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Dardanelles failure

JP Raud Dugal

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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

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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.


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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.

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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.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

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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