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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gallipoli by L.A.Carlyon
Carlyon pulls no punches with this authoritative account of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. He gives no quarter to rank or reputation and the reader will left astonished at the tactics,actions and decisions as the campaign stumbles from one disaster to the next. Unfortunately these costly errors were paid for in human life and suffering. An excellent book on this...
Published on 23 Nov 2003 by davidmcdonald137

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3.0 out of 5 stars Gallipole
Packed with information - heavily ANZAC orientated and equally heavy going in places. The author wanders in his narrative to a disconcerting degree, and the story has, I think, been told more succinctly elsewhere.
Published 4 months ago by Heorot Hall


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gallipoli by L.A.Carlyon, 23 Nov 2003
This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
Carlyon pulls no punches with this authoritative account of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. He gives no quarter to rank or reputation and the reader will left astonished at the tactics,actions and decisions as the campaign stumbles from one disaster to the next. Unfortunately these costly errors were paid for in human life and suffering. An excellent book on this campaign!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Account, 7 Feb 2004
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This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
Les Carlyon's new book (published in 2001 in Australia) covering the Allied campaign against Turkey in the Dardanelles is one of those books that you find hard to put down once you start. In over 540 pages of narrative we get to hear the soldiers speak of their terrible trials and tribulations fighting in a harsh environment against a formidable enemy.
The book's main focus is upon the Australian involvement but the author does not neglect the role of the other Allied contingents, soldiers and sailors of the British and French Empires. Nor does his forget the enemy, 'Johnny Turk', who many Australian soldiers later came to respect regardless of the horrific fighting that they had endured.
I suppose many people will ask why Australia continues to make such a fuss over Gallipoli. When you take into consideration that the Australia of 1914 sent out of its small population over 332,000 men to serve overseas and of those 215,000 or more became casualties, (of which 60,000 died). A casualty rate of 65 per cent. Taking those figures into consideration you get an idea of why WW1 and particular Gallipoli means so much to many Australians.
The book is well told and the author uses numerous first-hand accounts of the soldiers, from both sides, who fought during this campaign. The narrative is engrossing, full of interesting facts and stories and just pulls you along further and deeper towards an ending we all know but made more alive and new by the author's style of writing.
I don't think that this book will offer any serious readers of this campaign anything new or startling, but I think that anyone who has a passion for Gallipoli will find this a well told account and close to being the definitive book on the subject. Many aspects of the book, particularly the stories of the blunders made by the Allied High Command still make me shake my head even though I have read it all before.
"We mounted over a plateau and down through gullies filled with thyme, where there lay about 4000 Turkish dead. It was indescribable. One was grateful for the rain and the grey sky. A Turkish Red Crescent man came and gave me some antiseptic wool with scent on it... The Turkish captain with me said: "At this spectacle even the most gentle must feel savage, and the most savage must weep' ... I talked to the Turks, one of whom pointed to the graves. 'That's politics,' he said. Then he pointed to the dead bodies and said: 'That's diplomacy. God pity all us poor soldiers.'" - Captain Aubrey Herbert, ANZAC, May 1915 (taken from the inside dust-jacket of the book).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gallipoli by L. A Carlyon, 11 May 2009
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This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
Gallipoli
This is an excellent book. Well researched and well written. Easy to understand. Describes the political events leading up to The Gallipoli landings in 1915, and then all the very human events of the landings and occupation of the Gallipoli Peninsular in 1915, with some very touching individual anecdotes. For example it even tells of a lady who was the only lady ever to land at Gallipoli during the fighting so she could lay a wreath at her lovers grave. A good all round read.
Graham
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 1 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
I have never written a review on Amazon before, but felt compelled to write once once I had finished reading this book for the third time. This is one of the most absorbing and well written books I have ever read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to understand the Gallipoli campaign. Outstanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lions led by donkeys,, 17 Jan 2010
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (Somewhere in the Jurassic...) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
I'm no expert on the Great War, but if Carlyon's account is anything to go by, Gallipoli was the pinnacle (or nadir) of a pointless war, fought incompetently. The campaign was an ill concieved idea of Winston Churchill's, championed by Kitchener and catastrophically pursued by the various generals appointed to carry it out.

For those who may not be familiar, the Gallipoli campaign was basically the invasion of Turkey (via the Dardanelles) by the Allied forces in 1915, aiming to open up a second front against Germany. The invasion stalled on three beachheads almost immediately, due largely to shockingly bad leadership at most levels and never achieved even its initial objectives. In all, over the eight months of fighting, it generated some 130,000 deaths and 240,000 casualties on both sides.

I used to be able to read books like this (large, in depth military histories) with little problem, but my tastes have changed over the years and I now find them a lot harder to wade through. I was initially worried about this one as it seemed to be exclusively about the ANZAC experience of the campaign (reasonable enough as it was written by an Australian for the Australian market) but, after a few chapters, it became clear that it was a less partial and, while the ANZAC story still takes precedence, the book covers the British campaign and the Turkish defence as well. I was surprised to discover that the French had a significant presence on the Gallipoli penninsula although they get rather less coverage in the book.

This turns out to be an absorbing and fairly easy-to-read history of the campaign. It isn't perfect and I found the telling of the story to be fractured, confused and in some places downright illogical. However, I am beginning to think that part of the problem is that the battle was itself shambolic in its conception, planning and execution: so, if you're looking for an explanation of the motivation for the campaign, the strategic aims or even a coherent plot to the story ... well, there was none! The book pulls no punches in exposing the poor planning and weak or brutal generalship. By contrast, it highlights the suffering and martyrdom of the thousands of soldiers on both sides of the line: lions led by donkeys, indeed. It also dispels the myth that Gallipoli was a largely Australian battle and that the Diggers suffered at the hands of incompetent British generals. More British (indeed, more French) soldiers lost their lives than did ANZACs and there were a healthy dose of blundering Aussie generals too.

Carlyon's personal feelings come through strongly in the writing which gives the book a human, readable flavour and his description of the slaughter of the Australian Light Horse at The Nek has to be one of the most horrifying yet poignant and moving passages that I have ever read. In some cases, his feelings sometimes get the better of him and sarcasm drips from the page, generally when he describes the behaviour of the British and Australian "leaders". Read his "stream of consciousness" description of Stopford's behaviour during the Suvla landings, Godley at The Nek or this one about the brutal and unimaginitive British General, Aylmer Hunter-Weston.

"Just about everything Hunter-Weston had done at Helles had failed. Which would explain why ... he was promoted to lieutenant-general and made a corps commander. Had he managed to take Achi Baba, he possibly would have been made Archbisop of Canterbury."

True, perhaps, but not entirely appropriate for a serious historical account?

My main gripe is the lack of decent maps. There are a few scattered through the book, a large scale one of the Mediterranean theatre and several fine scale maps of individual battles or skirmishes, but none that clearly shows how the two sides were arranged against one another.

Such minor complaints aside, after working at this for a couple of chapters, I eventually found my feet and began to enjoy the story and I can recommend this as a fine account. There may be better historical treatments elsewhere, but for readability this is certainly well worth a go.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Playing Rugby, 8 Jun 2007
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
The Turks tell a story about two New Zealanders they took prisoner in August 1915. The Turks asked them where they were from

New Zealand they said

Never heard of it, the Turks replied

Several Germans nearby overheard the exchange. They told the Turks that New Zealand was in the South Pacific, literally at the other end of the world. The Turks were incredulous

Why are you HERE? they demanded

Well, the New Zealanders explained, they thought the war would be like playing rugby

I knew the basics of Gallipoli but I had not read it in depth. In Britain it is all put down to Winston Churchill who thought it would break the deadlock of the Western Front. If the allies could knock Turkey out of the war it would provide a backdoor to Germany.

For Britain it was just a fiasco but for Australia and New Zealand it was a definining moment. I was moved to think how many people now visit Gallipoli from Australia and New Zealand.

I tell people in England I am going there to visit sometime and they say Where is it ? They have no idea.

I was put off by the size of this book and it moves slowly to start with as the build up to the actual invasion takes place. It all started with a naval engagement

Did people really believe that the Turks would run away just because some warships turned up and shelled the shore?

Nothing seems to have changed, we seem to see our enemies in racial terms in that somehow they are inferior to the white races and will not stand and fight.

This has been solidly overturned as people in Black pyjamas beat the US in Vietnam.

At Gallipoli even once they were making no progress no one seemed to be able to make a good decision and untimately they had to evacuate.

How do you encourage men to go into the next battle knowing the level of casualties that previous efforts have created.

We are judging it from today's standpoint whereby we want to have a war where casualties are very light or non existent.

Yesterday I heard that British casualties in Iraq since the 2003 invasion are now 160. The US have more that ten times that.

These were a day's casualties at Gallipoli.

A great book and very upsetting read, one of the saddest books I have ever read. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars After a visit, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
We were at the war memorial at Canberra, Australia, and this book was on show, so when we got home we bought it and as it's a quite a in-depth book, I do go back and read some part again as I could not believe some of the decisions made,
Very sad,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 3 Sep 2012
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P. Spencer (Widnes, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. I had a general overview of WW1 and some insight into the Western Front, but knew little beyond the barest facts about Gallipoli. This book has been an informative, revelatory and emotional read. The book has an excellent mix of the 'big' and the 'small'; the grand strategy and the action on the ground. The author comes from a journalistic rather than 'academic historian' background, so whilst the book is very detailed and thoroughly researched, it fair rolls along as a cracking read too. If you were entirely new to the events you may find the narrative and cast of characters a bit confusing at the beginning, but that may well be deliberate as the author looks to get across the confused nature of the whole campaign from it's inception. It is a very confusing campaign in many ways, but the author has done a great job. Contrary to what another reviewer has written, I found the maps to be excellent and there are even dioramas to help understand the terrain - a key aspect of the events.

It has certainly made me want to visit the Dardenelles and the various sites. Brilliant book. Really enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and detiled but never boring, 4 Sep 2011
This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
I bought this paperback 2nd hand. It arrived promptly and in very good condition.
The book is excellently written and contains enough maps to help to disentangle the ground in a way those at the time never did.
I would recommend it to those like me who enjoy history (I was prompted to buy by a forthcoming visit.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gallipole, 3 Aug 2014
This review is from: Gallipoli (Paperback)
Packed with information - heavily ANZAC orientated and equally heavy going in places. The author wanders in his narrative to a disconcerting degree, and the story has, I think, been told more succinctly elsewhere.
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Gallipoli by L A Carlyon (Paperback - 1 Oct 2003)
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