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Cover

Churchill and the Dardanelles

Christopher M. Bell

August 2020

ISBN: 9780198702559

464 pages
Paperback
216x135mm

In Stock

Price: £12.99

The story of the highly controversial First World War campaign that nearly destroyed Churchill's reputation for good and of his decades-long battle to set the record straight - a battle which ultimately helped clear the way for Churchill's appointment as Prime Minister in Britain's 'darkest hour'.

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Description

The story of the highly controversial First World War campaign that nearly destroyed Churchill's reputation for good and of his decades-long battle to set the record straight - a battle which ultimately helped clear the way for Churchill's appointment as Prime Minister in Britain's 'darkest hour'.

  • The story of the Dardanelles - the campaign which nearly destroyed Churchill's reputation forever
  • A detailed and authoritative account of the campaign's origins and execution, based on extensive archival research
  • Strips away the layers of myth that have long surrounded these dramatic events
  • Clearly shows how simple judgements about the operation - whether pro or contra - are neither possible nor fair
  • Reveals for the first time the secret machinations that led to Churchill's removal from office - including the high-level leaks fuelling the press campaign to drive Churchill from power
  • Untangles Churchill's complicated relationship with the dynamic Admiral Jacky Fisher - and Fisher's covert campaign to undermine the Dardanelles campaign
  • Tells the perhaps even more important story of Churchill after the Dardanelles - and his decades-long battle to defend his record over the campaign

About the Author(s)

Christopher M. Bell, Professor of History, Dalhousie University

Christopher M. Bell is Professor of History at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has published widely on twentieth-century naval history, and is the author of The Royal Navy, Seapower and Strategy between the Wars (2000) and Churchill and Sea Power (2012), and co-editor of At the Crossroads between Peace and War: The London Naval Conference of 1930 (2014) and Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective (2003).

Table of Contents

    Winston Churchill and the Dardanelles: A Riddle Wrapped in Myths Inside a Legend
    1:Stalemate and Frustration: The First Months of War
    2:The Origins of the Naval Offensive
    3:'A Great Experiment': The Naval Plan Approved
    4:'I Will Find the Men': The Plan Remade
    5:'Groping Round Without a plan'
    6:From the Dardanelles to Gallipoli
    7:Jacky Fisher's Crisis
    8:The Duchy of Lancaster Goes to War!
    9:Exile
    10:The Dardanelles Commission I: The Preliminaries
    11:The Dardanelles Commission II: The Naval Staff under Scrutiny
    12:The Dardanelles Commission III: An Instalment of Fair Play
    13:The Cabinet Minister as Censor: The Official Histories
    14:The Battle of the Memoirs
    15:From Millstone to Myth: 'The Great Movement of Opinion'
    Conclusion: What about the Dardanelles?
    Notes
    Bibliography

Reviews

"'In this highly readable and comprehensive treatment, Christopher M. Bell treats the evidence with forensic care and delivers arguments that are consistently nuanced and fair. The book casts new light both on Churchill himself and on the wider question of civil-military relations during World War I' " - Richard Toye, author of The Roar of the Lion

"'A book which combines a thoroughly researched, well-written and convincing new assessment of one of the British Empire's most controversial and disputed campaigns with a thoughtful and reflective survey of how the episode has come to be understood since ... one of the best additions to the scholarship on the First World War produced since 2014.'" - David G. Morgan-Owen, English Historical Review

"'This is quite simply the best naval history book that I have read this year. Christopher Bell may not have written the last word on this still very emotive subject, but I can't imagine that anyone will be able to produce a better, more equitably balanced and authoritative account of the Dardanelles operation than he has done. It is quite superb in virtually every way.'" - Malcolm H. Murfett (Kings College, London), The International Journal of Maritime History

"'Bell's historical judgements are balanced and fair. He has made a major contribution to British naval history and to a clearer understanding of that towering twentieth-century political figure, Winston Churchill. Bell's book will stand as the definitive study of the Dardanelles campaign and the central role of Churchill for many years to come.'" - W. Mark Hamilton, The Mariner's Mirror: The International Quarterly Journal of The Society for Nautical Research

"'An authoritative account.'" - Paul Ridgeway, Flash: Trinity House Fraternity Review

"'A marvellous book.'" - Robin Brodhurst, British Journal of Military History

"'Bell's conclusions are admirably balanced.'" - David French, Journal of Military History

"'The blame-shifting, name-calling, and finger-pointing were not stilled by an exhaustive Dardanelles Commission inquiry and its 1919 report, but should now finally come to an end a century later with the publication of this well-researched, very well-written, but above all judiciously objective book by the distinguished naval historian Christopher M. Bell... This excellent book cuts through a century of pro- and anti-Churchill writing to reach remarkably balanced conclusions.'" - Andrew Roberts, Weekly Standard

"'Impressive and readable... Churchill and the Dardanelles is an important and balanced book... For anyone interested in Gallipoli, or Winston Churchill, it is essential reading.'" - Gary Sheffield, Stand To!

"'Christopher Bell's outstanding Churchill and the Dardanelles... is a fantastic exposition of how academics can write successfully for a broader audience without compromising at all on the quality of their research, and comes with a hearty recommendation from me.'" - David Morgan Owen, Defence in Depth

"'Indispensable'" - Yusuf Ali Ozkan, Gelibolu'yu Anlamak

"'This is a well-written and important book which adds valuably to the literature on Churchill himself and to the strategic history of the First World War.'" - David Dutton, International History Review

"'Bell explores the subject afresh and does so with such mastery that the tenor of his judgments rings true. [...] In clearing away a mass of historical debris from the scene, Bell has achieved for Churchill and Gallipoli what David Reynolds accomplished for Churchill and the Second World War, the excavation of a man from the myth that he created.'" - History Today

"'[Churchill and the Dardanelles] is a well-written and important book which adds valuably to the literature on Churchill himself and to the strategic history of the First World War.'" - David Dutton, International History Review

"'Well-researched study.'" - Saul Kelly, Middle Eastern Studies

"'A clear and authoritative account about Churchill's role in the Dardanelles offensive. Bell's style is easily accessible for the armchair strategist but is equally thorough and well footnoted for the weathered naval historian. Everyone can appreciate the enormous efforts and herculean tasks Bell undertook to disentangle the reality of the Dardanelles from its various narrative myths.'" - Warren Dockter, Churchill Bulletin

"'Christopher Bell's knowledge of the sources cannot be bettered, and he has shown himself to be the ideal person to present this important, accessible reassessment'" - Eric Grove, Times Literary Supplement

"An extremely absorbing and highly readable work which casts new light on not only Churchill himself but on the much wider issues of the relationships between the military and civilian governments during the First World War." - History of War

"'Meticulously researched and readable account.'" - History of War

"'This immaculate study of the First Lord of the Admiralty's disgrace and comeback is ... likely to become the definitive work on the campaign, and Churchill's role in it. What gives the book its edge is not merely Bell's scholarship, which is rigorous, but its highly original analysis of the aftermath ... Unlike most additions to the Churchill bibliography, it is truly valuable.'" - Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph