What really happened at Gallipoli?

A La Trobe University forum will attempt to separate the facts from the myth surrounding what really happened at Gallipoli, as the nation prepares to mark the centenary of Anzac forces landing on the Peninsula.

Robin Prior, author of Gallipoli: The End of the Myth, and Carolyn Holbrook, author of Anzac: The Unauthorised Biography, will join La Trobe Emeritus Professor and Ideas and Society Convenor Robert Manne in a special Anzac event - "What Really Happened at Gallipoli? Separating the History from the Myth".

The landing of British, French and Anzac forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula has long been regarded as one of the most significant events in the history of Australia, but Dr Prior believes much of the history is veiled in mythology.

Professor Manne said Professor Prior's six books, written or co-authored on the political and military history of the First World War, involve a brilliant, entirely scholarly refutation of the mythology that has been created around the Gallipoli campaign.

Last year Carolyn Holbrook, a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University, published her ground-breaking and original study of the changing ways in which the Anzac landings on Gallipoli and involvement in the First World War have been interpreted in the political culture over the past century, the journey from the early image of our "martial baptism" to Australia's current "civic religion".  

"Our conversation will investigate the reasons the British decided to land allied forces on the Gallipoli peninsula, the reasons the campaign so comprehensively failed," Professor Manne said.

"We will also discuss the central cultural puzzle: why, despite its abject failure and the needless deaths of so many young Australians, the Gallipoli campaign is still believed to have given birth to the Australian nation."

Professor Jay Winter of Yale, the doyen of First World War studies, has called Prior's Gallipoli "the best account by far" of the Gallipoli campaign.

The Ideas and Society program is La Trobe University's leading intellectual forum for debate, which brings together high-level thinkers to deliberate society's top issues.

Webstreaming will be available live on the night. Visit the Ideas and Society page to stream the event.

JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION: Via the #Ideasandsociety hashtag on Twitter

Event Details

What: Ideas and Society event: What really happened at Gallipoli? Separating the History from the Myth
When: 6-7.30pm, Thursday 23 April 2015
Where: Clemenger Theatre, National Gallery of Victoria
Additional information:
This is a free event, however RSVPs are recommended. Visit the website to register.

Media contact

Leah Humphrys, Media and Communications Officer

T    + 61 3 9479 5353

E    l.humphrys@latrobe.edu.au

Image: Archives New Zealand

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