The End of the Myth
Date of publication: October 2010
Publisher: Yale University Press
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. World-renowned military historian Robin Prior takes us step by step through the campaign that cost the Allies casualties of 390,000, including some 30,000 Australian and New Zealand troops. Evaluating the strategy, the commanders, and the performance of individual soldiers on the ground, Prior's conclusions are hard-hitting and painful. The naval campaign was not 'almost' won by the allies, but decisively lost.
The land action was not bedevilled by minor misfortunes, but devastated by fatal miscalculation and error. Even if victorious, the campaign would not have shortened the war by a single day; nor was the downfall of Turkey of any relevance to the global objectives of the First World War. The Gallipoli campaign was a bad war, misjudged, poorly thought through, and despite their bravery the allied troops died in vain.
This conclusive book assesses the many myths that have emerged about Gallipoli and provides definitive answers to questions that have lingered about the operation. 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.