An interesting series of talks on Gallipoli will be held on Thursday, 23 April 2015 at King’s College, London. All members of G&DI and friends are welcome.
TOPIC: “GALLIPOLI 1915–2015: THE FATEFUL CAMPAIGN OF THE GREAT WAR AND ITS MEANING TO THE MOST INVOLVED NATIONS ON ITS CENTENARY.”
DATE: Thursday, 23 April 2015
VENUE: S-2.08, Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS.
This event is free and open to the public, but it is a ticketed event that requires pre-registration. Please note that a ticket does not in itself guarantee a seat. For free registration and tickets please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-conferencegallipoli-1…
Details of the talks are as follows:
CHAIR: Professor David Stevenson, Department of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
SPEAKERS: John Crowe, President, Gallipoli & Dardanelles International; Dr Haldun Solmaztürk, Senior Fellow, Chatham House, London; Simon Kleinig, member, Gallipoli & Dardanelles International.
John Crowe—“British Perspective: How Did the Allies Decide to Force Dardanelles?”
Simon Kleinig—“ANZAC Perspective: Birth of the Nations of Australia and the New Zealand.”
Dr. Haldun Solmaztürk: “Turkish Perspective: Rebirth of a Nation and Making of the Modern Turkey”
JOHN CROWE — “British Perspective: How did the Allies Decide to Force Dardanelles?”
The Gallipoli campaign has frequently been described, by the British and others alike as the ‘What if’ campaign as it raises so many questions. Indeed, should the Ottoman Empire remain neutral, there would be no Gallipoli campaign. But it did not, and went into war against tsarist Russia and found itself on the side of the Central Powers.
What if the British, actually Churchill, had not seized the two dreadnaughts (Erin and Agincourt) due for delivery to Turkey—built in England for the Ottoman navy, fully paid and Turkish crew already deployed. Still, if the two German battleships (Goeben and Breslau) chased in the Mediterranean by the British fleet had not been able to reach the Dardanelles, they would not be able to sail to the Black Sea under Turkish flag and bombard Russian ports to drag Ottomans into war.
If Churchill had not been so impulsive with various naval actions that removed any element of surprise, perhaps naval attack would succeed. What if the Allied navies had made a second attempt to breach the narrows is yet another question. If the 29th Division had been ready to go into action immediately after the failed naval attempt to breach the narrows, perhaps the Allies could succeed in overrunning and silencing the Ottoman coastal artillery.
Perhaps if ANZACs—rather than inexperienced New Army divisions suffering from serious leadership problems were redeployed to Suvla in August 1915, Gallipoli would have been ‘won’ by the Allies, Ottoman capital occupied, Turkey put out of war, Russia reinforced and supplied, Bolshevik revolution avoided, war ended long before 1918 and on completely different terms, there would not be a second ‘Great War’, nor a Cold War.
SIMON KLEINIG—“ANZAC Perspective: Birth of the Nations of Australia and the New Zealand”
The events of World War One had a profound effect on the fledgling nations of Australia and New Zealand. Despite being far removed geographically from the European theatres of conflict, they were poised to become a global presence for the first time.
The Gallipoli Campaign served as a baptism by fire for the ANZACs, testing the mettle of men from both countries on the world stage. Being new nations, this test was eagerly anticipated at home, even though no antagonism had ever existed between Turkey and the two countries in the past.
In the early years of the twentieth century both Australia and New Zealand bore a strong allegiance to Britain. This allegiance to the Mother Country formed the basis of the ANZACs commitment. Set deep in the South Pacific, well away from the influences of Europe, Australia and New Zealand had, for over 120 years, been forging their own character, identity and sense of nationhood.
But the events of Gallipoli would add a dimension of character to their nationhood which could only ever be experienced in the crucible of war. For the first time men from all walks of life and backgrounds would be tested to the very limits of human endurance.
Their countries would have to accept loss and human sacrifice on an unimaginable level. And when the war was over, Australia and New Zealand would emerge as very different nations. A certain innocence was lost, but the foundations were laid and the character shaped for the modern nations that we see today.
DR HALDUN SOLMAZTÜRK—“Turkish Perspective: Rebirth of a Nation and Making of the Modern Turkey”
In the period leading to the First World War, after endless wars and rebellions in the course of about 100 years, the Ottoman Empire was virtually economically, financially and militarily exhausted. In addition to large territories and resources lost in Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus in the XIX century, Italian-Turkish War of 1911-12 and Balkan Wars of 1912-13 cost new losses and resulted in large scale massacres and mass migration of Turks and other communities affiliated with Turks.
The war was perceived, by a small group in the government, as an opportunity to redeem at least some of these territories. Ottoman Empire’s entry into war on the side of Germany was an outcome, on the one hand, of some fatefull developments at the strategic and tactical levels, and of geostrategic calculations and strategic initiatives of Germany, Russia, Britain and France on the other. ‘Eastern Question’ played a major role in this context.
Against all odds, felt cornered, their Capital—Palace of Caliph and the Sultan—directly threatened, Turks fought well and established the spiritual foundation for a national liberation war after the Ottoman Empire was defeated at the end of the Great War. They also gained a strong sense of nationhood that led to the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic.
Lt. Col. Mustafa Kemal emerged as the Turkish hero of the defence of the Dardanelles and exercising a profound influence on the course of battles, he came to influence also the destiny of the Turkish nation, he became Ataturk, ‘Father of Turks’.
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THE CHAIR AND SPEAKERS
DAVID STEVENSON: is a Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Stevenson is a prominent British historian specialising in the period of the First World War. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He became a Lecturer at the LSE in 1982.
In 1998, he was appointed Professor of International History at LSE. Between 2004 and 2005, he also received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship “for research on supply and logistics in 1914-1918.”
Professor Stevenson’s main research interests are international relations in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and origins, course, and impact of the First World War. He is also currently a member of the academic advisory committee for the Imperial War Museum’s new First World War Galleries.
His publications include: “Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe, 1904-1914” (Oxford University Press, 1996); “1914-1918: the History of the First World War” (Penguin Books, 2004); and “With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918” (Penguin Books, 2011). He is currently working on an international history of the year 1917.
JOHN CROWE: has a long and distinguished career in the Police service, beginning with the Norfolk Constabulary at the age of sixteen and rising through the ranks of Sergeant and Station Sergeant with the Metropolitan Police in London. He retired with the rank of Inspector after 31-year service, and then embarked on a second career in Financial Services for a further 25 years.
John’s father, Robert John Crowe, joined “Kitchener’s Army” in 1914 at the age of 23 years. As a worker on the Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, he served with the 5th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment, whose story was portrayed in the BBC film “All The King’s Men”, with actor David Jason as Captain Frank Beck, the Royal Agent for the Sandringham Estate.
John’s father went into action at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 12 August 1915. He suffered shrapnel wound at Gallipoli which resulted in his evacuation to Britain, and following a full recovery he went on to serve with his regiment in Egypt, Palestine and Gaza for the remainder of the war.
John has been researching the Gallipoli Campaign for the last 14 years. He has visited the Gallipoli peninsula on eight separate occasions. He was the founder of the charity Gallipoli & Dardanelles International in 2013, whose objectives are Remembrance, Friendship and Education. Following a successful Student tour of Turkey in 2014, plans are well advanced for a return visit by Turkish students to Britain in 2015. John currently serves as President of the charity.
DR HALDUN SOLMAZTÜRK: is a career infantry officer with education in political science and international relations. He retired from the Turkish Army in 2005. He has extensive experience in both policy making and operational planning for national, multinational, and coalition operations in NATO and the United Nations.
He participated in operations in Somalia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He holds an MA in military science from Turkish Army College, MA in international relations from Boston University and PhD in political science from İstanbul Bilgi University.
He is currently a senior fellow at the Chatham House, Honorary Research Fellow in London Metropolitan University (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities) and Senior Fellow in 21. Century Turkey Institute in Ankara.
His recent articles include; Vietnam and Tet Offensive: Conflict of Clashing Values, Quo Vadis NATO: Getting Prepared for Challenges in post-Afghanistan, post-Ukraine Era, General Guderian and Blitzkrieg: Theory and Practice of the Blitzkrieg Doctrine.
SIMON KLEINIG: is an Australian writer who has lived in Britain for the past eight years. He has published articles for “The Australian Times”, “National Library of Australia News”, “the Tasmanian Historical Research Association”, “Wild” magazine, “Trailwalker” magazine, “Tasmania: Forty Degrees South” and the “Royal Geographical Society of South Australia”.
His areas of research include colonial history, military history and the Great Outdoors. He has published three books about Tasmania and is currently researching a fourth. His first book, “Jack Thwaites: Tasmanian Conservationist and Bushwalker” was published in 2008 and was short-listed for the Tasmanian Book Prize. In 2010 he published “Rambles in Western Tasmania” and in 2012, “Frenchmans Cap—Story of a Mountain”.
This last-mentioned book chronicles the physical and human history of a striking wilderness peak in western Tasmania from its geological genesis to its colonial and convict history and subsequent events up to the present day.
Simon served as a conscripted rifleman with an Australian infantry battalion in Malaya and Vietnam between 1968 and 1970.