Book Review: The Landings at Sulva Bay, 1915: An Analysis of British Failure During the Gallipoli Campaign


by Michael J. Mortlock

Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Co., 2007. Pp. xi, 237 . Illus., maps, append., notes, biblio., index. $35.00 paper. ISBN:0786430354

Although focused on the Sulva Bay operations, in this work Mortlock provides a pretty good account of the entire Gallipoli operation, from it's perhaps brilliant conception through its poor implementation and on to its surprisingly well executed conclusion. 

Written by a university librarian with an ancestor who served in the campaign, the book has many excellent eye witness accounts and some fine word portraits, as it examines how inept "Old Boy" leadership, careless staff work, and brilliant fighting by the enemy turned what might have been a most important Allied victory into a bloody reverse. 

An excellent look at the campaign from the Allied side, the book is, however, flawed when it deals with the other side. Mortlock has clearly not kept up with the most recent scholarship on the Turkish Army in the Great War, by such notable scholars as Pierre Oberling and Edward Erickson; thus he adheres to the traditional view that the Turk?s victory was due to their German advisers. 

Nevertheless, as an analysis of the campaign from the Allied side, this is a valuable read.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close