It's Anzac Day in Australia. (25th April) The ANZACs were the combined forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day in Australia is when Australians remember those who have fought in war. The ANZAC legend started during WW1 when Australia and New Zealand combined their forces under British Command to attack the Turks at Gallipoli. Unfortunately, there was a right royal stuff-up and the ANZACs landed at Suvla Bay and were faced with a small beach landing and thousands of well-armed Turks manning the cliff faces above the beach. The ANZACS were blown to hell - "almost blew us right back to Australia."
From the words which accompany this video:
On 25 April 1915, the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed at a difficult and desolate spot on the Gallipoli peninsula and the Turks appeared to be ready for them, a defeat was inevitable, Gallipoli was the plan thought up by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new war front that the Central Powers could not cope with. The Gallipoli campaign was a debacle, Military censorship prevented the true story being told but a young Australian journalist, Keith Murdoch (father of Australian newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch) smuggled the story about the scale of the Dardanelles disaster back to the Australian Prime Minister who sent it on to the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who was no friend of the British military establishment. It led directly to the dismissal of the British commander, Sir Ian Hamilton who never again was to hold a senior military position. The British Government ordered an evacuation. By day, the ANZACs kept up their attacks with more ANZACs observed to be landing - by night the force was withdrawn, broken only by sporadic rifle and gunfire. On 20 December 1915, the Anzac retreat was complete.
A British Royal Commission into Gallipoli concluded that from the outset the risk of failure outweighed Its chances of success. The British had contributed 468,000 in the battle for Gallipoli with 33,512 killed. 7,636 missing and 78,000 wounded.The ANZACs lost 8,000 men in Gallipoli and a further 18,000 were wounded. Australia had a population of five million - 330,000 served in the war, 59,000 were killed. New Zealand with a population of one million lost 18,000 men out of 110,000 and had 55000 wounded.
This video is for my grandfather who was one of those who landed at Gallipoli in 1915. The song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" always makes me shed a tear or two around this time of year. So many brave, innocent, young men were led "like lambs to the slaughter."
"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"