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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  21 reviews
'Because it was fought so close to his old home ground, Homer might have seen this war on the Gallipoli Peninsula as an epic. Brief by his standards, but essentially heroic. Shakespeare might have seen it as a tragedy with splendid bit-parts for buffoons and brigands and lots of graveyard scenes. Those thigh bones you occasionally see rearing out of the yellow earth of Gul ...more
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Doubleday (first published 2001)
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'Aussie Rick'
Les Carlyon's new book (published in 2001 in Australia) covering the Allied campaign against Turkey in the Dardanelles is one of those books that you find hard to put down once you start. In over 540 pages of narrative we get to hear the soldiers speak of their terrible trials and tribulations fighting in a harsh environment against a formidable enemy.

The book's main focus is upon the Australian involvement but the author does not neglect the role of the other Allied contingents, soldiers and s
Julie Bozza
I devoured this book. An odd choice for a pacifist to curl up with, I suppose, but it's a well written and clear-eyed account of the fascinating, heart-breaking Dardanelles campaign.

Gallipoli looms mythically in the Australian consciousness, and Carlyon is an Australian writer - but he aims to tell it how it was, as much as he can. It wasn't only the British leadership who bungled; it wasn't only the Australian and New Zealand troops who were heroic and cheerfully stoic. Carlyon takes a wide vi
Campbell Mcaulay
Lions led by donkeys,

I'm no expert on the Great War, but if Carlyon's account is anything to go by, Gallipoli was the pinnacle (or nadir) of a pointless war, fought incompetently. The campaign was an ill concieved idea of Winston Churchill's, championed by Kitchener and catastrophically pursued by the various generals appointed to carry it out.

For those who may not be familiar, the Gallipoli campaign was basically the invasion of Turkey (via the Dardanelles) by the Allied forces in 1915, aiming
I picked this book up on a whim, I was bored and I had a weekend to myself and I needed something to do. Its a subject I only really knew through the Mel Gibson movie from the early 80s and a few mentions in articles and such over the years, i had gleaned from these few sources that it was a disaster of epic proportions but was generally clueless. After reading Carlyon's well written well researched no punches pulled account I was dramatically moved by the horrors of war and I honestly thought I ...more
Steve Woods
After recently walking the battlefields on the Gallipoli Peninsula, this book had great personal significance to me. I visited every Australian grave that was marked there and stood in the presence of the thousands that weren't. This account focussed the deep sadness and the great anger that dominated my heart and soul as I stood before those graves. The courage and determination that were demonstrated in that place by men who were essentially inexperienced as soldiers deserve our undying admira ...more
Another conflict that shaped our world nearly a century ago. Interesting to learn of the decision processes of the time in England and Australia and the growth of young Winston Churchill. Interesting though it was, this was kind of a long, slow read.
Greg Thiele
Very well written account of Gallipoli. Carlyon's style makes this book a good read, despite its length.
Trevor Hall
A remarkable piece of research, a remarkable documentation of a remarkable story. I read Carlyon's Gallipoli after coming to Australia five years ago. As a Pom, I wish I'd read it earlier because it gives not only a fascinating insight into the tragedy of this battlefield, but also into what we can call Australian popular culture. Unlike other reviewers, I appreciated Carlyon's personal opinions which are littered throughout the book. I think what makes this a fascinating read is that it's not j ...more
Solidly in the 'Donkeys' tradition of World War One history, Carlyon's Gallipoli is an angry book but there is much to be angry about in this campaign. The description of the battle of the Nek is the book's high point but its anger clouds much else; do we really need so many laboured references to Hunter-Weston and butchery? Partly because of the endless sarcasm and also because Alan Moorehead was a better writer, there is nothing here that moved me in the same way as the account of the landings ...more
In this centenary year of the ANZAC landing, I recommend this for all Australian and New Zealand readers. It holds back no punches, condemning the mistakes and blunders made by generals and politicians, while at the same time praising the dedication and loyalty of the rank and file soldiers of bothe sides. In recent years, ANZAC has been enthroned as a defining moment for our nations, and this book helps to explain why. You will find no glorification of war in these pages, but will finish it hol ...more
A fabulous story written by a historian who could write. After seeing P Weir’s film I was under the impression that what was most shocking was how the English officers used the ANZAC troups as cannon fodder. Actually they also used their own for that purpose. What is shocking is how incompetent they were. They had a total disregard for the life of their guys and basked themselves in a clubish atmosphere where all that counted was to fight “gallantly”. The politicians were hardly better but that ...more
Andy Janes
Pretty good, dragged on a bit in the middle. Went from clinical descriptions to flowery writing back and forth quite a bit.
Found this a very hard book to read as Mr Crayon's writing style is very dry. 3/5 Information wise excellent 5/5
Wayne Ison
Well researched-interesting insight into those who played major roles in the campaign.
Rick Brindle
This is en excellent book about Gallipoli, encompassing the Dardanelles Campaign of World War I. It tells you about the straegic overview, the accounts of the soldiers and sailors doing the fighting, and also from both sides. Most memorable point for me was Churchill's view of ships that sunk to mines (they were old) while the author rightly reminds us that the men who died in them were not.
Matt Howard
This campaign has fascinated me since I first read about it when I was in elementary school. This book, though a little dated is still a great account of the events, the battles, and the hardships of the British and ANZAC troops. I think that anyone interested in WWI at all needs to have this book on their list of must reads.
A really good book, which gives a general overview of the campaign.

The book is primarily based on secondary sources (like memoirs) not on the primary documents. Sometimes it seems to be a bit judging and lacks objectivity.

An absolutely beautiful book. One paragraph by Carlyon should be enough to make Peter Fitzsimons put his crayons back in their box.
Mick Maye
Excellent coverage of the 1st AIF at Gallipoli.
easy read about a complex subject
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