To be successful, a modern army needs logistical support to survive - to arm, feed, transport, and care for its soldiers. As history shows us the maintenance of health in any army , is a key factor in warfare. In many respects the Gallipoli campaign was a doomed undertaking. The seeds of ultimate defeat in December 1915 were the risks that attended a hugely ambitious, complex, and large-scale amphibious operation - the landings on well-defended shores on the Gallipoli peninsula, under cover of darkness. Communications at the time were primitive, while general staff officers had little understanding of their own army's medical assets or the needs of a large medical organisation. The Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) received aid from, and gave support to, all five forces at various times during 1915. Underlying the execution of the Dardanelles campaign were factors wholly outside the control of the Australian AMS. Undoubtedly tragic, and sometimes avoidable, errors were made at the highest level of command, with subsequent pressures on the AMS. An amphibious operation of this type and scale, however, was without parallel in modern military history, and mistakes were inevitable, as they are with any campaign of such complexity. Gallipoli: An Australian Medical Perspective explores these complexities and mistakes through the eyes of the infant Australian Army Medical Corps.
Doctor Michael Tyquin is a consulting historian based in Tasmania. He has published extensively in the areas of Australian social, medical and military history. He is a serving member of the Australian Army Reserve which he joined as a medical assistant with the 4/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse. He is the official historian of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps and a former Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health.