Knowledge is power.

To day is ANZAC Day.




What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the 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 soon took in that name endures to this day.


Why is this day so special to Australians?

When war broke out on August 3rd 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only fourteen years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world.

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April. The British commanders thought the Turkish army would collapse but the campaign lasted for 8 months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hard ships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed.


What does it mean today?

Australians recognise 25 April as an occasion of national commemoration. Commemorative services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, across the nation. Later in the day ex-servicemen and women meet and join in marches through the major cities and many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are held at war memorials around the country. It is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.


The Attack at The Nek

The first line was soldiers from the Victorian Eight Horse regiment. It took only thirty seconds to wipe out the first line, killed or wounded. Many men in the first line were killed as they cleared the firing line, or within three paces. Of the 150 men of the first line who attacked, only three men from the right of the line reached the Turkish parapet.

The second line, also made up of men from the 8th Light Horse Regiment, moved into position and attacked two minutes after the first line. They were also moved down by the Turkish guns. The third line, made up of Western Australians of the 10th Light Horse Regiment moved into position to attack. Attempts by the regimental commander, Lieutenant Commander Noel Brazier to have the attack cancelled failed. At 4.45 am the third line went over to meet the Turkish guns.

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade had been decimated: 151 men of the 8th Light Horse were killed at the Nek, with another 11 dying within a few days of their wounds. The 10th Light Horse lost 78 killed at the Nek, with another five dying of wounds over the next few days. The 9th Light Horse lost four men killed. Of the 600 men of the four lines that attacked, 249 died and over 100 were wounded.




 

Create Date : 25 เมษายน 2551
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