Churchill and the Gallipoli Campaign

This is Steve Hayward discussing the military and political issues that surrounded the lead-up to the attack at Gallipoli. Everyone may know this already, or may just be wrong, but it seems the wasted lives were in the execution and not the concept. This is how it ends, but read it through.

The essential strategic soundness of the Dardanelles offensive has come to be more deeply appreciated as the decades have passed. Basil Liddell-Hart described the Dardanelles as “a sound and far-sighted conception, marred by a chain of errors in execution almost unrivaled even in British history.” It presents one of the great “what ifs” of history. Had Turkey been knocked out early, and the war ended sooner, perhaps the Bolshevik revolution would never have taken place. Perhaps Hitler would never have risen to power. These kinds of questions can never be answered, and it is perhaps frivolous even to indulge them. But it is a tribute to Churchill’s insight that nearly 50 years after the episode, Clement Attlee, who was Churchill’s great opponent in the Labour Party (it was Attlee who defeated Churchill in the election of 1945), remarked to Churchill that the Dardanelles operation was “the only imaginative strategic idea of the war. I only wish that you had had full power to carry it to success.”

I might also mention The Sunday Age ANZAC Day quote from Bill Shorten. Did they even pick it because they agreed with the sentiment. Here are the words. Read ’em and weep.

When we landed here on this beach, it was someone else’s country.

Who is his constituency for this, because if there actually is one, they are moronic to the core.

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