When Australian troops stormed ashore in the pre-dawn darkness of April 25th 1915, it was the culmination of one of the most complex and daunting operations in the history of warfare – the seaborne assault of a heavily fortified shore, defended by a well-prepared and forewarned enemy.
The risks were enormous, and the death toll on the beach at Anzac Cove could have been murderous – as it was with the British landings further south. Yet the Anzacs had been allowed to organise their own assault, and their ingenuity, intelligence gathering and willingness to do the unorthodox allowed them to seize a foothold and fulfil the task they had been set by their commanders. All too often the scale of that task and the successful way the Anzacs approached it have been overshadowed by events later in the campaign.
Hugh Dolan, a senior intelligence officer in the Australian military, has minutely re-examined the assault itself, giving us a day-by-day account of the build up to the landing that shows a very different side to the Gallipoli story. Using a host of previously unpublished material and research, he has produced a riveting work of narrative history that sheds a fresh light on the original Anzacs.
Hugh Dolan describes who appears also to be an Air Force intelligence officer, describes the role of aerial intelligence in plotting the beach defences on ANZAC mapping. Hugh Dolan has crafted an extraordinary narrative of the role of the world's first aircraft carrier - HMS Ark Royal - in its support of the ANZAC landing at Gaba Tepe. I suggest this book must be read by all who have an interest in the Gallipoli landings.
36 Days: The Untold Story Behind the Gallipoli Landings
Hugh Dolan describes the role of spies in the days before the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915. This is the first book on this topic and his story is captivating. He has researched the British archives to bring to light the role of the British spy Charles Palmer in the Allied assaults.
36 Days - Hugh Dolan
36 Days is a simply fantastic book. Dolan has managed to illuminate a long-forgotten aspect of the Gallipoli campaign and present it in a clear, concise and easy to read format. His narrative style and vivid description bring the "intelligence war" to life for the reader, and for me, it was like being there! His use of primary sources are unparalleled in any military history work I have read. The documents discovered in dusty archives, both in Australia and abroad, give authority to his work whilst the personal memoirs give those who participated in such a key and decisive aspect of Australia's campaign a voice that tugs at the heart-strings and makes you proud that such men gave their all for us. As a serving officer in the Australian Defence Force, Dolan has been able to capture the true essence of the "intelligence war" on the Peninsula far better than any historian ever could. Once I started reading, I just couldn't put it down! I honestly believe Dolan, because he is a professional military officer, gifted wordsmith, or both, has reached another level with 36 Days that today's historians and authors of Australians at war could only aspire to.