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Artillery at Anzac

Adaption, Innovation and Education

(1 customer review)
Authors: Chris Roberts
Artillery, World War II
153mm x 234mm

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This meticulously researched book provides the first comprehensive study of the employment of artillery and naval gunfire support at Anzac. Faced with huge difficulties on inferior ground the Australian, New Zealand, Indian, and British gunners quickly adapted to a hostile environment, employing innovative techniques to counter superior numbers of Ottoman artillery and provide fire support to their infantry and light horse colleagues. How well they performed is a central theme of The Artillery at Anzac.

Using a host of primary sources including official manuals, war diaries, operation orders, letters, and private papers the authors trace the story of this neglected feature of the Gallipoli campaign. Commencing with an evaluation of the nascent pre-war Australian and New Zealand artillery, they take the reader through the testing introduction to the realities of modern warfare, the trials and difficulties the gunners experienced throughout the campaign, to the phased evacuation in December, without alerting the Ottomans to the re-duced number of guns. Along the way, they challenge a long held controversy concerning the light horse charge at the Nek, and evaluate the effectiveness of the fire support provided to the infantry attacks, including that at Lone Pine, the attacks on the Sari Bair Range, and at Hill 60. In doing so, the authors illuminate long-buried information to provide new and penetrating insights into the campaign at Anzac.

The Artillery at Anzac reveals a largely unknown aspect of the campaign, deepening our understanding of it, and providing a new perspective that is of value not only to Gunners past and present, but to historians, and the wider public. Although occurring over a century ago the experience at Anzac offers lessons to today’s Gunners.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Brigadier Chris Roberts AM, CSC (Rtd) spent 35 years of military and combat experience in the Australian Army, including operational service in South Vietnam with 3 SAS Squadron, and was Adjutant 5 RAR, OC 1 SAS Squadron, and Brigade Major 1 Task Force. More senior appointments included Commanding Officer – The SAS Regiment, Commander Special […]

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1 review for Artillery at Anzac

  1. The Artillery at Anzac is an excellent account of a sub-theme of a campaign that resonates with the Australian and New Zealand populace. Following on from last year’s release of Clash of the Gods of War, the study of the supporting arms is getting a well deserved examination. Military professionals should heed the words of Roberts and Stevens. This is an account of soldiers trying to overcome deficiencies while under fire from an opponent who occupied a superior position. In the end, the campaign was a failure and the troops (and nearly all the guns) were withdrawn. Compared to the landing, the Anzacs conducted the withdrawal with skill and precision— a reflection of the learning that had taken place. Hopefully, Australian soldiers will never find themselves in such a position again. But hope is not a plan. Perhaps the most important lesson of The Artillery at Anzac is that war may not give you a second chance to do it right.

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