Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill: 1914-15 Pt. 1: The Dardanelles Commission (Uncovered Editions)

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9780117024236: Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill: 1914-15 Pt. 1: The Dardanelles Commission (Uncovered Editions)

The Dardanelles formed part of the main southern shipping route to Russia, and was of great military and strategic importance to whoever controlled it. However, it had long been recognized by the British naval and military authorities that any attack on the Dardanelles would be an operation fraught with great difficulties. During the early stages of World War I, Russia made a plea to her allies to make a demonstration against the Turks. So attractive was the prize of the Dardanelles to the British generals, notably Lord Kitchener, that this ill-fated campaign was launched. Just how powerful an influence Kitchener was to exert over the War Council, and just how ill-prepared the Allies were to conduct such an attack, are revealed in dramatic detail in the report of this Commission. The book covers the first part of the Commission's report. It deals with the origin, inception and conduct of operations in the Dardanelles from the beginning of the war in August 1914 until March 1915, when the idea of a purely naval attack was abandoned.

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Few First World War battles had more political impact than the British campaign to secure the Dardenelle straits from Turkish forces in 1915. An inadequate navy, an insufficient military back-up and much dithering back among high command back in London all contributed to a disastrous attack which resulted in the loss of so much life at Gallipoli, and, eventually, the resignation of Asquith, the prime minister. This Stationery Office reprint of extracts from the official government inquiry into the episode reveals a roll-call of blame that includes the names of Churchill, Kitchener and Fisher. Politicians at war have never looked so out of depth. Miles Taylor

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