Exercise 2: Document Comparison
Follow the links to these documents, then return to this page for our question section.
- Extracts from text of Churchill’s speech on resigning from the Government, House of Commons, 15 November 1915.
- Extract from letter from Churchill to Bonar Law (leader of the Conservative Party), 21 May 1915, justifying his role as First Lord of the Admiralty.
- Information sent to Rear-Admiral John de Robeck (formerly Naval Commander at the Dardanelles) by the Naval Intelligence Division, 1917.
- Compare the justification of his role given in Churchill’s speech to the House of Commons with the version he gives in his letter to Bonar Law.
- Compare the tone of the House of Commons speech and the letter to Bonar Law.
- According to Churchill’s memorandum, why was the plan for a purely naval attack dropped?
- Why, by the time of the memorandum, was the situation in the Dardanelles so serious?
- According to the memorandum, a) why might the Turks have difficulty maintaining such a large army in the Dardanelles? b) why could the British fleet in the Dardanelles safely be reduced?
- To what extent does the letter to Admiral de Robeck support or challenge Churchill’s analysis of the situation at the Dardanelles?
- What questions should a historian ask of the letter to de Robeck in order to assess it as evidence of the situation in the Dardanelles?
- To what extent do these documents support Churchill’s claim that the Dardanelles campaign was not “a civilian plan foisted by a political amateur upon reluctant officers and experts”?