The almost war: The Empire and the Chanak Crisis, 1922

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

September this year will be the centenary of the Chanak Crisis of 1922, when Lloyd George and Churchill almost took the Empire to war with Kemal Ataturk's Nationalists-Gallipoli 2.0 they'd probably be calling it today. The event was characterised in Australia particularly through the enthusiasm of the ex-Diggers, and how they were lining up in their thousands around Australia for another go at the Turks.

This presentation will consider what Australia's military preparedness for war was at that time. The culmination of the crisis, a few months later, saw Prime Minister Billy Hughes declaring that if Ataturk touched the ANZAC war graves on the Peninsula-which he threatened to do-Australia would be prepared to go to war alone, and drag Britain with it. Nine days later, Hughes was out of office.

This presentation not only shows how in 1922, just as in 1914, Australian men lined up in their thousands across the nation to enlist, but also how Hughes came close to splitting the Empire over the issue of who controlled Dominion defence and foreign policy, and whether Britain, in the aftermath of the Great War, could ever again dictate to the Dominions whether they could-or could not-choose to go to war.

Dr Paul Bartrop is a multi-award-winning scholar of the Holocaust and genocide. Until December 2020 he was Professor of History and Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Research at Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida. He is now Professor Emeritus of History there, and Principal Fellow in History at the University of Melbourne. He has also held numerous other positions at Stockton University, New Jersey; the University of South Australia; Northern Arizona University; and Virginia Commonwealth University.

He is the author, co-author, and editor of 30 books, the most recent of which include The Holocaust and Australia: Refugees, Rejection, and Memory (2022);_ The Holocaust: The Essential Reference Guide_ (2022); The Routledge History of the Second World War (2022); Children of the Holocaust (2020); The Holocaust: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection (co-editor, which won the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award, 2017).

He is currently editing The Routledge History of the First World War, among many other projects. Professor Bartrop is a former Vice-President of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association and is a Past President of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies.