Gallipoli: a ridge too far
BAE Systems Theatre,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Thursday 5 – Friday 6 August 2010
In August 2010, the Australian War Memorial convened an international conference to mark the 95th anniversary of the climactic battles of the Gallipoli campaign. In early August 1915, after months of stalemate in the trenches on Gallipoli, British and Dominion troops launched a series of assaults in an all-out attempt to break the deadlock and achieve a decisive victory. The “August offensive” resulted in heart-breaking failure and costly losses on both sides. Many of the sites of the bloody struggle became famous names: Lone Pine, the Nek, Chunuk Bair, Hill 60, Suvla Bay.
Debate has continued to the present day over the strategy and planning, the real or illusory opportunities for success, and the causes of failure in what became the last throw of the dice for the Allies. Some argue that these costly attacks were a lost opportunity; others maintain that the outcomes were simply inevitable.
This conference attracted leading military historians from around the world bringing multi-national perspectives to these intriguing questions. Keynote speaker, Professor Robin Prior of the University of Adelaide, author of Gallipoli: the end of the myth (2009), joined a range of international authorities from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Germany, India and Turkey to present their most recent research findings.
This conference was convened by the Australian War Memorial. The support of the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.