papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) The World Crisis Part II 1915

To All Who Tried



Mr. Churchill asked if the War Council attached importance to the proposed Dardanelles operations, which undoubtedly involved risks.

Lord Fisher said that he had understood that this question was not to be raised at this meeting. The Prime Minister knew his (Lord Fisher’s) views on the subject.

The Prime Minister said that, in view of what had already been done, the question could not be left in abeyance.

(Note.—Thereupon Lord Fisher left the Council table. He was followed by Lord Kitchener, who asked him what he intended to do. Lord Fisher replied to Lord Kitchener that he would not return to the Council table, and would resign his office as First Sea Lord. Lord Kitchener then pointed out to Lord Fisher that he (Lord Fisher) was the only dissentient, and that the Dardanelles operations had been decided upon by the Prime Minister; and he urged on Lord Fisher that his duty to his country was to go on carrying out the duties of First Sea Lord. After further talk Lord Fisher reluctantly gave in to Lord Kitchener and went back to the Council table.)

After it, I never looked back. We had left the region of discussion and consultation, of balancings and misgivings. The matter had passed into the domain of action.

Let us now see exactly what it was the Admiralty had committed itself to do.

We had undertaken to begin a serious bombardment of the Dardanelles forts, and to attempt, without the aid of an army, by a new and gradual method of piecemeal reduction, to fight our way slowly into the Marmora. But we believed we could withdraw from this operation at almost any stage if the difficulties and the Turkish resistance proved unexpectedly great. And so far as the Admiralty was concerned—apart, that is to say, from general considerations of policy and prestige—we could indisputably have broken off the operation at any point; and we did in fact do so, to my great regret, after March 18. Further, the ships we proposed to risk were almost all of them valueless for any other purpose.

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