Laffin, John: The Agony of Gallipoli

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”’Sacred ground of lost endeavour’ or ’Hell heaped up’? Controversy still rages today about the Gallipoli campaign, inspired by Winston Churchill and designed to knock Turkey out of the First World War, thereby opening a supply route to arms-starved Russia. Was it one of the greatest blunders of the war, misconceived from the start and mishandled by tacticians? Or was it a strategic masterstroke, ruined by incompetence on the spot? Whichever view is accepted, the campaign was of decisive importance, its failure paving the way first to the collapse of the Imperial Russian army and later to socialist revolution. The Agony of Gallipoli is much more than just another account of the action in the field. John Laffin has written a critical and challenging analysis of the whole campaign, assisted by detailed maps and contemporary photographs. He examines the premises on which it was conceived, the way it was executed, the personalities of the generals and the conflicts amongst them. The author’s introduction declares that ’the purpose of this book is to explain the defeat, to apportion the blame, and to let the soldiers speak. Here he provides a forthright treatment of a subject which still continues to grip the imaginations of people throughout the world.”

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Painovuosi 2005;

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