SECTION IV. – CONCLUSION.
The arguments in favour of retaining our positions on Gallipoli are based mainly
on conjectures as to the effect on the East of withdrawal, and on questions of Imperial
and military sentiment. The arguments on the other side are based on cold
calculations or military strategy.
The General Staff have examined both sides of the problem with the greatest care
and throroughness of which they are capable. Far from underrating the considerations
of sentiment involved, they feel them deeply themselves, and their feeling would have
been one of considerable relief if they could have given an opinion against evacuation
of ground that has been so hardly won and held; but they are unable to do so.
The problem is very complicated. There can be no certainty as to the ultimate
results either of withdrawing or remaining. But one course or the other must be
decided on at once, and, with a profound sense of responsibility in placing the opinion
on record, the General Staff have arrived at the conclusion that, so far as it is possible
to foresee, from a military point of view, withdrawal is likely to prove ultimately more
advantageous than retention of our positions. Believing this, they must give their
opinion in favour of evacuation, with the possible exception of Helles.