To mark the passing of a hundred years since the Gallipoli campaign, the publishers Andre Deutsch have produced a fine centenary edition book entitled "Gallipoli, 25 April 1915 - 9 January 1916". Jointly written by Major General Julian Thompson (RM), Dr Peter Pederson and Dr Haluk Oral, the authors describe the roles of Britain, Australia and Turkey in the campaign and outline its legacy for their respective nations. "Gallipoli provides a record of events in an accessible format, covering planning and preparation stages, landings and key battles (on land and at sea), and the withdrawal of Allied forces. Profiles are provided of key figures from both sides. The failure of military leaders is well documented, as is the desperate fighting ashore and the dreadful living conditions endured by the troops, many of them Anzacs (soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). Following the spring landings the onset of hot summer weather brought with it flies, liçce and dysentery. The horrific nature of the fighting is graphically conveyed in "Gallipoli". The book also tells the story of how the Royal Marines endured, for the Plymouth, Chatham and Portsmouth battalions of the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) - plus the RN Nelson battalion - supported the UK's 157th Brigade. A chapter is also devoted to the naval campaign, recording the activities of British and French warships that played a key role in supporting and sustaining troops ashore. Other chapters tell of the contribution provided by the Royal Naval Air Service, and that of the British and Australian submarines in the Dardanelles.
Despite its modest 64 pages this is a large book. It comes in a sturdy hardback sleeve, the whole package designed and presented in the style of a souvenir volume. It packs into its sepia-toned pages around 136 quality photographs and 17 maps. It could be said every picture (definitely) tells a story. More maps are included in three envelopes tucked away in the book, which also contain reproductions of miscellaneous historical documents. Among them are a sketch of the landing places, plans of action, orders, an artist's pencil sketch of a warship and a letter written by an officer to his wife decribing the brutal fighting. "Gallipoli" makes a handsome commemoration of a highly controversal episode in WW1. Well designed, it offers an attractive and easy-to-read means of getting to grips with a complex subject.
Major General Julian Thompson CB OBE served in the Royal Marines for 34 years and commanded the Royal Marine Commandos and the two battalions of the Parachute Regiment during the Falklands War. Since retiring, he has been a visiting professor at King's College, London. He has written a number of books, including Carlton's The 1916 Experience and The Second World War in 100 Objects.
Dr Peter Pedersen is an expert in Australian military history. He was a Senior Historian and Head of the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial. He has written six books on the First World War and frequently appears on television and radio.
Professor Haluk Oral is a Turkish historian. He studied at Instanbul University and Bogaziçi University in Turkey and Simon Fraser University in Canada. He now lecturers at Bogaziçi University. He has written a number of books, including ANZAC 1915 and Gallipoli 1915.
Review written by ANDREWS Dennis, published in Warships_International_Fleet_Review_july_2015