Voyage to Gallipoli
On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war against Germany. Australia pledged its support alongside other states of the British Empire and almost immediately began preparations to send forces overseas to participate in the conflict. The troops were originally meant to head to England before going to the Western Front. It was only when they reached Egypt that it was then decided that they be diverted to fight at Gallipoli (Gelibolu in modern Turkey) in the Ottoman Empire. In Voyage to Gallipoli, maritime historian Peter Plowman documents the story of Australia's preparation for battle, from the planning stages and the requisition of ships through to the Gallipoli landing on April 25, 1915. On November 1, 1914, the Australian convoy left St. George's Sound, Albany, with 36 ships. In Perth, two more joined the fleet, making it the largest collection of ships yet organized, about to travel the greatest distance and carry the largest number of troops in a single movement up to that time. The book gives details of the transports, the troops, the conditions, the original ports of departure, and the dangers faced. Using diaries (some never before published) and other primary source material, the book brings to life the extraordinary trip. Details of the conversion of the ships - the accommodation, not just for the men, but the horses - are provided. First hand descriptions of life on board from the perspective of a range of people - from nurses to stewards to officers and other ranks - fill out the picture.
Publication Date: 12/1/2013