Gallipoli 6: Neutral Till It Suits

First World War Hidden History

The entry of Goeben and Breslau to the Dardanelles, barely a week into Britain’s war with Germany, was a significant achievement. It felt like a defeat; it was anything but.

The Royal Navy suffered a widely felt embarrassment at the incapacity of its Mediterranean fleet to destroy two relatively easy targets. In the eyes of fellow senior officers, the failure to engage the enemy was seen as a shameful episode, contrary to the finest traditions of the navy. The commanders of the British cruiser squadrons, Rear-Admiral Milne and Vice-Admiral Troubridge, were recalled to London in response to widespread public criticism. These senior officers had to be held to account to placate the Russians who might have asked even more awkward questions about the Goeben’s escape. They protested that they did no wrong. Milne insisted that he had given ‘unquestioning obedience’ to Admiralty orders and was able to demonstrate that in…

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2 thoughts on “Gallipoli 6: Neutral Till It Suits

  1. That they were willing to sacrifice so many live in the Dardanelles campaign, just to appease other Muslim states, and to keep Russia marginalised, is just incredible to read about. This series has been genuinely illuminating, and I thought that I knew a lot about WW1. Not even close…
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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