Author(s): Stephen Chambers, RA
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.
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 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.