Most remember Winston Churchill as foreseeing the Nazi threat, winning World War II and pronouncing the arrival of the Iron Curtain. Lesser known is his role in World War I where the Gallipoli campaign is regarded as the stain on an otherwise colossal record. The approaching centenary of World War I is a good time to set the record straight: Churchill was right to propose Gallipoli and right to oppose the withdrawal.
The great and worthy goal of the campaign has been obscured by its retelling in a myth of courage and futility that is only half true. Gallipoli was all about Russia.
On August 4, 1914, Britain joined France and Russia in a war against the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. One significant European power was yet to declare its allegiances. From modern-day Turkey, the Ottoman Empire had ruled the Middle East - and at times, large parts of Europe - for 600 years. Some of the sultan's advisers argued for the Allies and others for the Germans, while the sultan himself preferred neutrality.