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Gallipoli (Wordsworth Military Library) [Paperback]

Alan Moorehead
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Sep 1997 Wordsworth Military Library
In 1915 the Gallipoli campaign was designed to break the deadlock in the muddy trenches of the Western Front by forcing the Dardenelles, capturing Constantinople, knocking Turkey out of the war and bringing supplies and arms to the Russians for their immense German Front. It was a costly failure. Using private papers as well as official records, Alan Moorehead re-creates the drama of Gallipoli with its tragic hesitations and missed opportunities. He describes the heroism of the British and Anzac troops who were hemmed within a few terrible acres of beach and hillside and permanently under shellfire.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (25 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853266752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853266751
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alan Moorehead was born in Australia and served as a war correspondent in the Second World War. His many acclaimed works of history and military history include The White Nile and African Trilogy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime history 25 Oct 2002
A truly excellent example of the military historian's art. Moorehead provides a compelling narrative of one of the First World War's worst military disasters with a mix of descriptive excellence and objective clarity which is mercifully light on military jargon. Both sides are treated with equal respect; due credit is given to the remarkable courage of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers facing their first battle and the dogged determination of the Turks to defend their homeland. Tribute is also paid to the often overlooked contribution of the British, French and Indian troops. Moorehead also resists the temptation to condemn the commanders as blimpish, upper class oafs intent on wholesale slaughter; they, like the unfortunate men they led, are simply human beings in desperate circumstances. In short, a fine evocation of the folly of war.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gallipoli Campaign brought back to life 13 Feb 2001
Alan Moorehead has done a good job with this book of describing the campaign both from the General Staff point of view and the soldiers. He also goes into detail of what the Turkish Army was doing as well - which is at times a novelty in other books.
My favourite snippet was of a meeting in a dugout between the British and Turkish commanders to try and arrange a ceasefire to bury the dead. In the midst of these negotiations an ANZAC soldier burst in and in their inimitable way asked the occupants if they had seen his kettle.
One of the more readable books on Gallipoli in 1915
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service 12 Jan 2013
Excellent service - my husband was delighted with his Christmas present! He said it was brilliant and a well-researched account of the whole campaign. We visited the area this summer and he is now able to prepare talks on the subject.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic on Gallipoli 22 July 2002
By Rodney J. Szasz - Published on Amazon.com
Anything Moorehead wrote was golden, but this is arguably one of his best books. This has been reissued numerous times and it remains a classic. It is particularly good in its description of of the initial naval campaign and the general strategic overview. Although Gallipoli has rightly served as the emblematic battle where it is popularly thought that ANZACS were unduly sacrificed by the British in attempts at vainglory, Moorehead would be the first to acknowledge that there is no evidence that Australians were selected for slaughter over any other troops. The British (and most World War I strategist from all nations) were equal opportunity killers. In reality there were many more British troops committed, and killed, than ANZAC troops, and French losses were also considerable. Moreover the strategic aims were laudable. They were very nearly achieved. The bungling was not in the design, but in the fact that it was allowed to continue long after the jig was up, the British contained on the Penninsula, without a faint hope of forcing the straits with naval power. Moorehead, although an Australian, never bashes the British at all in this book. His exposition of Sir Ian Hamilton is also very incisive and offers a real glimpse into the mind of this man (a commander who felt for his troops, more than most in WWI) The fact that he was sacked, never to wield command in the field, is also testament to the fact that mistakes were made. Churchill's role is less clear. His initial idea was brilliant. He also did not want to commit land troops, thinking it too costly. He believed that the Royal Navy and her allies could force the straits and be shelling Constantinople within days.... And they very nearly did it. Unfortunately as Moorehead recounts, the political pressure of losing large, expensive battleships to mines was a price the British Cabinet would not allow Churchill to indulge and the pressure for a land based campaign therefore rose. It is really a pity because Churchill wanted one more chance to force the straits from the sea. There is every indication that he would have been successful and the costly land war averted. Plus ca change for Churchill.

PS: The cover photograph in this edition actually shows Canadian troops going over the top in a latter Somme Battle. Seems they could have easily found some original British or French pictures from Gallipoli itself??! I guess cover art was more important.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History made vivid and exciting 20 April 2000
By Ian Muldoon - Published on Amazon.com
I first read this text at age 19 in 1960 and was most impressed with its narrative skill and ability to bring to life the historical characters involved. I have since reread it and remain satisfied with Mr Moorehead's ability to make the events vivid and touching. I was especially impressed with his re-enactment of the actual landing, the incredible amount of equipment the youngsters had to carry, the reason the ships remained so distant from shore (afraid of touching bottom)the sense of distance those in charge had from the events they were supposed to be controlling, and the tragic sadness of it all. I was also impressed with the amazing courage he described the Turks as having so that the reader is not given the impression that the allies were just "better chaps" than the "Turkish infidel". Now at the close of the fifties in racist Australia at the time of communist and Asian indeed foreign paranoia this was refreshing and somewhat liberal to a young mind. One of the best and most enjoyable reads on World War One.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful read, but... 30 April 2008
By Michael Buck - Published on Amazon.com
Alan Moorehead's Gallipoli is prose at its finest. this is beautifully written, and the scenes of battle come to life, as well as the everyday life of the allied soldier. However this book is now over 50 years old and much new information has come to light, particularly on the Turkish side. Also, many of the battles fought themselves, such as the battles at Krithia, Kum Kale, The Farm, The Nek, etc... on and on, are either completely ignored or scaled down and condensed so that you truly learn nothing about them. For a beginner who wishes to study Gallipoli this book is fine. For its superb writing style and life like narrative this book is superb. However for those wishing to learn the whole story of the Gallipoli battle read Les Carlyon's Gallipoli or Robert Rhodes James Gallipoli. Both of these books are excellent and well written, and both cover far more of the campaign as a whole then does Moorehead's book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone doing research on Gallipoli. 13 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The book is a well-written, historically accurate portrayal of the campaign. Unfortunately, it tends to stick to narrating the campaign instead of discussing the strategy and decisions behind the moves at Gallipoli. Despite that, the book is authoratative, and a relatively brief but good description of what happened. Somebody from Provo, Utah said that the book didn't talk about the Turks, but that isn't true. Of the many books written on the campaign, it is the one book that talks MOST of the Turks, with about every other chapter dedicated to the Turkish side of the campaign. Many other books don't write about the Turkish side at all, and much of my research about the opposing forces came from this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of That Place You Never Heard Of 23 April 2008
By Aaron Lipka - Published on Amazon.com
I picked this book up after reading The Guns of August by Tuchman; but the real impetus to investigate the battle of Gallipoli goes back to my visit to Istanbul last summer. I will explain why shortly.

Alan Morehead published this novel in 1956, over halfway between the event and this review. His view on this WWI battle had adequate distance to compare it to the European battles for the three decades after, but retains a trace of British late-imperial irony. All the rationales for the ambiphibious assualt in Turkey are explained, and even the chapters which describe the inconclusive fighting are not widely foreshadowed- I was particularly spellbound by the suspense of the final days as the British and ANZAC forces retreated by sea. I also caught a fascinating glimpse at WWI submarine warfare, the early demise of Winston Churchill, and an eerie warning of Mustafa Kemal's rise to power. Morehead makes the right connections to people/events beyond the Dardanelles without losing focus on the landings. He tends to weight the British side of things, but the reader's interest also lies with the offense. No doubt his access to Turkish military records was limited.

As for Istanbul, I met not a few Kiwis and Aussies there who were making a pilgrimage of sorts to the battleground, half a world away from home. While I was trapsing through the city, they took the excursion into the countryside to see... the location of one of the greatest battles their nation ever fought. I wanted to see what moved them to make the trek, and this book explains it. I wouldn't call it a poignant evocation of a tragic front, events can speak for themselves. Yet this book enhanced my appreciation of a battle that I didn't know much about. I recommend Gallipoli to those who are curious about this oddest of struggles, but I especially recommend it to you who haven't even heard of the place. It deserves our attention.
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