Date(s) - 25/04/2015
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Green Park tube (Park exit)
There’s a Turkish saying that one disaster is better than 1,000 pieces of advice. Whatever myths created about it in the last 100 years, Gallipoli was a disaster. The Turks won. Gallipoli was the British Empire and France trying to knock Germany’s ally Turkey out of World War One, thereby reducing the pressure on the Allies’ eastern front. As the historians say, “Gallipoli was launched almost casually, into a void, and was doomed to fail.”
There was little planning and the troops used were inexperienced. Part of the soldiers’ training was ‘how to recognize when a Turkish soldier surrenders.’ Of the half a million British Empire forces involved, the vast majority were British/Irish with significant contributions from the Indian Army, and the Gurkhas who in one deadly night attack drove the Turkish frontline back 500 yards. Nor should we overlook the 79,000 French.
Yet the significance for the ANZACs is undeniable. The eight months of brutal fighting gave the ANZAC forces a powerful sense of comradeship, a growing sense of military competence and ultimately their first real sense of nationhood. By the end of the Great War, the ‘colonials’ were appreciated as battle-hardened shock troops.
Without the lessons of Gallipoli there would have been no D-Day. D-Day saw two hundred thousand troops put ashore, in the right place, in the right formations, unlike Gallipoli, with immediate artillery support. Unlike Gallipoli D-Day quickly created a formidable beachhead with plenty of force to create an effective new Front. So yes, Gallipoli helped save the planet.
By dragging the four quarters of the world into Europe’s ‘civil’ war, Britain changed the planet. It exposed native colonial peoples to ideas such as self determination, and heightened their sense of self worth.
Come and hear a few of those incredible stories. The walk starts from the Buckingham Palace exit from Green Park tube station.
Bookings are closed for this event.