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Anzac - Sari Bair (Paperback)

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks WWI > By Year > 1915

By Stephen Chambers
Imprint: Pen & Sword Battleground
Pages: 244
ISBN: 9781781591901
Published: 30th June 2014



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The August Offensive was born out of the failures of the Gallipoli landings and the subsequent battles of late spring and early summer 1915.

General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, chose to play all his remaining cards in this daring and ingenious gamble that he hoped would finally turn the tide in the allies favour and bring his army up onto the heights overlooking the elusive Dardanelles. However the plan's same ingenuity became its eventual undoing. It required complex manoeuvring in tortuous terrain; whilst many of the attacking soldiers were already weakened by the hardships of four months of enduring very poor conditions on the Peninsula.

What played out was heartbreakingly tragic; command failed the bravery and sacrifice of the fighting soldier. This Anzac offensive, fought by a combined force of British, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops, made infamous places such as Lone Pine, The Nek, Sari Bair, Chunuk Bair, Hill Q, The Farm, Hill 971 and Hill 60. Although tantalisingly close to success, the offensive fell short of its objectives and the attack was ground down to a stalemate - not least the consequence of the inspiring leadership of Mustafa Kemal. Hamilton's gamble had failed.

This is the story, told using a rich mix of letters, diaries, photographs and maps, of Gallipoli's last battles; the forlorn hope for a decisive victory.

As featured in the West Sussex County Times and All About Horsham Magazine.

Chambers has very thoroughly covered this disastrous period in the eight-month's struggle for the Gallipoli Peninsula. This is an excellent read for anyone wishing to expand their understanding of the Gallipoli Campaign.

RUSI Defence Systems

This book follows the now well established pattern of the Battleground Gallipoli series as authored by the excellent Steve Chambers... The account of the resulting Battle of Sari Bair is wonderfully illustrated with photos and maps that attempt to bring order to the chaos... Chambers presents a series of sensible routes annotated with plenty to see.

Stand To!

Stephen Chambers has already written a series of books on the Gallipoli campaign and this focuses on the plan to capture the Sari Bair range of hills. There is a five page introduction that sets the operation in the context of the overall battle then 154 pages of first quality work, well illustrated and with good maps. The author has walked the battle area extensively and then goes on to produce another 57 pages of maps, photos and advise to those planning a visit. There are also good links to the Turkish side of the battle or Cannakale Savasi as it is known there

The narratives are accurate, concise and well cross referenced to notes , bibliography and recommended further reading. The index is well organised and the Order of Battle covers both sides.

The book is probably aimed at those who have already understood the broad lines of the whole campaign, is a good onward guide for those researching or writing, but an absolute must for anyone planning to visit the battlefield. Stephen Chambers sets a fine standard. The book is extremely readable and even after nearly a century, there is a terrible sadness of so much the men suffered.

Army Rumour Service

The Battleground Series is now well-established with more than 140 titles in print. This addition to the series maintains the very high standard set by the series. It includes a great many images in support of the text. The combination of thorough research and clear writing has produced a comprehensive work that can be used as a battlefield guide, or as a detailed historical account that will grace any WWI library. Highly recommended.

 Stephen Chambers

About Stephen Chambers

Stephen Chambers is one of the leading military historians of the Gallipoli campaign. Although this is his prime passion, he has also a great interest in British military history from the Crimea to the Second World War. His first book, Gallipoli - Gully Ravine won high acclaim, along with the follow-on volumes: Anzac The Landing and Suvla: August Offensive. His most recent work in the series is Walking Gallipoli, a single volume companion for the cambering, particularly useful to the battlefield visitor. 
He is a committee member of the Gallipoli Association and has led numerous tours to the Gallipoli battlefields.
His interest in British military history over many years resulted in a major book, Uniforms & Equipment of the British Army in World War One, the first extensive serious work on the subject. When he is not writing and researching, Stephen is walking the battlefields in the footsteps of those who trod before, whether in the grasslands of Zululand, amidst the mud of Flanders or on the beaches and heights of Gallipoli. 


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