The Life of Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston MP
Chapter Eight: ‘A Second Crimea’ – The Road to Gallipoli
‘A Second Crimea’ – The Road to Gallipoli
The essential purpose of the Dardanelles expedition of 1915 was to deliver a knock-out blow against the Ottoman Empire and thus shorten the war. Nothing else about the campaign was ever that simple. Halfway through his leave, Hunter-Weston received a telegram from Lord Kitchener who wanted to see him immediately. Attending the War Office on 15 February, his old chief briskly informed him that the government was thinking of sending a military force to the Dardanelles to cooperate with the fleet. If the expedition did head east, then Hunter-Weston would take over command of the 29th Division; if not, then its current GOC would take it to France. Either way, he was to give up the 11th Brigade and take command of a newly formed division.1
The machinery of promotion had been turning discreetly at the highest levels. Only three days previously, the War Office had requested Sir John French to forward the names of officers of Major-General rank, who had ‘a thorough knowledge of French, so as to be able to conduct operations of a detached force of English and French troops combined’.2 The object of the mission was not specified, but at this stage an allied landing was projected in Salonika with the aim of tempting Greece into the war. Despite being deeply distrustful of such adventures, French speedily forwarded a shortlist consisting of Henry Wilson, Hubert Gough and Hunter-Weston. His first choice...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.