On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail.
Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved- the birth of their countries' sense of nationhood.
Now approaching its centenary, the Gallipoli campaign, commemorated each year on Anzac Day, reverberates with importance as the origin and symbol of Australian and New Zealand identity. As such, the facts of the battle - which was minor against the scale of the First World War and cost less than a sixth of the Australian deaths on the Western Front - are often forgotten or obscured. Peter FitzSimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, and a busy events and motivational speaker.
He is the author of over twenty-seven books, including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Eureka, Ned Kelly, Gallipoli and biographies of Douglas Mawson, Nancy Wake, Kim Beazley, Nick Farr-Jones, Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales, and is one of Australia's biggest selling non-fiction authors of the last twenty years.
Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations. He is also Chair of the Australian Republican Movement.
He lives with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson, and their three children in Sydney.