Johnny: The Legend and Tragedy of General Sir Ian Hamilton (Kindle)
Gallipoli was the brainchild of two brilliant men – Kitchener, the political head of the British Army in 1914 – and Churchill, the political head of the Royal Navy. Success at Gallipoli would have shortened the First World War by opening up a sea route to Russia and made sure that she remained a powerful ally of Britain and France.
The Gallipoli expedition is judged by most historians to have been a tragic failure, brought about by a host of unexpected misfortunes. This book demonstrates that the expedition was doomed before it began. The size of the invading army was too small – which was Kitchener's fault – and the strategic plan invited defeat – something for which Hamilton had to take the responsibility. Hamilton's opponent at Gallipoli was the cool German officer, General Liman von Sanders, whose strategic skills had been developed in the Prussian War Academy. In contrast, Hamilton was a tactician, never happier than when he was in the thick of battle. But by 1915 this style of leadership had become an anachronism.
Gallipoli was Hamilton's last command. During his long retirement he became an important writer on military art and science, and he emerged as a prophet who made a number of astonishing predictions about the future of warfare.
Absorbing and terrifying. Absorbing because of the clarity of the prose and terrifying because of the blunders and bad judgements made by over-confident men and the many inevitable and unexpected happenings of the war.Dymphna Byrne
One of the six best military books published worldwide.Royal United Services Institute - Annual review of military literature
We were very impressed with the depth of insight and research of this book, as well as its readability and originality, and after due consideration are pleased to inform you that it has successfully navigated its way through the competition and has been selected for the 2013 shortlist of six works.Professor Michael Clarke, Director General, Royal United Services Institute.
This is an enjoyable and interesting account of a General whose extraordinarily varied and interesting military service culminated in his command of the Allied Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli . . . . Hamilton remained something of a hero, as Professor Jones acknowledges, as did Haig and his band. It is only in the last fifty years that the “lions led by donkeys” concept has gained ground, something influenced possibly more by social than military historians. These views will change again in the future but for the moment I would thoroughly recommend this most interesting biography of a very remarkable man.General Sir Barney White-Spunner, Colonel Commandant, Honourable Artillery Company.
This fascinating study of The Legend and Tragedy of General Sir Ian Hamilton, is a fine example of a very senior general, with much experience of colonial wars in which he deservedly gained a high reputation as an operational commander in the field, being completely over-faced by the demands of modern warfare between sophisticated military powers for which he was ill-prepared. . . . . the Gallipoli expedition was, as John Philip Jones describes, doomed to failure before the actual assault took place in spite of the unparalleled heroism which still lies deep in the national psyche of the ANZAC nations. . . . the principles of High Command that John Philip Jones expresses in his book are every bit as relevant today.General Sir Roger Wheeler, Chief of the General Staff and professional head of the British Army, 1997-2000.
This is an abosrbing and fascinating study of fallibility... An outstanding work. 7/10.The Great War Magazine
Having attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1870, General Sir Ian Hamilton had been a career soldier. A veteran of the Afghan and Boer wars, it is for his command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War that he is best remembered.Britain at War Magazine
This is a well researched insight into Hamilton's life and service.