Silent Landscape at Gallipoli - The Battlefields of the Dardanelles One Hundred Years On

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Silent Landscape at Gallipoli - The Battlefields of the Dardanelles One Hundred Years On
By Simon Doughty and James Kerr

Published by Helion in 2018, 212 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket - c.25cm by 28cm (N7535)
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From the inside front fly leaf:The Gallipoli peninsula overlooks The Dardanelles, the seaway that runs from the Aegean to the Black Sea. In 1915 the British devised a plan to force these narrow straits by naval power alone to capture Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. It was an attractive and inspired idea at a time of stalemate and trench warfare along the Western Front but sadly neither the planning nor the resources matched the concept.

When the naval operation failed. an inadequately prepared force of British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops was landed along the Gallipoli coastline on 25 April 1915 to destroy the Turkish coastal guns. allowing passage to the fleet. Once ashore the Allies met fierce opposition from the Ottoman army and soon both sides were fighting the same attritional battles that the expedition had sought to avoid.

The campaign lasted for nearly nine months during which the Allies just managed to maintain a toe-hold on the Gallipoli peninsula. The fighting was bitter. in appalling conditions. and when the Allies finally withdrew in early 1916 they left their dead comrades behind.

For the Ottomans who lost the greatest number of soldiers here. Gallipoli was their most significant victory of the war. For the British and French it was a defeat with no consolation and few lessons learned except for the French who became even more wary of fighting alongside allies.The Indians gained little recognition for their contributions here while for the Australians and New Zealanders (the ANZACs) the campaign was a milestone in their road to nationhood.

Gallipoli was a quiet place before the fighting and it is a quiet place now. Little has changed and many traces of the campaign remain to this day alongside the cemeteries and memorials that record the many sacrifices here both on land and at sea. This book records how Gallipoli looks a century on from the fighting. It is a beautiful and tranquil place. a silent landscape that has somehow absorbed and remembered the events of 1915.