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Gallipoli

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More than ninety years on, the Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16 is still famous as perhaps the most disastrous, horrific and pointless campaign of the entire First World War. Masterminded by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, following Turkey's entry into the war on the German side, its aim was to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in western Turkey, allowing the Allies to take control of the eastern Mediterranean. But the campaign went wrong from the start. Ignorant of the terrain, and hopelessly underestimating the Turkish army, the Allies found themselves entrenched on the hillsides for long agonising months, through the burning summer and bitter winter, in appalling, dysentery-ridden conditions. By the time they withdrew in January 1916, the death toll stood at 21,000 British troops, 11,000 Australian and New Zealand, and 87,000 Turkish. First published in 1956, when it won the first Duff Cooper Prize, Alan Moorehead's book is still the definitive work on the campaign. Vivid, analytical and highly readable, with compelling character sketches of the main players, it brings the complex operation to life, showing how and why it went so wrong. Hide synopsis

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