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

To All Who Tried

CHAPTER XXII

THE RUIN OF THE BALKANS

If Sir Douglas Haig with the enormous expenditure of munitions and life which characterized the battles on the Somme in 1916 or at Passchendaele in 1917 was unable to achieve any decisive results, what chance had Sir John French with the scanty offensive resources of 1915? The best and most orthodox military opinion was at this time so far out of touch with reality, that the General Staff still contemplated the irruption of a mass of cavalry through the German line. What the cavalry would have done if they had got through was not explained.

After the Conference was over the Cabinet was informed that General Joffre had pledged his military judgment in favour of the necessity and practicability of the Salonika expedition, and had threatened to resign the command of the French armies if the British did not effectively co-operate. In spite of the strenuous resistance of the British General Staff, and in the flattest defiance of their advice, the Cabinet yielded to this outrageous threat.

CHAPTER XXIII

THE ABANDONMENT OF THE DARDANELLES

History will no doubt also dwell on the extraordinary valour and tenacity of the Turkish resistance. When the secrets of all the General Staffs are revealed, we shall know how profound were the anxieties with which a renewal of the naval attack of the 18th March was regarded by the Turkish and German commanders. We shall realize the superb efforts by which Enver Pasha and General von Sanders sustained their army in spite of the utmost difficulty in obtaining food or ammunition; how they persevered in face of assaults which again and again were within an ace of succeeding, in spite of waves of despair which might at any moment have broken up their army, in the teeth of an enemy whose advance though slow had never been set back, with the sea and a capital starving into revolution at their backs, and with relief hoped for and counted on for months in vain. And the whole episode will stand as an example of the triumph of superior will-power over superior resources.

I trust that the unreasonable prejudice against the use by us of gas upon the Turks will now cease. The massacres by the Turks of Armenians and the fact that practically no British prisoners have been taken on the Peninsula, though there are many thousands of missing, should surely remove all false sentiment on this point, indulged in as it is only at the expense of our own men. Large installations of British gas should be sent out without delay. The winter season is frequently marked by south-westerly gales, which would afford a perfect opportunity for the employment of gas by us.

On October 14 it was decided to recall Sir Ian Hamilton and to send out in his place General Monro, an officer who had already commanded an army in France and was deeply imbued with Western ideas. He belonged to that school whose supreme conception of Great War strategy was ‘killing Germans.’ Anything that killed Germans was right. Anything that did not kill Germans was useless, even if it made other people kill them, and kill more of them, or terminated their power to kill us.

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