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The Grand Deception

Churchill and the Dardanelles

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
(3 customer reviews)
155mm x 230mm

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The century that has elapsed since the 1915 Dardanelles campaign has done little to quell the debate that rages over its inglorious end. The origins of the campaign are likewise the subject of ongoing scrutiny, particularly the role of First Sea Lord Winston Churchill, with whom the ill-fated campaign has been closely identified. Tom Curran’s The Grand Deception: Churchill and the Dardanelles presents a detailed examination of Churchill’s role in the decision-making process that led to the Gallipoli landings.

Using unpublished British archival sources and a range of additional material, both contemporary and modern, Curran’s meticulous research casts new light on the lead-up to a campaign that would profoundly affect Australian military history. Curran portrays Churchill as disingenuous and interfering, a man who disregarded the advice of his commanders to champion a risky military enterprise. With the spectre of failure looming large, he attempted to shift ultimate blame for the fiasco to Admiral Jackie Fisher and General Horatio Kitchener in a bid to salvage his political career, obscuring his own role by rewriting the history of the campaign. Curran’s hard-hitting account reveals the machinations behind the campaign, his careful research creating a new perspective on an extraordinary period of history. For the first time, the story of Churchill’s role in the Dardanelles campaign is told in its entirety, adding a crucial chapter to the chronicle of Australia’s baptism of fire.

Andrew Bonnell

Andrew Bonnell

Andrew Bonnell edited "The Grand Deception' by Tom Curran. Andrew is a Associate Professor in History at The University of Queensland. See his profile here

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3 reviews for The Grand Deception

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Easily the best book that I’ve read on the subject – Churchill’s role as First Lord of the Admiralty in the Dardenelles fiasco. Using original sources available to any serious writer since 1968 and unlike so many before him who have simply quoted and re-quoted unreliable sources (e.g Churchill’s ‘The World Crisis’) and perpetuated patent falsehoods, Curran provides unassailable proof of Churchill’s duplicity at the time and his subsequent rewriting of history. In an easy-going style Curran manages in just 262 pages (backed by 47 pages of references) to shatter the illusion that others, notably Lord Kitchener (army) and Lord Fisher (navy) were responsible for the failure of a campaign that never had any hope of success. Politics and ego were at the base of it. In this the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli debacle this book should be required reading for all those who think they know who was responsible for the deaths of 50,000 plus men

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I consider the late Tom Curran’s work in Grand Deception to be the best I have ever read on Churchill and the Dardanelle scandal. It has taken nearly 100 years for the truth to be finally established in a fair and objective manner, although I doubt that Churchill would agree because he succeeded in convincing himself that what he had originally distorted was true. I would have enjoyed talking to Tom on this and other matters, if he had lived longer. However, this study is a worthy epitaph to him. Dr Andrew T Ross

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This book is a most impressive achievement. It offers a sustained critique of Churchill’s role as First Lord of the Admiralty in the planning and promotion of the failed Dardanelles campaign. The book is forthright in its denunciation of Churchill. It is firmly rooted in the British archives, using both the private papers of many of the major players and the official documents at The National Archives. The book is a testament to the dedicated scholarship of the author, Tom Curran, a Vietnam veteran, who unfortunately passed away before completing the task of converting his PhD thesis of 2007 into a book. Fortunately, Andrew Bonnell, one of his original supervisors, generously volunteered to finish the work. The result is a first-class production

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