The End of the Myth
By Robin Prior
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300149951, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The Gallipoli campaign of 1915–16 was an ill-fated Allied attempt to shorten the war by eliminating Turkey, creating a Balkan alliance against the Central Powers, and securing a sea route to Russia. A failure in all respects, the operation ended in disaster, and the Allied forces suffered some 390,000 casualties. This conclusive book assesses the many myths that have emerged about Gallipoli and provides definitive answers to questions that have lingered about the operation.
Robin Prior, a renowned military historian, proceeds step by step through the campaign, dealing with naval, military, and political matters and surveying the operations of all the armies involved: British, Anzac, French, Indian, and Turkish. Relying substantially on original documents, including neglected war diaries and technical military sources, Prior evaluates the strategy, the commanders, and the performance of soldiers on the ground. His conclusions are powerful and unsettling: the naval campaign was not “almost” won, and the land action was not bedeviled by “minor misfortunes.” Instead, the badly conceived Gallipoli campaign was doomed from the start. And even had it been successful, the operation would not have shortened the war by a single day. Despite their bravery, the Allied troops who fell at Gallipoli died in vain.
Robin Prior is visiting professorial fellow, University of Adelaide, and visiting fellow, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy. He is the coauthor of Passchendaele: The Untold Story and The Somme, both published by Yale University Press. He lives in South Australia.
“History of a very high order…. the best account by far of the campaign in 1915-16.”—Jay Winter, Yale University
"It's a well-written book, complete with a great bibliography and some of the most outstanding maps to be delivered with any account of war and battle. That the author could assemble such a plethora of information and then distill it into such a readable account would be a story unto itself. For anyone who wants to know where, when and what Gallipoli was, this book is for you."—Vice Adm. Robert F. Dunn, The Washington Times
-Vice Adm. Robert F. Dunn
"[This] book sets a new standard for assessing the Allied Dardanelles campaign in 1915."—Mustafa Aksakal, American Historical Review
"It might seem that everything worth saying about World War I has already been said, but then along comes a book such as Robin Prior's Gallipoli and it's time to make room on the shelf for another essential title . . . . It is military history of the highest order.'"—Mark Lasswell, "Standout Selections: The Year in Books," Wall Street Journal
-The Year in Books
"This work is an excellent addition to the current body of scholarhsip with something for both the neophyte and the seasoned historian."—Blake Whitaker, Canadian Journal of History