111127 - GALLIPOLI THEN AND NOW
By Steve Newman
Gallipoli. Virtually unheard of prior to 1915, the very name of the Turkish peninsula bordering the Dardanelles - the narrow waterway linking the Mediterranean with the Black Sea - now conjures up visions of privation and hardship and death which even surpass the horrors of the trench warfare on the Western Front. The barren landscape - of no value itself other than for its command of the seaway - was the backdrop to an horrific campaign between April 1915 and January 1916 in which upwards of 100,000 men lost their lives. For the Allies it was a battle fought in vain for the invasion forces were withdrawn for no gain, but for the Turkish Army it was a marvellous victory in what they refer to as their Canakkale War.
Steve Newman has visited Gallipoli several times in his study of the campaign and he spent a strenuous ten days on the peninsula in June 1999 to take the comparisons in a temperature of over 100 degrees! His dedication in seeking out the precise spots depicted in the contemporary photographs, in spite of heavy undergrowth, thorns, snakes, and the like, can really only be appreciated by those who have visited the battlefield - still unspoiled by modern civilisation, save for the scattered cemeteries and memorials which dot the landscape. Gallipoli Then and Now provides a unique link between past and present; from one century to the next; that the deeds of those whose bones lie buried 'in a foreign field' shall not be forgotten.
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