Thursday, November 05, 2015

WW1: Gallipoli

One Brit mourns a fallen comrade


It's wretched. Absolutely wretched to read up on the Gallipoli Campaign. The Great War has many ignorant generals who felt they were fighting an old war of gallantry and pageantry (just look at their uniforms at the start) and not a mechanized, horrific slug-fest. Generals like Douglas Haig still believed the fighting spirit would allow men to charge and defeat strongly defend positions armed with automatic weapons. Haig was not involved with Gallipoli but incompetent leadership can show up anywhere. Gallipoli was pretty terrible top to bottom except for the evacuation and retreat. November was the month when the Allies finally admitted it was not going to happen. One hundred years ago, they finally withdrew.

10 comments:

Toddy Cat said...

Like so much in that war, the idea behind Gallipoli - using the Allies' control of the sea to open up a new front against a weaker opponent - was basically sound, but the execution was appalling, and there was a tremendous disinclination to admit that it was a failure, which cost many lives. Of course, the primary truth about WWI was that it was a catastrophic mistake from the get-go, and should have been terminated ASAP. By December 1914, everybody seems to have realized this except Britain and Germany, who essentially kept the was going, pulling their allies along for the ride. That the damned thing lasted over four years is a testimony to the power of the sunk-cost fallacy, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Historian but I think that the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 and even the American Civil War were first "modern wars" with mass casualities.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Good point anon. The trench warfare with advantages for the defensive weaponry and mass repeating guns was started in the Civil War.

Portlander said...

I don't know how much truth to it there really is (I'm skeptical myself), but I've seen people claim that the reason the US was so late/reluctant in joining WWI was because the Army had experienced modern, mechanized warfare in the Civil War and knew what it meant.

I'm skeptical because at 60 years removed, I think that institutional knowledge was long gone, replaced with beating the snot out of indigenous locals.

Victor Stamp said...

I'm not a Historian but I think that the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 and even the American Civil War were first "modern wars" with mass casualities.

Also the Boer War (irregulars, prison camps).

Gallipoli is a big deal in Australia, to the extent of being the only recognised battle of WW1.

peterike said...

The Pogues did an epic song about Gallipoli. Really, this is one of the great anti-war songs of all time.

https://youtu.be/cZqN1glz4JY

peterike said...

I don't know how much truth to it there really is (I'm skeptical myself), but I've seen people claim that the reason the US was so late/reluctant in joining WWI was because the Army had experienced modern, mechanized warfare in the Civil War and knew what it meant.

No. Americans wanted nothing to do with WWI because it was none of our damn business. They elected the scum Woodrow Wilson on a specific anti-war platform -- "He kept us out of the war!"

But the Jews in the UK were preventing the war from ending when Germany wanted peace, because the Jews cut a deal for Palestine (Balfour Declaration), and they got UK to sign aboard in exchange for a promise to bring America into the war. So the Jews got to Wilson, and the media began a massive campaign of hate against the Germans, complete with fake stories of bayoneted babies. Sure enough, they got America into the war like they wanted.

paworldandtimes said...

Another great little known anti-war song is Pink Floyd's "When the Tigers Broke Free." Roger Waters wrote it for The Wall album but his band mates voted it down as too personal. It was about his father's death at Anzio. Waters later recorded it on his solo album.

PA

paworldandtimes said...

The Pogues song is great btw. Thanks for that peterike.

nightboat2cairo said...

Don't shortchange Eric Bogle. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is his song and has been covered by a lot of people. I've heard so many versions I don't know whose is iconic.