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Dardanelles failure

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#1 JP Raud Dugal

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 09:34 PM

I would like to know if the Dardallelles' failure in 1915 was simpy considered as a mistake or a complete disaster?
I tried to find some websites on whether Churchill was greatly responsible or not.

I'm not sure he can be compared to D. Haig...but I would like to know his responsibility in this battle.

Thanks by advance

#2 John Simkin

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 08:23 AM

I would like to know if the Dardallelles' failure in 1915 was simpy considered as a mistake or a complete disaster?
I tried to find some websites on whether Churchill was greatly responsible or not.

In Britain the Dardanelles campaign is generally considered to be a disaster. Churchill was held responsible for it and was moved to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Unhappy about not having any power to influence the Government's war policy, he rejoined the British Army and commanded a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front.

The best historian I have read on the campaign is by the Australian Charles Bean.


#3 Raymond Blair

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:48 PM

I usually teach this (in a five minute flurry as a part of WWI in a Twentieth Century World History class) as a relatively good idea gone bad.

Like the Verdun campaign it had possibility of victory without committing to a massive front. Churchill supported the campaign (he must have thought he was in a position of glory as a leader of the navy until the cruel reality of WWI made Britain's navy much less significant than it was in the days of Nelson) and seized the opportunity to use Britain's mighty navy.

Verdun was a smart campaign because the idea was to bleed the French white through artillery bombardment. It was something that wore down the morale of the French troops, but then the Germans decided that they had so pulverized (sp?) the ancient fort city that the defenders couldn't possibly defend the spot. They were wrong and hundreds of thousands died.

At Gallipoli, the navy could have carried the major burden of risk. If they were able to blast their way through the army could land to secure the victory. However the plan assumed victory, or assumed the Turks would be no match for the Imperial army, and they landed their forces without a naval victory. That victory never came and the British paid the price by being in a poor tactical situation.

I'm sure my take has errors, but that's the dose I give out in class.

#4 John Simkin

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 12:52 PM

In the past I have played June Tabor's version of Eric Bogle's The Band Played Waltzing Matilda to the students.

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
When the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He showered us with bullets, he rained us with
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again

Now those who were living did their best to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for seven long weeks I kept myself alive
While the corpses around me piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, Christ I wished I was
Never knew there were worse things than dying
And no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
To the green bushes so far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded and
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind and insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
And they turned all their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving the or their dreams of past glory
I see the old men, all twisted and torn
The forgotten heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask me, "What are they
marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all.

#5 John Simkin

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:13 AM

You can find a good collection of photographs of the Dardanelles campaign here:


#6 Cigdem Göle

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:41 AM

The Dardanelles War means victory for Turks, defeat for the Anzac, the British Empire
and France but it also caused peoples of countries that are so far from each other to
establish a connection which will live forever.

Each year in April, we (Turks, Australians and New Zealanders) come together in
Çanakkale to remember and pray for the brave men who gave their lives in Gaba Tepe,
Ari Burnu, Seddülbahir and all around Gelibolu.

I hope to meet my friends in Çanakkale again in April 2009.


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