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View Full Version : ANZAC Day - 25th April



Maelgwn
04-24-2008, 09:37 AM
The clock has just ticked over to 00:01 so its now officially the 25th.

In 1915 the first World War was well under way. The Allies were desperate to open a Supply route to Russia on the Eastern Front. They were especially keen to open a Sea Lane, but due to various circumstances the only real option was through the Black Sea, and unfortunately the entrance was controlled by Turkeys Ottoman Empire. So Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, put forward plans for a naval attack on the Dardanelles, the opening to the Black Sea. This ended in failure.

It was decided a land invasion was required to stop the Turkish Artillery from targetting the Allied ships. At the time troops recruited from Australia and New Zealand were in Egypt awaiting deployment to France on the Western Front. These troops were formed into the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp or ANZAC. These men were boarded onto ships and sailed to the Dardanelles.

On April 25th, 1915, the ANZACs landed at Anzac Cove in a place called Gallipoli. Here they were faced with steep cliffs which they had to climb to get off the beach. They had been dropped at the wrong beach and faced a force of Turks that were not supposed to be at the planned landing site. To make matters worse, Anzac Cove was a tiny beach and quickly became very congested. The Turks pushed back the initial ANZAC move inland. The fighting was bloody and costly. Eventually they gained a foot hold and they precariously held on for 8 months.

Over 33,000 allied and 86,000 Turkish troops died in the eight-month Gallipoli campaign which achieved none of its objectives. A British royal commission later concluded that the operation had been ill-conceived. Gallipoli cost 8,700 Australian dead and 19,000 wounded. Large numbers of the dead have no known grave. The story of Anzac has had an enduring effect on the way Australians see themselves. Though the campaign was a failure, Anzac has come to stand, in the words of the official historian, C.E.W. Bean, "for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, recourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance".

Australia (and New Zealand) must be one of the few Nations in the world to celebrate the day of their worst military defeat, but every dawn on April the 25th, services are held all around Australia to commemorate fallen heroes, both ours and our former adversaries in every theatre of war in which we have fought. Following the dawn service, the surviving veretans and their families, and serving members of the Australian Defence Force, conduct a march through the city or town, in honour of fallen friends.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget....

Dexxaan
04-24-2008, 09:44 AM
"You learn something every day..." (my father used to say).


I salute you on your best day. May ANZAC always be remembered.

*Emote bow deeply :cool:

Rowanheal
04-24-2008, 09:48 AM
I enjoyed learning this. Thank you.

*head bowed with respect*

See ya in Stormreach,

-R

Oreg
04-24-2008, 09:55 AM
Nice bit of History there. Thanks for the knowledge.

Cupcake
04-24-2008, 10:34 AM
Thank you.

wamjratl1
04-24-2008, 10:42 AM
Thank you for sharing that. It was something I did not know about before.Much Respect to our Aussie and Kiwi brethren.

<salutes>

wak
04-28-2008, 12:59 AM
Thank you all, and I must add that it's not a "celebration of our worst military defeat", but a commemoration of when our nations were 'blooded'. We had both always been under the umbrella of England and the Gallipoli exercise was where Australia and New Zealand first stood proud as their own entities. A legend was born!

Maelgwn
04-29-2008, 01:30 PM
I know very well what its about, I've been in the Army for 10 years.

My point was meant to be that not many other nations use a day of military defeat to remember the fallen like we do. That in itself says a lot about the Australian mentality and people.