Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Anzac Day

On April 25, 1915, Australian troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, a site they were advised 'a friendly beach.'

For the men and women who displayed great courage, discipline and self-sacrifice in serving our country.

ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day.

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is the anniversary of the landing of our troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I.

In 1915, Australia along with its Allies  Britain, France and Russia, Italy, and Japan were at war, fighting Germany, the Ottoman Empire aka Turkey, and Austria-Hungary. Most people think of World War 1 of fighting the Germans in the trenches across France. But Russia was also under attack from Turkey in the Caucasus. To aid their plight the Allies devised a plan to distract Turkey by attacking the Gallipoli Peninsula, on Turkey's Aegean coast. By taking control of this strip of land they would have control of a strait of water called the Dardanelles and lay siege to Turkey's main city, Istanbul (then Constantinople).

The troops were advised that the beach was friendly. Under misdirection, around 20,000 soldiers landed on the beach, but they landed in the wrong place. With steep cliffs and the fire of the enemy surrounding them, they fought for several months but couldn't make any leeway. There wasn't anywhere to go, so they dug in and copped the brunt of the Turks. Thousands of Aussies and Kiwi soldiers died, not only from the battle but from disease caused by the living conditions.

This disaster gave birth to the Aussie Digger, a courageous battler who faced inconceivable odds with humour, courage and mate ship. Eventually the troops were withdrawn but nothing was accomplished.  It was from here that the legend of the Aussie Digger spread throughout the world.




Anonymous said...

I'm reading a book at the moment called 'Gallipoli Sniper'. It's an account of a man called Billy Sing, from Queensland who has a confirmed count of 150 sniper kills.

When we lived in Canberra we visited the war memorial a number of times. One of the most moving accounts of bravery, for me, is that of Mr Simpson and his donkey.

The amazing strength of character this people portrayed is humbling. I hope it never gets lost.

Helene Young said...

ANZAC day gives us all an opportunity to reflect on war and those who serve. It was lovely to see so many young people and children at this morning's service at Trinity Beach.

We need to remember and maybe one day we'll learn from the tragedies of war.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Sandy,
'Gallopoli Sniper,' sounds like a good read Sandy. I may have to add it to my Goodreads list. :) Thanks for mentioning it.
Currently passing Canberra at the moment. It's cold. lol..

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Helene,
It was quite fresh at our dawn service this morning as well, but not as cold as the country I'm heading to. Yikes. :)

Anzac day is a time for all Australians to be thankful, and grateful that our soliders fought and died, and still are for our country.
Such bravery should never be forgotten. Ever.

Caryn Caldwell said...

So sad, but the symbolism of the battleship arising out of such difficult times is so inspiring. Loved the photos, too.