Source anlysis

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Primary Source Analysis 2

Primary Source Analysis: The Gallipoli Campaign

The nature of the source for this assignment is a letter, The Gallipoli letter to Asquith PM, which played a very crucial role in the decision to withdraw military troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula. Ashmead-Bartlett, on the 8th of September 1915 wrote a letter to Asquith, the then British Prime Minister, informing him of the devastating nature of the Gallipoli battle. In the letter, Ashmead-Bartlett pointed out various shortcomings that the campaign was facing which included mismanagement and mix-ups in the military leadership. Several challenges facing the Gallipoli campaign that curtailed the attempt by the military troops to achieve success against the Turkish Army. The first and primary challenge that faced the Gallipoli campaign was the lack of an effective and organized military leadership (Ferguson, 2005). The military leader that was supposed to ensure that the mission is followed to the letter failed to do so by drifting from the main idea of the campaign, which was to eliminate the Turkish Army who had control over the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The military objective was to get on both sides of Peninsula from Sulva Bay, but instead, the military leaders directed the attacks from positions that favored the Turkish Army because of the terrain of the land, series of mountains and valleys (Ashmead-Bartlett, 1915). These events put the military in very deplorable conditions that ultimately dispirited them and reduced their morale. The author of the Gallipoli letter was a journalist and a war correspondent who had much interest in his journalism and war correspondence. Ashmead-Bartlett wrote the Gallipolis letter specifically to target the audience of Prime Minister Asquith and inform him of the condition of the Gallipolis campaign and ask for reinforcement or assistance in the withdrawal of the military troops from the Gallipolis Peninsula. The author of the letter conveys first-hand information of what he observed and experienced. This letter has a very strong historical significance up-to-date since it largely contributed to the decision of withdrawing troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The New Zealand and Australian military troops suffered very heavy losses in the Gallipoli campaign as the Turks took advantage of the terrain of the land, a series of mountains and valleys covered with shrub to hold the Australian and New Zealand troops before they received reinforcement (The Argus, 1915). Ashmead-Bartlett had a privilege of being one of the three hundred Australians who boarded warships destined to Gaba Tepe. The mission required a high level of skill, leadership, and organization for it to achieve success. On the contrary, the mission was experienced with a lot of mismanagement, disorganization, and mix-ups due to the poor military leadership. Ashmead-Bartlett occupied a very significant profession of being a journalist and a war commentator during a period which saw the First World War. The author took the responsibility of notifying the Prime Minister about the deplorable situation on the ground and how the military troops were experiencing heavy losses at the hand of the enemy. The officers and men who volunteered to fight for their nations had to undergo a lot of suffering that could be avoided if there was no mismanagement in leadership. For instance, the military troops had to survive on a bottle of water for more than three days while carrying heavy munitions and ammunitions. Thus led to the lack of confidence in the military leadership even by the junior military personnel. As such, Ashmead-Bartlett sought the audience of the Prime Minister to enlighten him on the deplorable condition that had largely reduced the fighting morale of the troops and requested for withdrawal of the troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula, efforts which yielded results when the military troops were withdrawn from the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The author conveys information through a letter and gives the audience first-hand information of the ordeal which him, together with the military troops, have experienced and what he has observed (Howard, 2003). The factual information that the author conveyed to his audience, Asquith was that there was a need for either reinforcement from the Balkans or withdrawal of the troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula to avoid the military troops from experiencing further losses from the combat attacks by the enemy. The letter was unintentionally implying that the Turkish Army was winning the battle in Gallipoli Peninsula and that the only effort to avoid the military troops from experiencing further heavy damages was to withdraw them from that region of dispatch more reinforcement from the colonial troops. The interesting issue about the letter is that the author, Ashmead-Bartlett took the liberty of addressing the Prime Minister about the condition that the military troops were facing with fear or favor. The author pointed out that the major reason for the military to experience the heavy losses was mismanagement and mix-ups from the military leadership. He recommended the Prime Minister to change the supreme command to restore the confidence and morale of the troops.

In conclusion, Ashmead-Bartlett’s letter to the Prime Minister played a very key historical significance as it was a major contributor to the withdrawal of the Australian and New Zealand troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula where Australia suffer the greatest loss of lives during a military combat. The letter confirms the characterization of the period from various secondary sources such as Argus newspaper, Howard John’s address to Australia House and speech by Air Marshall Bruce Ferguson where the three sources where the three sources confirm the events that military troops experienced in Gallipoli Peninsula.


1915, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 — 1957), 8 May, p. 19. , viewed 30 Aug 2016,

Ashmead-Bartlett, E. (1915, September 8). [Letter to Prime Minister Asquith]. BOSTES NSW. The United States Library of NSW. Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.

Howard, J. 2003. ‘Australians at War’ Address Australia House, London. 20994. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet PM Transcripts. Sydney.

Ferguson, B. 2005. Dawn service at Anzac Cove. [Online]. 27 Apr 2005. [Accessed August 30, 2016]. Available from;