On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail.
Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved: the birth of their countries' sense of nationhood.
Now approaching its centenary, the Gallipoli campaign, commemorated each year on Anzac Day, reverberates with importance as the origin and symbol of Australian and New Zealand identity. As such, the facts of the battle – which was minor against the scale of the First World War and cost less than a sixth of the Australian deaths on the Western Front – are often forgotten or obscured. Peter FitzSimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.
©2014 Peter FitzSimons (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
One of the best non fiction books I have read. Beautifully crafted blend of personal stories as well as the political and military facts. A must read for Kiwis and Australians interested in our history.
I loved this book and would recommend that everyone read it. FitzSimons has created an engaging and in some aspects haunting novelization of the Gallipoli campaign that explores both sides of the conflict. It is a read that will stay with me for many years to come, and I cannot stress enough what you will gain from taking to time to read (or listen to) it also.
So well written and read. A huge amount of research has obviously gone into making this book, I learned to much and have a new appreciation for the whole Gallipoli campaign and the individuals who were sent there. I loved this book!
"Like Lambs to the Slaughter"
I don't normally listen to books over 20 hours in length because I find myself losing interest. Not the case with this book. I finished it over a five day period and found myself disappointed that it was over. It is an incredible story, Sure, there have been tons of books on this campaign, but I found this one to be among the best. The author did an excellent job working personal accounts in with the overall history. I also enjoyed the Ottoman perspective as well. It gave a much richer picture of what happened.
One of my favorite individuals in this tale, surprisingly, was Mustafa Kemal (later to be known as Ataturk). His statement to his men "I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die" should go down in history as one of the greatest quotes of all time. He seemed to know exactly what to do at decisive points in the battle, unlike some of the Allied Commanders.
The author's description of Cairo and its environs is rich indeed and one could close their eyes and imagine themselves there as the narrator describes it. Great non-fiction should, like great fiction, be able to paint a picture of what is going on. The author definitely accomplishes that. Perhaps that is why some of the best history is written by journalists rather than historians. The former know how to tell a story.
If you have even a casual interest in The Great War, get this book. Today.
"Must read for every Anzac descendant"
Peter makes history come to life in such a way that captures one from beginning to end.
Gallipoli is such a big part of every Kiwi or Aussies' upbringing and finally I now feel I understand what is behind it all.
Every young person should take the time to read or listen to this book.
Thanks Peter for bringing to life for me.
"brilliant and stirring"
should be compulsory reading for all Australian children. i really enjoyed the book and while at first I was unsure of the narrator i really thought it was read really well. highly recommended.
"My first audiobook experience"
I've always struggled to finish books because I am a slow reader who tends to re-read the same paragraphs over and over again.
I could not have hoped for a better introduction to audiobooks, it truly was a great experience with the superb narration and amazing level of detail expertly told in a way that was not overwhelming and helped paint a very vivid image.
I thought I knew a fair bit about Gallipoli but Peter showed me that I had only scratched the surface. This should be compulsory for all Australians to listen to.
"An excellent account!"
Well, researched, well written. An in-depth look into the Gallipoli campaign, from the perspective of the Anzacs, Turks, as well as the British. I highly recommend it.
"Terrific WWI Narrative"
Definitely! I know many who are greatly interested in WWI history, and this book is a comprehensive look at Gallipoli. In my part of the world, much is made of the Canadian involvement in WWI itself, but I had only heard of Gallipoli and Anzac Day from Australian novels that I have read.
The performance was also welcome. It was neither monotone nor over-dramatic, and I do hope to check out more from Mr. Meldrum.
Don't let the length of this book deter you! It is a highly compelling, well-rounded narrative, by turns personal and universal. Well worth the read!
Very reflecting on the entire campaign, its obvious the controversy of the the British parliment and generals still hangs its head in intollerable bad tactics and judgements.
"Excellent highly readable narrative."
Relaxed, almost diary style with very personal focus on individual stories and a hell of a lot of Aussie spirit.
Expert means to convey an epic of history through first hand narratives. Performance, writing, and research were of the highest order.
Just as all of his books are. I always love his story-telling. This one is up there with the best
"FitzSimons is Superb. So is this book..... "
Amazing story, Amazing deeds, superbly told with typical ANZAC / FitzSimons humour in Places.
Hard to put it down, Superb.
Like Tobruk, this book makes you love the Auzzies...
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