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Gallipoli From Above: The Untold Story

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Aug 2012 12:23    Onderwerp: Gallipoli From Above: The Untold Story Reageer met quote

Gallipoli From Above: The Untold Story

Gallipoli enigma: forgotten role of urbane British spy exposed in documentary

HE WAS the Gallipoli spy who might have ended World War I countless lives earlier. Like Ian Fleming's fictitious hero James Bond, the Cambridge-educated Clarence Palmer was urbane, multilingual, self-reliant, knowledgeable about weaponry and a Royal Naval officer.
Yet as a new documentary on the History Channel this Anzac Day reveals, Palmer's role at Gallipoli remains a great unsolved mystery.
Gallipoli From Above: The Untold Story is based on Hugh Dolan's controversial 2010 book, 36 Days.

Dolan, a former Australian military intelligence officer, served during the Iraq war. His book, examining the military planning that went into the birth of the Anzac legend on April 25, 1915, upset military historians.

The Anzac myth claims the nation's identity was forged in a crucible of failure. That the first Anzac ''lions'' landed on the wrong beach at dawn with little knowledge of the formidable Turkish defences because they were led by elitist British ''donkeys''.
But the film - using historic footage, modern graphics, unexplored Turkish reports and helicopter footage of the inhospitable terrain - comes to a vastly different conclusion.
The initial Anzac landings were planned by Australians and were an outstanding success.
They took place under cover of darkness (not dawn), incorporating the latest intelligence, including aerial reconnaissance gathered by an Anzac intelligence officer who took his first aeroplane flight over the peninsula 11 days before the landing.

''All war is geography,'' says the writer/director Wain Fimeri. ''The entire Gallipoli campaign was designed to get the Allied fleet through the Dardanelles to capture Constantinople [Istanbul]. The Turks don't venerate April 25 as we do. March 18 is their important day. That's when the Turks defeated the most powerful weapon in the world: the combined British and French fleets. Six battleships were lost that day.''
When the navy failed, soldiers were brought in to secure the straits.
But Fimeri was intrigued by a side story in Dolan's book: Clarence Palmer, the British vice-consul at Cannakkale on the Asian side of the Dardanelles - guardpost to the most important waterway of World War I.
After their battleships were destroyed, the British sent a submarine through the treacherous minefields. Another disaster. The submarine ran aground, the crew captured. Only one wasn't wearing a uniform: Palmer.
''People knew about Palmer before Hugh's book,'' Fimeri says. ''But few recognised the role Palmer played. Or the great mystery of what he was doing on that submarine.
''The Turks still tell stories about Palmer. As vice-consul he was always going fishing or having a picnic on the shores. He was marking the Turkish defences. Not just the mines in the Dardanelles, but the Turkish forts, the gun emplacements.''

Palmer escaped from Turkey once war was declared and gave his carefully charted map of the challenges to an assault on the Dardanelles. Then he reappeared on the submarine.
''What was he doing there?'' Fimeri asks. ''He wasn't a submariner. But he was a fluent Turkish speaker.''
His Turkish captors believed he was a spy. They threatened him with execution. Palmer seemed to turn traitor to save his neck. ''Palmer said, 'I know about the landings,''' says Fimeri. ''He gave them the whole plan.
''But he reversed it. He told the Turks the main landing was going to be [far to the north of Anzac Cove]. The German commander in charge of the Turkish forces, General Otto Liman von Sanders, kept 20,000 men in the north because he felt that is where the main landing would be Ö because he believed Palmer.''
Ultimately, Palmer's deception was not crucial. The main Allied landing south of Anzac Cove failed.
As for Palmer, he survived the war in a Turkish prison camp, resurfaced as a British diplomat, and died in 1936. He was decorated for his role on the submarine. What remains a mystery is what his precise role was. ''But the hat that he was wearing on the submarine is still in the Turkish Army museum in Istanbul,'' says Fimeri. ''I found that incredibly charming.''


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/gallipoli-enigma-forgotten-role-of-urbane-british-spy-exposed-in-documentary-20120421-1xdoh.html#ixzz24eNm2MGU

http://www.smh.com.au/national/gallipoli-enigma-forgotten-role-of-urbane-british-spy-exposed-in-documentary-20120421-1xdoh.html
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Aug 2012 12:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

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