The Nek – A Gallipoli Tragedy


This paperback book is by Peter Burness, a Senior Historian – and currently the Lambert Gallipoli Fellow – at the Australian War Memorial.  A part of the ‘Anzac Battles Series’, it contains several black and white photos, a Roll of Honour, and an extensive ‘Notes’ section.

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One of the greatest tragedies in Australian military history occured 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 genetation since and been the subject fo 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.