Humor Magazine

Gallipoli: Someone Was to Blame - but Who?

By Davidduff

Sorry, not a very auspicious start to this sombre blog-post but the fact is I haven't a clue!  Everyone points the finger at Churchill and he at least accepted his part of the responsibility by resigning afterwards and then volunteering to command a battalion on the Western Front.  As I - very vaguely - recall, Churchill, as First Lord, was eager to utilise the navy in a different strategic location in order to help break the deadlock in Flanders.  However, as his history of strategic thinking in WWII indicates, he was prone to flights of imaginative fancy which Gen. Alanbrooke, as CGS, was forced to oppose to the very limits of his patience.  It is interesting that despite exerting enormous pressure to have his ideas implemented, at the crunch, Churchill never over-ruled his CGS.  Perhaps he learned something from Gallipoli.

However, and again from my very vague memories, I seem to remember that the admiral in command was totally useless and withdrew the naval forces at the first opportunity.  Also, and before my Aussie and Kiwi friends charge in, I have read somewhere that most of the ANZAC generals were as equally useless as their British counterparts which is hardly surprising given that virtually none of them were prepared for 20th century warfare and the age of the machine-gun and long-range artillery.  In keeping with the tradition of general staffs through the ages they were preparing to fight the previous war not the one that was to come.  So today, no change there, then!

If anyone knows of a good, by which I mean a detached and forensic, book on the subject I would be pleased to have the name so I can repair my abysmal ignorance.


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