Mudcat Café message #2735096 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56795   Message #2735096
Posted By: GUEST,Teribus
30-Sep-09 - 12:51 PM
Thread Name: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
Subject: RE: Greatest Anti-War Song Ever?
My apologies Gulliver. Major Wilhelm Willmar, a Bavarian Cavalry Officer who was in command of the Turkish Forces tasked with defending the heights overlooking Suvla did indeed have a few artillery pieces but no machine guns. No account I have read makes any mention of mines, the confusion on the part of the landing forces is attributed to the landing being undertaken at night, a complete and utter lack of leadership combined with troops being set down in places as much as 1000 yards out of position thereby causing them to miss the landmarks and topographical features that they had been briefed on.

My particular interest in this campaign was initially fired by listening to my next door neighbour when I was a boy, "Pop" Collier, who was fortunate enough to have lived through it. Many believe that the Dardanelles Campaign and Gallipoli only involved the ANZACs - it didn't not by a bloody long shot:

Gallipoli casualties

Allied Total 44,092 Killed/ 96,937 Wounded/141,029 Total Casualties

United Kingdom - 21,255 Killed/52,230 Wounded/73,485 total casualties
France (est) - 10,000 Killed/17,000 Wounded/27,000 total est casualties
Australia - 8,709 Killed/19,441 Wounded/28,150 total casualties
New Zealand - 2,721 Killed/4,752 Wounded/7,473 total casualties
India - 1,358 Killed/3,421 Wounded/4,779 total casualties
Newfoundland - 49 Killed/93 Wounded/142 total casualties

Ottoman Empire (est) - 86,692 Killed/164,617 Wounded/251,309 total casualties

The "Butchers Bill" in full - 130,784 Killed/237,290 Wounded/336,048 total casualties.

""In the English-speaking world, many people who otherwise might not have heard of the landing at Suvla Bay know something of its history through the song "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" written in 1972 by Eric Bogle and covered by numerous artists including the Clancy Brothers, Joan Baez and the Pogues. The song, while emotionally charged and vivid, is not an accurate historical account of the landing and subsequent events.""

""Suvla Bay also plays a role in the climax of the Peter Weir movie Gallipoli (1981 film) in which the third and final wave of Australian troops is ordered into a suicidal advance to maintain pressure on the Turkish/German troops despite the failure of the landing. The fictional character General Gardiner orders the advance reconsidered, with the famous line "at Suvla" ..."the [English] officers are sitting on the beach drinking cups of tea".""

Of course the incident upon which the film Gallipoli was based had nothing whatsoever to to with the landings at Suvla, the attack was the ANZAC operation to take the "Nek".

""The ANZACs are revered as heroes and, in Australia are stereotyped as typical tough Australians betrayed by incompetent and callous British superiors, impressions re-affirmed by films such as Peter Weir's Gallipoli, even though, according to Australian historian Les Carlyon, "the scale of the tragedy of the Nek was mostly the work of two Australian incompetents, Hughes and Antill.""

As I said previously if you are going to go to the trouble of writing a retrospective song about an actual event then the least you should do is take the trouble to get it right.