First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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From Soldiers to Generals
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The Great War -era
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World War II


Latest hand-picked First World War news.

The schoolboy sailors who died at Gallipoli
Much has rightly been written of the boy soldiers who were able to lie their way into serving and dying on the Western Front. But what about the schoolboy sailors deliberately sent to war, writes Andrew Thomson. It's estimated that both sides lost 130,000 dead as the Allies unsuccessfully battled the Ottoman army for control of the Dardanelles strait. Among the dead were two 15-year-old boys from Scotland - best friends Torquil MacLeod and Ronnie Faed, who served aboard the Royal Navy battleship HMS Goliath.

Archaeological survey on Gallipoli`s front lines has turned up artifacts (photos)
The first archaeological survey of the Gallipoli battlefields, which began in 2010 and is still underway, has turned up artifacts and structures crucial to helping historians understand the landmark First World War campaign. Australian officials recently announced the research team's latest finds, including sleeping and eating facilities that offer a picture of soldiers` daily lives.

Historic Gallipoli lifeboat, which may have ferried John Simpson Kirkpatrick, to be put on display in Melbourne
The boat thought to have ferried Gallipoli hero Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick ashore to Anzac Cove is likely to come to Melbourne to be put on permanent display at the Shrine in time for the centenary of the landing. It is the only existing lifeboat used to row the first wave of Anzacs ashore to land on Turkey on April 25, 1915. The boat will be the centrepiece of a $35 million plan to open up a massive 2000sq m of unused space beneath the Shrine as a display gallery.

36 Days: The Untold Story Behind the Gallipoli Landings by Hugh Dolan
It's one of the key Anzac myths: on April 25, 1915, brave Diggers were sent on to the Gallipoli beaches and the deadly Turkish guns in a poorly-planned assault ordered by incompetent British commanders. But Hugh Dolan, a intelligence officer in the Australian military, claims to have discovered evidence "which turns the Anzac legend on its head" - and the Anzac landings should be remembered as a success - a daring amphibious assault which was without precedent in modern warfare. The Australian officers who planned the operation made ground-breaking use of military intelligence to put set up an almost flawless plan.

Outrage in Australia after producers cast a Caucasian man in the role of a Chinese-Australian war hero
There has been an angry reaction in Australia after TV producers cast a Caucasian man in the role of a Chinese-Australian war hero. Billy Sing - a sniper - was a hero of the Gallipoli campaign in the Great War, but a TV drama has him cast as a white man. Producers have been accused of re-writing Australian military history. Billy Sing - known as the "Gallipoli assassin" - became a hero of the Australian forces during World War One by killing over 200 enemy troops. The producers say they could not find a 60-year-old Chinese actor to play Billy Sing's father, so both parts will be played by white actors.

An expedition searching for underwater Gallipoli relics
An expedition to uncover First World War relics beneath the waves at Gallipoli will soon set off for Turkey. The archaeological survey - "Project Beneath Gallipoli" - will map the forgotten underwater battlefields of Anzac Cove, North Beach and Suvla Bay. Diver and photographer Mark Spencer will rejoin the team that in 1998 surveyed the WWI wreck of the Australian submarine the AE2 in the Dardanelles Strait on April 30, 1915. The team hopes to map the remains of sunken landing craft, stores, dog tags, bayonets, ammunition, cigarette lighters along with the famous jetties, Watsons and Williams piers.

World War I photographs saved by quick-thinking removalist in Canada
Dozens of First World War photos, including some from Australia's Gallipoli campaign, have been saved by a quick-thinking removalist. Max Madden, an Australian who runs a removalist business in Vancouver, was moving Canadian man Trevor Pilley to a retirement home when he noticed the historic black and white photographs inside an album marked "Dardanelles - Landing of Australians and New Zealanders at Anzac". The pictures - taken by Trevor Pilley's father, Charles, who was a WW1 machine gunner in a biplane - were in a pile of belongings to be sent to a consignment store for auction.

Gallipoli: The End of the Myth by Robin Prior (book review)
"Gallipoli: The End of the Myth" exposes the badly-thought-out plans, poor intelligence, careless leadership, and the sacrifice of the common foot soldier and junior officer on both sides. The Gallipoli Campaign was thought up in the halls of the British government: Why not strike directly at the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople? If Constantinople fell all of Turkey should fall. Much of the Middle East would be Britain's, Syria would be French, the pressure on the Russian allies through the Caucasus would be lifted, and success might open up an avenue for an allied thrust from the south against Germany's ally Austria-Hungary.

Previously unseen film clips of WWI Battle of Gallipoli released
Turkey's military has released previously unseen film clips and photographs of the First World War Battle of Gallipoli to coincide with the 94th anniversary of the campaign. The clips, posted on the military's Web site, show scenes from Turkish soldiers' preparations for war as well as scenes from the war front. On April 25, 1915, troops from Australia and New Zealand landed on the Gallipoli peninsula to carry out a doomed campaign against Ottoman Turks.

ANZAC letters claim there were Female Turkish sharp shooters in Gallipoli
Mete Tuncoku, director of the Atatürk and Battles of Çanakkale Research Center (AÇASAM), came across letters and journals of Australian and New Zealand soldiers that mentioned Turkish female warriors fighting against them during the Battle of Gallipoli. It is not commonly known that women also fought during the battle, Tuncoku explained, so he researched the issue in the Australian and NZ archives. Tuncoku, author of "Çanakkale 1915: The Tip of the Iceberg," discovered letters and diaries referring "Turkish female warriors" and "female Turkish sharp shooters."

George Petersen's Gallipoli diary sells for $20,000
A New Zealand soldier's Gallipoli journal has fetched $20,000 at an auction. Private George Petersen's diary gives a day-by-day account from the April 25 Anzac landings in 1915 until his departure 5 months into the 8-month campaign. --- In early June: "Heavy bomb throwing from Turks, one bomb went off next to me, had a narrow escape, it killing one and wounding another..." And 3 days later: "At present we are fighting for dear life. About 100 prisoners were captured during night. We do not know what moment we may be blown up by land mines."

Gallipoli submarine HMAS AE2 to be left on sea floor
Sunken Australian submarine HMAS AE2 that participated in the Gallipoli campaign will likely be left where it rests and protected as a national heritage relic. Turkish-Australian workshop - the Turkish Institute of Nautical Archaeology (TINA) and the Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) - doesn't recommend raising the wreck, which lies in 73 metres in the Sea of Marmara after being scuttled in an April 1915 battle. "...the submarine should be protected by two buoys, an underwater shield, an anti-intruder surveillance system and sacrificial anodes against corrosion."

Rare Gallipoli film to screen on Auckland museum wall
Heroes of Gallipoli, the only film of Anzac troops at Gallipoli, will be shown outside the Auckland Museum on the 3 nights before the Anzac Day. The 20-min film will play 7.30pm - 10pm. British journalist Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett is thought to have filmed the footage, discovered in a compilation of WWI film sold to the Australian War Memorial in 1938. Bartlett was the only person known to have a motion picture camera on the Turkish peninsula. One scene shows 5 officers walking one-by-one towards the camera, the first wearing a topi, a British colonial sun helmet.

The forgotten New Zealand's mounted soldiers who halted the Turks
Terry Kinloch is frustrated that the role played by New Zealand's mounted soldiers in the British campaign to defeat Turkish forces in the Middle East in the First World War is forgotten. 12,000 Kiwis served in the arduous campaign to push Turkish forces out of the Sinai Desert and Palestine 1916-1919. They earned a formidable reputation, and more than 500 were buried in graveyards scattered around the Holy Lands. But their exploits are overshadowed by the static battles in Gallipoli and the trenches on the Western Front. Lieutenant Colonel Kinloch has written a book on the mounted rifles called Devils on Horses.

To Hell and Back: the banned account of Gallipoli
90 years after its banning, a stark eye-witness account of Gallipoli is back in print. He was a very old man, an Anzac veteran on the return visit to Gallipoli in 1990, but his memory was clear. He'd been at Quinn's Post, possibly the most dangerous place on the peninsula, and was wounded there. The sense of the individual that man displayed was in contrast to how we have romanticised war. The importance of the individual is a feature of Sydney Loch's book, first published in 1916 as The Straits Impregnable. Loch served in the field artillery but as runner for his commanding officer he roamed the combat area.

Godley`s Map of Gallipoli Bought by Alexander Turnbull Library
The Alexander Turnbull Library has purchased a map that was used by Major General Godley, commander of the New Zealand and A Divisions, at Gallipoli during the landings at Anzac Cove. The map itself is the standard 1:40 000 scale printed map of the Gallipoli area that was issued to staff officers before the landings. Superimposed on the map in handwriting is information about Turkish troop positions that was available up to the 24th of April 1915. The map was used as a working command map and records Godley`s thoughts on where the Anzac front line was during those first days. A low resolution image of the map is available on the National Library Catalogue.

Anzacs' landscape: Gallipoli battlefield threatened
Large retaining walls to be built to stop erosion at Anzac Cove will fundamentally change the historic Gallipoli battlefield, historians and the RSL fear. Don Rowe urged the Australian Government to try to stop any further development at Gallipoli: "They are now planning for the 100th anniversary and I hope they can preserve the battlefield rather than do more road widening and build walls to stop erosion." In 2005, a road into Anzac Cove was expanded after a request from the Australian Govt to cater for buses taking 18,000 Australians to the Cove for the 90th anniversary of the Anzac Day dawn service. This year, 10,000 people are expected to make the pilgrimage on April 25.

Historic forts used in the Gallipoli war being restored
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is about to complete the restoration of two historic forts that played important roles during the Gallipoli War. The project carried out within the context of the Long Term Development Plan (UDGP) is restoring the forts of Namazgah and Mecidiye for the first time. The forts, which had long been neglected, are now being converted into open-air museums. Ömer Yörükoğlu said that the original construction of the forts, to be used 21 years later during the 1915 Gallipoli War, had begun in the 1840's with the final touches added in 1894.