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ANZAC Day 2009 .... LEST YOU FORGET

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Postby rath » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:31 pm

For the Fallen

They shall not grow 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.

From the poem by Laurence Binyon


'And the band played "Waltzing Matilda", As we stopped to bury the slain. And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs; And it started all over again.'

Eric Bogle



ANZAC Day, the 25th of April, is a very special day in Australian (and New Zealand) history. ANZAC stands for the Australia New Zealand Army Corps and the reason that it is so important is that on the 25th of April, 1915 Australia went into battle for the first time as an independent nation. We had only became a country in 1901 - before that we were a loose collection of colonies - and this was our "baptism of fire" on the shores of Gallipoli.

Our troops landed on beaches (now called ANZAC cove) on the Turkish peninsular at dawn in this fateful day. They suffered a terrible defeat but our men fought with great bravery and would have succeeded if not for one man - Mustafa Kemal, later known as Ataturk. Although it was a disaster it brought out some great characteristics of mateship and sacrifice for this little island continent of ours. We talk about the "Anzac Spirit" which was born that day and use the term as a mark of the greatest respect. We use this day to remember those who fought, and especially those who fell, in this war and all subsequent wars.

Drawing by Mike Chapell. From the website "ANZAC Memories" (below)
The Battle

In 1915 Australia along with its Allies (Britain, France and Russia, Italy, and Japan) was at war, fighting the Central Powers (Germany, the Ottoman Empire aka Turkey, and Austria-Hungary). When most people think of WW1 they think of fighting Germans in the trenches across France however Russia was also under attack from the Turks in the Caucasus. To aid their plight the Allies hatched a plan to distract Turkey by attacking the Gallipoli Peninsula, on Turkey's Aegean coast. Once the peninsula was taken the Allies would be able to take control of a strait of water called the Dardanelles and lay siege to Turkey's main city, Istanbul (then Constantinople).

Australian and New Zealand troops then training in Egypt were tasked to participate in the attack. On April 25, 1915, the Australian troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on what they had been told was a nice friendly flat beach. Instead, they found that they had been landed at the incorrect position and faced steep cliffs and constant barrages of enemy fire and shelling. Around 20,000 soldiers landed on the beach over the next two days to face a well organised, well armed, large Turkish force determined to defend their country - and led by Mustafa Kemal, who later became Ataturk, the leader of modern Turkey. It is said that Ataturk just happened to be holidaying in the area and took control of the Turkish forces right at the last moment. Thousands of Australian men died in the hours that followed the landing at the beach that would eventually come to be known as Anzac Cove.

What followed was basically a disaster. The Aussies hung in for several months however could make little headway against the Turks. They had nowhere to go and no real hope however they dug in tenaciously and absorbed whatever the Turks threw at them. Many thousands of Aussie and Kiwi soldiers died, not only from the battle but from disease brought about by the poor living conditions. However from this disaster was born the image of the Aussie Digger, a brave and laconic battler, betrayed by the mother country but facing impossible odds with humour, courage and mateship.

Eventually the ANZAC troops were withdrawn from the peninsula having accomplished nothing. Those that survived went on to fight on other fronts but it was at Gallipoli that the legend was born.


For the Fallen

They shall not grow 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.


From the poem by Laurence Binyon
The Words of Ataturk

These words attributed to Ataturk are inscribed on a memorial at ANZAC Cove (see picture below).

"Those heroes that shed their blood
and lost their lives;
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
who sent their sons from far away countries,
wipe away your tears;
your sons are now lying in our bosom
and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have
become our sons as well."

Ataturk, 1934





For Australians, Anzac Cove is the best-known spot on Gallipoli. While the dawn landings were spread out over three-quarters of a kilometre of coastline, during the rest of 25 April 1915 the men of the ANZAC corps waded ashore at Anzac Cove. They were sent immediately inland into battle along Second Ridge at places which became famous in the story of Anzac – Lone Pine, Courtney’s Post, Quinn’s Post and the Nek. By the afternoon of 25 April, the beach was crowded with the wounded from the ferocious actions being fought out along the ridges. That day an estimated 2000 wounded passed through the cove, while others lay out on the battlefield awaiting evacuation.

Image

By 1 May 1915, more than 27 000 men of the ANZAC corps had landed at Gallipoli, and Anzac Cove was being transformed into the main port and administrative centre for the Anzac area. Piers were built to offload essential supplies and reinforcements, the best-known being Watson’s Pier, built by a party of the 2nd Australian Field Engineers under the supervision of Lieutenant Stanley Watson of the 1st Division Signal Company AIF. For the remainder of the campaign, huge rectangular piles of boxes were crammed into the narrow beach area and there was a constant fetching and carrying between the cove and the front line along the ridges. Some of this vital transport of supplies was undertaken by an Indian Army unit, the Indian Mule Cart Transport Company.


Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.

Up the slopes of the eroded valleys behind Anzac Cove, a virtual town of lean-to shelters, dugouts and more elaborate structures emerged to house the ANZAC staff. Australia’s official historian, Charles Bean, felt that this hillside settlement resembled ‘the Manly of New South Wales or the Victorian Sorrento, while the sleepy tick-tock of rifles from behind the hills suggested the assiduous practice of batsmen at their nets on some neighbouring cricket field’. Any sense of normality suggested here was belied by the fact that the Turks had the range of Anzac Cove and the area was shelled daily throughout the campaign, causing many casualties.


The Straits of the Dardanelles, November 1914 – April 1915

When World War I broke out in Europe in early August 1914, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) initially remained neutral, unable to commit itself fully to either the Central Powers (Germany and Austro-Hungary) or the Allies (Britain, France and Russia). However, on 27 September 1914, Turkey closed the Straits of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale Boğazi) to British, French and Russian shipping and the situation gradually drifted towards war. On 29 October, German warships, ostensibly under Turkish control, bombarded Russian Black Sea ports. Turkey now found itself drawn inexorably into the German sphere of influence, and on 5 November 1914 Britain and France officially declared war on the Ottoman Empire.



In late 1914, as the war in northern Europe developed into the stalemate of the trenches, the British sought another, and supposedly more vulnerable, front on which to attack Germany. They decided on a naval attempt to penetrate the Dardanelles and push on to Istanbul (then known as Constantinople), the Turkish capital. The Ottoman Empire’s support of Germany in the face of a British fleet would then supposedly crumble, and wavering eastern European states, such as Bulgaria and Romania, would enter the war on the Allied side.

Turkey’s response to the British naval threat right from the beginning was to strengthen the fortifications of the Dardanelles. Minefields were laid across the Straits, mobile guns were positioned on both shores, and batteries in various fortresses were brought to a state of war readiness. On 3 November 1914, even before the official declaration of war, British warships bombarded the outer forts at Seddülbahir (‘The Barrier to the Sea’) at Cape Helles on Gallipoli and Kum Kale on the Asian shore. In late February 1915, the British ships returned to complete the destruction of the guns and Royal Marines were landed at both locations to carry out this task.



The inner defences of the Dardanelles did not prove so easy to overcome. It was necessary to sweep the mines aside before the great battleships could come up to engage the forts and push through the narrowest point of the Dardanelles – the Narrows. But all British efforts to deal with the mines with fishing trawlers equipped as minesweepers failed, as the shore batteries found them an easy target. Eventually, it was decided to mount a major attack on the forts protecting the minefields, using 16 British and French battleships and battle cruisers, among them the Royal Navy’s most modern Dreadnought battleship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This mighty fleet moved up the Dardanelles on the morning of 18 March 1915. From 12 kilometres down the Straits the warships shelled the forts (Çimenlik and Kilitbahir) at the Narrows, and other forts such as Fort Dardanos below Kephes Point. Initially, the bombardment seemed to be going well and the minesweepers were called up, but then a French battleship, the Bouvet, struck a mine (it may also have been hit by a shell from one of the Turkish batteries on the Gallipoli shore) and sank within minutes, taking almost her entire crew of 600 with her. Two more British battleships also eventually sank. Yet again, the minesweepers made little headway in the face of accurate fire from the Turkish gunners. That night the British decided not to press ahead with the naval attack and Turkey celebrated a victory over the world’s greatest sea power.


Australian Overseas War Memorials.

Belgium
Brunei Darrussalam
Crete
Egypt
France
Indonesia
Israel
Libya
Malaysia
Papua New Guinea
Thailand
Turkey
United Kingdom







Belgium

See the memorials in historical perspective:

* Western Front - Campaigns & Battles 1916-1918

See also:

* Cemeteries Overseas : Memorials to the Missing

1st Australian Tunnelling Company,
Hill 60, Ieper (Ypres)


Details


WW1

5th Division Memorial,
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke


Details


WW1


Brunei Darrussalam

Memorial to Australian Operations in 1945,
Pantai Muara


Details


WW2


Crete

Historical background: Greek & Crete Campaigns 1941.
See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Hellenic-Australian Memorial Park,
Rethymno


Details


WW2


Egypt

See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

9th Division Memorial,
El Alamein


Details


WW2


France

The memorials in historical perspective: Western Front - Campaigns & Battles 1916-1918
See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

1st Division Memorial,
Pozieres


Details


WW1

2nd Division Memorial,
Mont St Quentin


Details


WW1

3rd Division Memorial,
Sailly le Sec


Details


WW1

4th Division Memorial,
Bellenglise


Details


WW1

Australian Corps Memorial Park,
Le Hamel


Details


WW1

Australian Memorial Park,
Bullecourt


Details


WW1

Australian Memorial Park,
Fromelles


Details


WW1

Australian National Memorial,
Villers-Bretonneux


Details
CWGC details


WW1

Mouquet Farm Battle Exploit Plaque


Details


WW1

Windmill Site,
Pozieres


Details


WW1


Indonesia

Historical background: The Nurses of Bangka Island
See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Nurses Memorial (Vyner Brooke Memorial),
Bangka Island


Details


WW2


Israel

See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Australian Memorial,
Jerusalem


Details


WW1


Libya

See also: Cemeteries Overseas.

Tobruk Memorial


Details


WW2


Malaysia

Historical background: Sandakan.
See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Parit Sulong Memorial


Details


WW2

Sandakan Memorial Park,
Sabah


Details


WW2

Surrender Point Memorial,
Labuan Island


Details


WW2


Papua New Guinea

The memorials in historical perspective: PNG Campaigns 1942-1945.
See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

AIF Memorial,
Lae



Details



WW2

Coastwatchers' Memorial,
Madang



Details


WW2

Isurava Memorial


Details


WW2

Kokoda Memorial


Details


WW2

Milne Bay Memorial


Details


WW2

Milne Bay - Turnbull Field Memorial


Details


WW2

Popondetta Memorial


Details


WW2

Rabaul Memorial


Details


WW2

Sogeri Memorial


Details


WW2

Surrender Memorial,
Cape Wom



Details



WW2

Wau Memorial


Details


WW2


Thailand

Historical background: Burma-Thailand Railway.
See also: Cemeteries Overseas.

Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum & Walking Trail


Details


WW2


Turkey

See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Anzac Commemorative Site,
Gallipoli


Details
http://www.anzacsite.gov.au


WW1


United Kingdom

See also: Cemeteries Overseas; Memorials to the Missing.

Australian War Memorial,
Hyde Park Corner, London


Details
http://www.awmlondon.gov.au


WW1 & WW2

2nd AIF United Kingdom Force Memorial,
Wiltshire


Details


WW2



Australian Memorial Villers–Bretonneux,
Image


Australian war memorial
Image

Australian war memorial U.K
Image

Australian war memorial BELGIUM
Image
Image
rath
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:54 am

Postby chiselray » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:52 pm

Good one Rath

April 25th


Lest We Forget

There are many many stories which show the hardships during and after the landing at ANZAC COVE.Each one has the power to take you away for a strong moment and belt you in the guts and thats when the reality hits you .
The soldier who'd ran with his mates up hill,till he turned around and realized he was the only one left running,his mates were dead while fighting for us all.
The advances of war ,the deaths of near mates,the disease of death,little water ,even less food.
It was only possible to live beyond the graces of human need by determination and spirit.
The Aussie and NZ corps where well known after 1915,they were known for courage and spirit fighting for our freedom and living ideals .

God Bless Them

R.I.P
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Postby rath » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:15 am

chiselray wrote:Good one Rath

April 25th


Lest We Forget

There are many many stories which show the hardships during and after the landing at ANZAC COVE.Each one has the power to take you away for a strong moment and belt you in the guts and thats when the reality hits you .
The soldier who'd ran with his mates up hill,till he turned around and realized he was the only one left running,his mates were dead while fighting for us all.
The advances of war ,the deaths of near mates,the disease of death,little water ,even less food.
It was only possible to live beyond the graces of human need by determination and spirit.
The Aussie and NZ corps where well known after 1915,they were known for courage and spirit fighting for our freedom and living ideals .

God Bless Them

R.I.P



So true.
Image
rath
 
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Postby chiselray » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:30 am

Ive been toasting all day to the forefathers of australia Rath

bout you ?

I toasted the kiwi as well..for if not for the kiwi we'd have no close brother to thank as he would us for 1915.
Traditionally its rum and milk,not my thing though
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Postby rath » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:49 am

chiselray wrote:Ive been toasting all day to the forefathers of australia Rath

bout you ?

I toasted the kiwi as well..for if not for the kiwi we'd have no close brother to thank as he would us for 1915.
Traditionally its rum and milk,not my thing though



yhe same here.

i went the Dawn service, it was packed as always.
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rath
 
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Postby chiselray » Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:29 am

Never made it to the dawn service,even though i was up at the right time..

Down here its as big as anywhere in oz...
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Postby Doghead » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:51 am

I served as a "peacekeeper" and so forth back in the 90s but I have stopped going to Anzac Day, for the moment anyway. My wife asked me today, "what am I supposed to say... Do I wish you 'Happy Anzac Day' because you never seem too happy..."

I replied, "Just say thanks. We'd really appreciate it if people who've never fought just said thanks. Instead of writing songs about battles they weren't in."

And so it went.
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Postby rath » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:32 am

Doghead wrote:I served as a "peacekeeper" and so forth back in the 90s but I have stopped going to Anzac Day, for the moment anyway. My wife asked me today, "what am I supposed to say... Do I wish you 'Happy Anzac Day' because you never seem too happy..."

I replied, "Just say thanks. We'd really appreciate it if people who've never fought just said thanks. Instead of writing songs about battles they weren't in."

And so it went.



maybe.

however many of our best war song were written by people who were there.
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