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Commemorating the Gallipoli Campaign in the year of its centenary

In the year of the Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign, and just a few days after Anzac day, Aegean Odyssey will be visiting Gallipoli and has invited a special speaker on board. Major General Paul Stevens, a retired Director of the Office of Australian War Graves will give 3 unique lectures on board Aegean Odyssey, commemorating the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. He will conduct a service at sunrise on the actual Anzac Day 25 April 2015, and then on the 29 April escort our passengers to the moving memorials and battlefields of Gallipoli, where over 400,000 Allied and Turkish troops died in the 8-month campaign, to lay a wreath in their memory.

In just 4 days after the official Centenary ceremonies have concluded, and whilst Aegean Odyssey is in the Dardanelle Strait at Canakkale, we will be paying a special visit to Gallipoli, escorted by retired Major General Paul Stevens. After leaving the army and in his role as the Director of the Office of Australian War Graves, his responsibilities included the planning and conduct of nationally-televised ceremonies from Turkey and France. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors (Council) of the Australian War Memorial. His interest in history formed the basis of his tertiary studies and played a significant part in these recent appointments.

He shared with us his planned talks on board Aegean Odyssey during our current Athens to Istanbul cruise through the Aegean:

WWI Memorial at Gallipoli

WWI Memorial at Gallipoli

1. Just before Anzac Day, he will be talking about “Gallipoli Prelude – The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire“. This introductory presentation will chart the rise of the Ottomans and the decline of their Empire up to the decision to join with Germany in the First World War and the Allied plans to force the Dardanelles and capture Constantinople.

2. “Gallipoli – The Campaign of 1915” will be an examination of the battles for the Dardanelles and the Gallipoli Peninsula and the reasons for Turkish success and Allied failure.

Australian soldiers at Gallipoli

Australian soldiers at Gallipoli

3. “Gallipoli Postscript – The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and The Rise of Modern Turkey” looks at the Ottoman Empire following the Gallipoli Campaign, the peace settlements, the rise of Turkish nationalism under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and the creation of modern Turkey.

In General Stevens’ words, “I think this would allow a sequential coverage of this important event in history which is of real interest to our passengers before Aegean Odyssey’s visit to Turkey, as well as more detailed analysis of the WW1 battles for those interested in the campaign. My first presentation will set the scene for the proposed dawn service on the morning of 25 April, and then we will be commemorating the campaign on the actual day we arrive in Gallipoli on 29 April.”

Voyages to Antiquity will be visiting Gallipoli on more cruises this summer:

“Constantinople.. The Empire of the World” – August 24, 2015 ›

“Happy is the Man to Sail the Aegean” – September 3, 2015 ›

“The Light of Greece” – September 14, 2015 ›