New book: Godley – The man behind the myth

Godley

Godley

The man behind the myth

By Terry Kinloch

Published by Exile Publishing
RRP $59.99 in hardback
ISBN 9781775593638

” …his most controversial period was between 1915 and 1917 when he commanded mainly Anzac forces at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.”

Alexander Godley was born in England in 1867 and began his long career in the British Army in 1886 in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Later he took command of New Zealand’s military forces with the aim of transforming them into a credible fighting force.

In 1914 Godley assembled the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and commanded it for the next five years. At the same time he held a succession of increasingly senior battlefield commands with the Anzac forces.

He reached the rank of general and retired in 1933 but his most controversial period was between 1915 and 1917 when he commanded mainly Anzac forces at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

He is often blamed for many of the disasters that befell the forces under his command. Yet in this book Terry Kinloch argues that he was a capable commander who had limited scope to influence the outcome of the failed battles at Gallipoli and Passchendaele for which he is often seen as being responsible.

Could he simply be a victim of the Anzac mythology of the incompetence of British commanders of the First World War? Kinloch makes a balanced and compelling case for reconsidering his legacy.

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