This book completely rewrites the history of the origins of the Dardanelles Campaign and Winston Churchill's role in it, adding a new perspective to the military and political history of World War I.
In January 1915, Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, intended to activate plans to kill Germans in northern Europe. The Dardanelles campaign was conceived as a temporary diversion. Instead, circumstances contrived to make the campaign the defining event in Churchill's tenure as First Lord—and one of the most significant failures in his extraordinary career.
Churchill's Dilemma: The Real Story Behind the Origins of the 1915 Dardanelles Campaign is an entirely original study of the origins of the disastrous Dardanelles Campaign of 1915 and Winston Churchill's role in it. The work challenges long-held beliefs about Churchill's actions as First Lord, including the perceptions that he had a preoccupation with the Dardanelles bordering on obsession, and that he only reluctantly promoted a naval-only attempt to force the Dardanelles because there were no troops available for a full-scale amphibious assault on the Peninsula.
Opening with a brief study of prewar naval policy in the age of the mine and submarine and the implications of the growing threat from Germany, this in-depth study shows that neither perception is true. Churchill's preoccupation was with northern Europe, not the Mediterranean. He promoted his naval-only operation because he hoped this would preempt a major British military commitment to a southern theatre that would compromise his northern aspirations. In studying the motivations that drove and the other key players in this drama, this groundbreaking work does nothing less than unlock the true origins of the Dardanelles campaign.
• Maps of the sites that figure prominently in the campaign
• Black-and-white photographs sourced from around the world
• A summary of Churchill's/Fisher's unsinkable fleet of monitors
• A chart providing details of the Dardanelles defenses in 1915
• A full bibliography of primary and secondary sources
• Challenges over 90 years of scholarship on the Dardanelles Campaign, providing a fresh interpretation of what occurred and why
• Helps readers understand Churchill's importance in World War I as First Lord of the Admiralty
• Reconsiders the origins of the Dardanelles Operation with attention to the often-ignored background of the naval-only assault
• Provides new perspective on Churchill's motives and actions, as well as those of other parties to the debacle