Author(s): Peter FitzSimons
On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east.
After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail. Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved: the birth of their countries' sense of nationhood.
Now approaching its centenary, the Gallipoli campaign, commemorated each year on Anzac Day, reverberates with importance as the origin and symbol of Australian and New Zealand identity. As such, the facts of the battle - which was minor against the scale of the First World War and cost less than a sixth of the Australian deaths on the Western Front - are often forgotten or obscured. Peter FitzSimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is also a regular TV commentator, a former radio presenter (very successfully, with Mike Carlton on Radio 2UE) and is also a former national representative rugby union player. Peter is the author of over 20 books - including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age, Ned Kelly and biographies of Nancy Wakee Kim Beazleye Nick Farr-Jonese Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales. Peter is Australia's biggest-selling non-fiction author of the last ten years. Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations. He lives with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson, and their three children in Sydney. His forthcoming book is Gallipoli. History comes to life with Peter FitzSimons.