Today (25-April-2015) is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
On 25th April 1915, Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What was meant to be a quick decisive attack ended up as a eight month stalemate with the eventual withdrawal of the allied forces. The campaign was a failure with the most successful part being the evacuation without loss of life.
If you have some time to spare, watch Peter Weir’s masterpiece, Gallipoli, with a very young Mel Gibson. If you haven’t seen it, it will help explain what is meant by the ANZAC spirit and Mateship:
Gallipoli Full Movie (1981) (direct link)
I know the following video is not about the First World War, but it is about Australian soldiers involved on combat and how it affects them. I get emotional every time I listen to this song:
Redgum – I Was Only 19 (1983) (direct link)
For more information see the following sites:
- Australian War Memorial: ANZAC Day
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs: Gallipoli and the ANZACs
- ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee
- Wikipedia: ANZAC Day
Lest we forget.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.