WINSTON CHURCHILL AND THE DARDANELLES by Trumbull Higgins

WINSTON CHURCHILL AND THE DARDANELLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ill-fated Dardanelles-Gallipoli expedition of 1915 has been chronicled many times in terms of its actual physical aspects, and of the countless strategic mistakes and misapprehensions which combined to make it the tragedy it was. But as Mr. Higgins points out in his Preface, it is ""both astonishing and significant"" that no one has ever presented a study of the whole affair focused upon what is, ""presumably, its most important facet,"" by which he means the underlying struggles of the different policies within the British Cabinet, the Admiralty, and the War Ministry. It is such a study that he has given us here, relying heavily upon sources which have only recently become available, such as the papers of Herbert Asquith, Lloyd George, and Bonar law. He has tried to redress the ""imbalance"" given to the story by such men as Churchill and Ian Hamilton, who were involved in the planning of the campaign. Another of his objectives was to correct the ""overestimate"" of Churchill's role. All of this he has accomplished fairly enough, one must admit; but the book is written in a dry, clipped manner presupposing a great deal of knowledge of the inner workings of behind-the-scenes British politics and statecraft, knowledge which the general reader--and certainly the American reader--simply does not have. Even the most ardent World War buff will find it difficult.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1963
Publisher: Macmillan