The Nek

ebook A Gallipoli Tragedy · Anzac Battles

By Peter Burness

cover image of The Nek

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One of the greatest tragedies in Australian military history occurred at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915, when hundreds of Australian light horsemen were repeatedly ordered to charge the massed rifles and machine-guns of the Turkish enemy. It was a hopeless endeavour, and the resulting bloodbath has horrified every generation since and been the subject of considerable scrutiny by historians. The charge at The Nek, so vividly realised in Peter Weir's famous film 'Gallipoli', came to epitomise both the futility and courage of the Gallipoli campaign. In this classic book, Peter Burness describes the formation, training and character of the Light Horse regiments, and profiles the officers involved. His vivid account of the battle itself includes careful consideration of how the suicidal charges were allowed to continue when all hope of success was lost. For this new edition, the author has updated the text to include new information that has come to light since the book was first published in 1996, and he has also provided new maps and photographs.

One of the greatest tragedies in Australian military history occurred at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915, when hundreds of Australian light horsemen were repeatedly ordered to charge the massed rifles and machine-guns of the Turkish enemy. It was a hopeless endeavour, and the resulting bloodbath has horrified every generation since and been the subject of considerable scrutiny by historians.

The charge at The Nek, so vividly realised in Peter Weir's famous film 'Gallipoli', came to epitomise both the futility and courage of the Gallipoli campaign. In this classic book, Peter Burness describes the formation, training and character of the Light Horse regiments, and profiles the officers involved. His vivid account of the battle itself includes careful consideration of how the suicidal charges were allowed to continue when all hope of success was lost. For this new edition, the author has updated the text to include new information that has come to light since the book was first published in 1996, and he has also provided new maps and photographs.

Peter Burness is a Senior Historian, and currently the Lambert Gallipoli Fellow, at the Australian War Memorial. A specialist in the battles of the First World War, he has written extensively on the subject and has also worked on numerous permanent, temporary and travelling exhibitions. Since 1994 he has regularly led the Memorial's tours to the Western Front battlefields.

The Anzac Battles Series is a collection of books describing the great military battles fought by Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the wars of the twentieth century. Each title in the series focuses on one battle, describing the background to the action, the combat itself, the strategy employed and the outcome. The story is told through the actions of the main protagonists and the individuals who distinguished themselves in the battle. The authors are all respected military historians with specialist knowledge of the battles described.

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The Nek