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The Gardeners of Salonika: The Macedonian Campaign 1915-1918

The Gardeners of Salonika: The Macedonian Campaign 1915-1918 [Kindle Edition]

Alan Palmer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

'The Gardeners of Salonika' as Clemenceau contemptuously labelled them, could well be called the forgotten army of the First World War. Yet the Macedonian Campaign was, in Lord Hankey's words, 'the most controversial of all the so-called sideshows.' In his definitive The First World War (1999) Sir John Keegan hailed Alan Palmer for having written 'the best study of the Macedonian Front in English.'

Palmer tells the story of this extraordinary polyglot army (it included, at various times, contingents from seven countries) from the first landing at Salonika in 1915 to the peace in 1918. He also illuminates the political and strategic background: the ceaseless argument in London and Paris over the army's future and the maze of Greek politics within which it and its commanders were enclosed.

'A masterly and colourful account of this, the most controversial and neglected sideshow of them all.'Guardian

'Not only a valuable contribution to history, but also an enthralling book' Sunday Times

About the Author

Alan Palmer was head of History at Highgate School, London for nineteen years before retiring early to concentrate on historical writing and research. He is the author of more than three dozen works: narrative histories; biographies; historical dictionaries ir reference books. His main interests are in the Napoleonic era, nineteenth century diplomacy, the First World War and Eastern Europe, although his Northern Shores is a history of the Baltic Sea and its peoples from earliest times to 2004. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1980. Of Alan Palmer, Sir John Keegan has written, ' Alan Palmer writes the sort of history that dons did before "accessible" became an academic insult. It is cool, rational, scholarly, literate.'Faber Finds is reissuing a number of his titles: Alexander I, The Gardeners of Salonika, The Chancelleries of Europe, The East End, The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, The Lands Between, Metternich, Twilight of the Habsburgs.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2311 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber Finds (6 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00623K16M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to print 2 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Salonika Campaign of WW1 is not well known today and only a few books have been written about it. The Gardeners of Salonika had been out of print for many years so its return to the shelves would be welcome for no other reason. In fact the book is well written and very readable, making it a must for anyone with an interest in this neglected theatre of the war.

It has quite a broad sweep, covering the political manoeuvrings leading up to the landing of British and French troops at Salonika in October 1915, the sometimes strained relationships between the staffs of the various armies, the troops' struggles to fight over very difficult ground as well as their greatest enemy - malaria, right up to the sudden collapse of the Central Powers army facing them in September 1918 and the changes that occurred after the Armistice.

Its wide perspective means that it inevitably lacks detail but that should not deter anyone from buying this book. It's a perfect introduction to this little-known part of WW1 and is the perfect partner to "Under the Devil's Eye" by Moody and Wakefield, a book about the British part of the Campaign that's also been too long out of print.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of a Forgotten Campaign 8 Mar 2010
This book by Alan Palmer was first published in 1965 and I think was the first English publication covering the Allied campaign against the Central Powers in the Balkan region during WW1. The Salonika campaign is one of the lesser-known campaigns of the Great War and in this book Alan Palmer tries to correct the many half-truths and myths about the fighting in this region.

Allied armies from Britain, France, Russia, Greece and Serbia fought against troops from Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria in a wilderness of mountains, gullies ands hilltops in some of the worst weather and health conditions known to the allied forces.

The book is well-written, easy to read and offers some interesting character studies of the commanders involved in this campaign. It is a good general account offering a decent overview of the campaign from its beginnings till the armistice signed in 1918. The one thing this book lacks is decent maps of the operational area of the armies involved. Towards the end of the book two maps are provided to allow the reader to follow the movements of the armies during the final offensive but they are not detailed enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten campaign of ww1 26 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading a library copy, because my great-great uncle was there with the 12th Cheshires. You rarely hear of this campaign, it is never mentioned at all by TV documentaries. It had similarities with the Dardenelles campaign, but with the exception that it did have a positive bearing on the outcome of the war. It was far away, the men could not go home on leave, malaria was a major problem, the weather conditions were extreme, there was no real R&R opportunity for the majority of the troops, and because until the end there were no major battles or loss of life as in the famous battles of the Western front, the troops were derided at home as "The Gardeners of Salonika". The opposition was well entrenched on mountains and when the final battle was fought the 12th Cheshires, who led the British attack, were nearly wiped out.

You won't find anything about individuals like my relative, but it is a very readable account of the strategies and the events which shaped the campaign.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Salonika Campaign 19 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift for a friend, the recipient was very enthusiastic about getting this book. It has apparently gained a reputation as a must have title for anyone reading the history of the WW1 campaign in Greece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars history 16 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the forgotten campaign, rings well with me as my grandfather was there during world war 1, so like to get a perspective on it
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