The Voices from the Past series has set new standards for history records. The selection of eye witness accounts has been impeccable and they have been reproduced, with sensitive editing, into a seamless and compelling account of courage, tragedy and the tumult of war – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Voices from the Past, The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli, The Heroic Saga of SS River Clyde, a WWI Icon, Told Through the Accounts of Those Who Were There FILE: R2525 AUTHOR: Stephen Snelling PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Frontline BINDING: hard back PAGES: 408 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War I, WWI, World War 1, First World War, The Great War, Gallipoli, Turkey, Dardanelles, Sedd-el-BBahr, Cape Helles, amphibious warfare, landings
IMAGE: B2525.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lv3d7mu LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Voices from the Past series has set new standards for history records. The selection of eye witness accounts has been impeccable and they have been reproduced, with sensitive editing, into a seamless and compelling account of courage, tragedy and the tumult of war – Most Highly Recommended. The landings in Gallipoli followed a very successful naval incursion into Turkish waters. The campaign has been dismissed roundly as a costly failure, where Winston Churchill resigned from the Admiralty and joined a regiment on the Western Front as a Colonel. However, the risks were worth it at that point in the war and the Royal Navy's reconnaissance in force demonstrated that there was a potential opportunity to take Turkey out of the war and link up on land with the Russians. It was probably the best opportunity at that stage of breaking the horrible stalemate of the Western Front and its trench warfare. That does of course raise questions about the odds for success, better than a rank outsider, but a very long way from being a short odds cert. In war, the innovative exploitation of a potential enemy weakness is always risky. There may not be adequate intelligence to fully assess the enemy's chances for withstanding the attack. That was one weakness in the Gallipoli Campaign. There is always the question of resources being able to match and maintain a match against an enemy. Then there is the special risk of a landing from the sea onto a hostile shore, where a well dug-in enemy is several times stronger than the landing force for the same number of guns and men. Once committed, the landing must be pressed with determination and enthusiasm. If that succeeds in establishing a bridgehead. The commander has to get his troops off the beach and as far inland as possible. If resources, determination, courage and good generalship make that possible, the invaders must build up their momentum and rapidly reach the point where they are on equal terms with the enemy, forcing a retreat into a rout. The Gallipoli landings succeeded in establishing a viable beachhead, but failed to breakout and develop winning momentum. As soon as that is understood, a hard decision must be taken of either committing more resources, or withdrawing. Gallipoli saw both the addition of resources and, eventually, a withdrawal from the beaches. The real questions are whether sufficient resources were committed and whether the decision to withdraw was made in a timely manner. Gallipoli saw insufficient resources being available and command failures to recognise the situation and bite the bullet by ordering a withdrawal. It is always much easier to make decisions from the comfort of a chair and with decades of hindsight. Whatever the view of the campaign, there can be no question about the courage of those involved on the ground and in the water. Also courage in the air was demonstrated, with one RNAS float plane unable to get airborne in time, firing its torpedo at a Turkish ship whilst still taxying in the water and sinking the enemy. The events involving the SS River Clyde were a graphic example of extreme courage under fire that was to result in the award of the Victoria cross and other medals. The words of those who were there are clear and graphic, even a century later. This book provides inspiration, horror, courage, determination beyond anything that could be expected, comradeship and sheer bloody guts. If many of these parts of the story were included in a novel, the reader might find difficulty in believing the account, but this is real life, it happened, and the reader will never view the Gallipoli Campaign the same way again. As a military campaign it failed, but as a Commonwealth enterprise in courage it was an enduring success.