwhile, the ANZACs had landed at beach Z, with a vastly overoptimistic plan to sweep across the peninsula at the narrow point and settle the Turk’s hash. What actually happened was nobody had even remotely accurate maps and didn’t realize there was a whole series of rugged and easily defensible ridges between them and the Dardanelles. A Blitzkreig-style rapid advance, ignoring flank protection, might have worked; but in 1915 nobody was in much of a Blitzkrieg mood. The Australians and New Zealanders ended up bottled up within a narrow perimeter.


Finally, yet another landing took place a Sulva Bay north of the ANZACs. Patrols had noticed that the country there was only lightly defended, and it was assumed that another landing could link up with the ANZACs then, once again, sweep across the peninsula. It’s redundant to say this didn’t work either. The landing was made at night and battalions got hopelessly intermingled heading into the beach. An officer with sufficient authority might have been able to take command of mixed units and advance, but the overall commander Sir Frederick Stopford remained offshore; therefore the local commanders concentrated on getting their units together so they could make an orderly advance. A few troops had actually occupied some hills overlooking the beach but were withdrawn until it could be done right. As a result, it was the Turks that ended up on these hills, overlooking a British force on the salt flats below.


Eventually, after a number of Western Front style over-the-the top attacks by the various separated landing zones, Kitchener personally visited Gallipoli and decided that his earlier optimism had been misplaced. All the troops were evacuated (the evacuation was the one outstanding success of the whole campaign, meticulously planned and executed and completely deceiving the Turks). However, as was said later, you don’t win a war by successful evacuations.


Prior concludes by discussing the commanders involved and the overall plan of campaign. It has been sort of an Australian national myth that their forces were squandered by incompetent British generals; Prior charitably concedes that while the commanders were not terribly worse than anybody else by WWI standards. Much like he and Watson concluded in The Somme, the most brilliant general in the world couldn’t have made a success out of Gallipoli; the whole plan was cockeyed. Even if the land assaults had been fantastically successful and cleared the European shore of the Dardanelles, it still would have left the minefields and forts on the Asiatic shore in place. Even if the navy had been able to make it to the Sea of Marmara, there’s no evidence that the Turks would have surrendered just because their capital was bombarded. The supposed alliance with Bulgaria, Greece and Romania on the conclusion of a successful campaign was another mirage; when Romania finally came into the war on the Allied side she fell to the Germans in weeks (Prior points out that most Romanian artillery was ox-drawn and the single Romanian artillery ammunition factory had a capacity of two shells a day). Finally, Prior shows in a table that while ANZACs may have been squandered, so was everybody else; there were more British fatalities than everybody else – Australians, New Zealanders, French, and Indians – combined.


Modern armchair military historians have devised a whole set of alternate histories based on Royal Navy amphibious operations in WWI; they look so good on paper, with armies showing up in the enemy’s rear and raising havoc. In fact, that’s projecting WWII capabilities backward. There were no specialized landing craft in WWI – troops had to be rowed ashore in ship’s boats. There were no field radios until late in the war; officers in the rear had no way to direct troops once they were out of visual range (although they often thought they were directing them) and officers in the front had a disturbingly short life expectancy. Military doctrine called for coordinated advance along a carefully dressed front – this lead to numerous occasions, at Gallipoli and elsewhere, where advanced troops were called back to keep the line straight and reinforcements were sent to areas where advances had failed rather than successes.


In short, another interesting but distressing WWI book from Prior. I had little knowledge of the Gallipoli campaign (for example, I discovered that none of the Allied troops got even remotely close to the town of Gallipoli); thus, this was very enlightening. Prior (and I) regret that he had little access to Turkish records; while there are general discussions of the campaign there are not detailed unit histories with personal anecdotes that make WWI accounts intimate. Finally, the maps are outstanding – lots of them in various scales that show details of the campaign. ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 9, 2017 |
Robin Prior has a long and distinguished background as a military historian in Australia. He has some strongly held views not entirely in line with revisionist historians such as Gary Sheffield (I recommend his appearance on the Radio National, see the episode Lions and Donkeys http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/worldwarone/). This important book contains up to date scholarship but also a well written account of the whole campaign dating from its origins.
Prior acknowledges the fascination of Gallipoli - not only its privileged position as a source of nationalist mythology but its 'could have been' quality. For many, the campaign offered the opportunity for massive strategic advantages worth some risk - a risk that continued to escalate with growing entanglement as a solely naval attack transformed into a full scale military invasion. Its status as a theatre that could have changed the course of the war is part of the fascination, but so is the variety of phases of the battle where commentators have suggested victory was 'just around the corner'. Prior spends little time on the question of whether the course of the war would have been transformed, and instead describes the course of the battles and examines whether they really were that close to victory. Could the naval bombardment have succeeded had de Robeck pressed the attack on? Would the invasion have succeeded without the warning of the naval attack? Would things have been different if the Anzacs hadn't landed on the 'wrong beach'? Would more competent Generals have changed everything?
Prior decimates all of the might have beens. About the only successful strategy (abandoned quickly and pretty expensive in any case) was the 'bite and hold' strategy that Hunter-Weston eventually arrived at in his repeated attempts at Krithia. As he does this he describes the narrative in clear prose, minimising the tendency for confusion with the variety of battalions and units. The maps are clear and very helpful in understanding the course of events.
Although a bit more discussion of how useful or otherwise a victory would have been in the overall course of the war would have been useful, overall this book provides a well written and up to date account of the causes, course and mistakes of the Gallipoli campaign. ( )
  bevok | Jul 31, 2017 |
Viser 2 af 2
ingen anmeldelser | tilføj en anmeldelse
Du bliver nødt til at logge ind for at redigere data i Almen Viden.
For mere hjælp se Almen Viden hjælpesiden.
Kanonisk titel
Originaltitel
Alternative titler
Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Personer/Figurer
Vigtige steder
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Vigtige begivenheder
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Beslægtede film
Indskrift
Tilegnelse
Første ord
Citater
Sidste ord
Oplysning om flertydighed
Forlagets redaktører
Bagsidecitater
Originalsprog
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

Henvisninger til dette værk andre steder.

Wikipedia på engelsk

Ingen

A decisive account of the dramatic Gallipoli campaign of World War I, with a devastating assessment of its pointless losses The Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16 was an ill-fated Allied attempt to shorten the war by eliminating Turkey, creating a Balkan alliance against the Central Powers, and securing a sea route to Russia. A failure in all respects, the operation ended in disaster, and the Allied forces suffered some 390,000 casualties. This conclusive book assesses the many myths that have emerged about Gallipoli and provides definitive answers to questions that have lingered about the operation. Robin Prior, a renowned military historian, proceeds step by step through the campaign, dealing with naval, military, and political matters and surveying the operations of all the armies involved: British, Anzac, French, Indian, and Turkish. Relying substantially on original documents, including neglected war diaries and technical military sources, Prior evaluates the strategy, the commanders, and the performance of soldiers on the ground. His conclusions are powerful and unsettling: the naval campaign was not "almost" won, and the land action was not bedeviled by "minor misfortunes." Instead, the badly conceived Gallipoli campaign was doomed from the start. And even had it been successful, the operation would not have shortened the war by a single day. Despite their bravery, the Allied troops who fell at Gallipoli died in vain.

No library descriptions found.

Beskrivelse af bogen
Haiku-resume

Current Discussions

Ingen

Populære omslag

Quick Links

Vurdering

Gennemsnit: (4.06)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5 1
4 5
4.5
5 2

Er det dig?

Bliv LibraryThing-forfatter.

Yale University Press

2 udgaver af dette værk er udgivet af Yale University Press.

Udgaver: 0300149956, 0300168942

 

Om | Kontakt | LibraryThing.com | Brugerbetingelser/Håndtering af brugeroplysninger | Hjælp/FAQs | Blog | Butik | APIs | TinyCat | Efterladte biblioteker | Tidlige Anmeldere | Almen Viden | 201,871,317 bøger! | Topbjælke: Altid synlig