‘Lions led by donkeys’?
It’s an old saying, describing the useless generals (‘donkeys‘) leading the brave soldiers (‘lions‘). Generals have always been criticised, especially if they lose! At Gallipoli the Allied army did make mistakes, but was it just the fault of the generals?
Here, historian Stephen Chambers talks about General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief of the Allies at Gallipoli.
Tea drinking officers?
In another story, British officers were accused of sitting drinking tea on the beach while the soldiers died in the trenches. It’s possible that the story came from one of the very few films made at Gallipoli at the time, when the editor cleverly puts the clip of officers drinking and eating right before a clip of soldiers in the trenches, with the words ‘Meanwhile the Anzacs also had attacked’. This might mean nothing, but the film’s director, Ellis Ashmead Bartlett, was certainly very critical of the way the Campaign was being led. There’s no evidence for the claim but the story stuck and one of the characters in the 1981 Australian film ‘Gallipoli’ says ‘the [English] officers are sitting on the beach drinking cups of tea’.