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John Masefield's 'Galilipoli'

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MichaelBully View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jun 2012 at 17:07
Just started looking at 'Gallipoli' by John Masefield. As someone who hasn't read much at all on the subject wondering how reliable people have found this work. Appreciate that it was written in 1916 and was intentionally written to counter-criticism of the Gallipoli campaign.
Each chapter begins from a quote from 'The Song of Roland' and there is an emphasis is placed on the heroic elements of the campaign.
The Ancient Sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Trounson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2012 at 19:27
Hi Michael,

This is a work that has been reprinted and reprinted and it is somewhat noted for the errors that are in it which is not uncommon for books written around this time. I have another book of the same era by a Canadian that remarks about the River Clyde and the many Australians that were slaughtered trying to disembark!  I tend to find the books of this era interesting to read as first hand accounts for the part the individuals had in the campaign if autobiographical but certainly not for accuracy of the overall campaign.

 In my opinion the Australian Official War History is one of the best for the areas that the Anzac forces were concerned with. It is volumes one and two of the twelve volume series that deals with Gallipoli. Copies come up on Ebay reasonably often and sell for about $100 AU each or you can download or read them for free online at :



Some of the best books in my opinion are Les Carlyons' book 'Gallipoli" as a great easy read covering the whole campaign and Stephen Chambers has a number of books dedicated to different parts of the campaign complete with battlefield tour guides if you are so lucky to visit Gallipoli at some time. There are many original photographs in his books that you never get to see anywhere else and as he has been to Gallipoli many times he certainly knows the ins and outs of the place. 

I would tend to start on a book that covers the whole campaign which is relatively new so that you are getting a good solid grounding with an accurate account of the campaign. 

Hope this helps you out.

Regards,

Peter


Edited by Peter Trounson - 09 Jun 2012 at 19:34
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MichaelBully View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MichaelBully Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2012 at 18:40
That's great Peter, much appreciated. 
I had suspected that Masefield's book, being written when the Great War was still in operation, and so near to the event, could have some flaws.
Any time I start reading a historical work, I check the date of publication and also try to work out when the author would have written it.
I have a specific interest in the August 6th -10th days of Gallipoli -in respect of the 10th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiments, but also need an overall background work to put this part of the campaign in to context. I have ordered Peter Hart's 'Gallipoli' .
Regards, Michael Bully
The Ancient Sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon'.
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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2012 at 16:51
Michael, sorry I han't responded sooner.
 
I myself like reading the older books that were published nearer the time of the campaign as the language used in some ways was a lot more descriptive in a way. Also it allows the reader to compare those books with the modern publications and what has been learnt from less censorship and more indepth studies of the events and actions.
 
I found this book to be informative albeit from a very personal perspective. Masefield tried to describe the overall campaign and the background to it and events therein, but his personal accounts of his own experience are what I like about it.
 
Peter Harte's book is an excellent starting point and it sits proud on my own book shelves amongst many others.
 
As Peter also says you wont go far wron with Stephen Chambers trio of books or indeed Major and Mrs. Holt's Battlefield Guide.
 
All I can say is enjoy Masefield's Gallipoli as it is a nice easy starter and enjoyable to boot.
 
I have posted a short review (in the Books review section of the forum)of the book that is given on an Australian Publishing site.
 
Regards,
 
 
Mal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MichaelBully Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 17:33
Thanks for your comments Mal. Didn't John Masefield write the book after a lecture tour of the USA? The American public might not have been sympathetic to the Gallipoli campaign ? In fact the question of American attitudes to the Gallipoli campaign before April 1917 might make an interesting thread in their own right.
The Ancient Sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 10:45
Michael, you are correct regarding the timing of the writing of the book. I like the concept that you propose for the thread regarding American attitudes to the campaign. I will do some research, but please feel free to open a thread if you wish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MichaelBully Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 19:11
Hello Mal
I am interested in the question of neutrality during the Great War, particularly as I have tried to read up on The Netherlands during these years.
But my knowledge of US history is fairly dismal. I can start a thread but the subject will be raised as more of a question than anything else.
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Michael Bully
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 19:32
Michael leave it with me for a while. I will check out some American newspapers from the time and see what I can come up with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MichaelBully Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2012 at 12:42
Look forward to reading your findings Mal.  The Gallipoli campaign coincided with the sinking of 'The Lusitania' and the Bryce Report which stimulated anti-German feeling.
On the other hand, the British blockade of Germany did have an adverse impact on ships from neutral countries, and from what I gather, was not popular in the USA.
The Ancient Sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon'.
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