When compared with the western front, Australian experiences at Gallipoli were insignificant. Discuss.
When compared with the western front, Australian experiences at Gallipoli were extremely significant, and Gallipoli can even be seen as the birthplace of modern Australia. One positive aspect of the Gallipoli campaign was the creation of the unique ‘Australian-ness’ that we still associate with ourselves today. Another significant experience at Gallipoli was the horrific conditions of the trenches and the battlefields where the Anzac’s fought and died. Gallipoli was also the first time Australians had fought for Australia and not just for one of the separate colonies, and as such, was seen as a test for Australia. All of these experiences are of the utmost importance to Australia and were critical in shaping our new nation’s future.
One of the very few positives to emerge from the Gallipoli campaign was the establishment of present day Australian beliefs, characteristics and moral values. Mateship was a critical part of the campaign at Gallipoli, as without it morale would have crumbled and soldiers wouldn’t have been able to trust each other with their lives as implicitly. Hordes of young people enlisted to go to war and many cited their sole reason for enlisting was that “all my mates had, and it would be improper if I did not” in the words of Corporal Rupert Jenkie. Bravery and sacrifice was another cornerstone of Gallipoli as without these traits the Anzac spirit wouldn’t represent the same ideals it does today. The Australians always followed orders (often against better judgement) and were willing to lay their lives on the line to achieve the objectives set out by their superior officers. This is shown is a multitude of battles the Australians fought in, but perhaps the most famous example was at the battle of the Nek, where the entire Australian 8th and 10th light horse divisions was sacrificed in a diversionary attack. Charles Bean, a famous war correspondent, wrote that “these Anzacs seem to be the bravest men of all” after witnessing the waves of men charging at the Turkish trenches during the battle of lone pine. Other significant Australian characteristics founded at Gallipoli include generally supporting the underdog – because we were in that underdog position ourselves most of the campaign with Turkey having more soldiers and holding the high ground, and also the unique, Australian larrikin humour which we were renowned for. This easy-going, authority mocking humour would have been especially hard to maintain under the constantly depressing and demanding conditions of Gallipoli, and as such is of the utmost significance to our culture.
... First World War that changed Australia. The ANZAC experience originated at Gallipoli where, on 25 April 1915, the 3 rd Australian Infantry Brigade of the ... is not only Australians who commemorate the ANZAC experience. The New Zealanders and British lost thousands in the campaign and the Gallipoli Association in London ...
One of the most defining characteristics of the Gallipoli campaign were the physical conditions that the Anzac’s were forced to endure there. For half of the year the weather was extremely hot and dusty, while during winter it was bitterly cold with rain often filling both sides trenches. The weather took its toll on the troops and disease was rife. Dead (and in some cases still living) bodies were left to rot in the sun in between the opposing trenches. Flies were everywhere and it was impossible to even eat without flies getting into your mouth as this excerpt from The Desert Column shows: “My new mate was sick and could not eat. I tried to and would have but for the flies… when I opened the tin the flies rushed inside fighting amongst themselves.” Malnutrition as a consequence of poor hygiene and bad diet was especially prevalent, and during the entire Gallipoli campaign it was estimated that 2 in every 3 Allied soldiers was affected by dysentery. Water was also very scarce for a lot of the time; ships brought in most of the fresh water but troops were also forced to bore their own wells, and it was common practice for soldiers to steal water canteens off dead comrades and even enemies. In late November 1915, Gallipoli was awash with water as a huge storm hit the peninsula. Trenches flooded and the torrential rain swept men, supplies and numerous possessions away. “It was like the floodgates from heaven had opened” described lance corporal J. Duncan in a letter home. “Men were sucked from grasp just inches away”. Burying dead bodies proved a challenge as the ground was under 2 feet of water in some spots. The Anzac’s however more than proved themselves with the way they managed to hold out at Gallipoli for 8 months, and this helped to establish pride in our national image.
Gallipoli is the tragic tale of two Australian men, Frank Dunne and Archie Hamilton, who both enlisted to join the Gallipoli campaign overseas. The film follows the two men from their time as competitors in a sprint races to Perth for enlistment the light horse. The film itself isn't so much a 'war' film as it is a film dealing with attitudes of Australians through particular individuals towards ...
The Gallipoli campaign was a conflict of extreme significance to Australia, and quite possibly was the single most important military event in all our history. Gallipoli, by popular acclaim, has come to represent the birth of Australia as a whole and even Mel Gibson is quoted as saying: “Gallipoli was the birth of a nation. It was the shattering of a dream for Australia. They had banded together to fight the Hun and died by the thousands in a dirty little trench war.” Not only was it the first major campaign that we fought as a nation, but it was also an event where the largest Australian force in history attempted to land on foreign soil. Overnight thousands of young men had volunteered and by 1918, out of a population of less than 5 million Australians, remarkably more than 331,000 men had signed up. With federation having been declared only 13 years before the start of the war, the young nation had yet to prove itself on the world stage, and Gallipoli seemed to offer that chance. Although the battle itself was lost, many Australians now consider Gallipoli as the historical event that shaped the nation. Australian bravery and perseverance was commonly seen at odds with the incompetence, poor tactics, and general lack of leadership on behalf of the British. This is very famously shown in Peter Weir’s 1981 movie ‘Gallipoli,’ which saw the British drinking tea on the beach while the Anzacs were told “to push on” and “the attack must continue” by the commander of the Nek attack Colonel Robinson. This is somewhat ironic, as although the glory of British imperialism was what had initially propagated the Australians to go and fight, Gallipoli ultimately served as the event that allowed the nation to forge its distinctive Australian identity, and began the process of distancing Australia from colonial identity.
"This Year has seen the greatest celebration of Monarchy throughout the English speaking World. The Golden Jubilee of the reign of The Queen has been a tremendous success and indeed a worthy tribute to Her Majesty's immense popularity. Centred upon the United Kingdom but also observed in many Commonwealth countries, people around the Globe have united in recognition of fifty years and more of ...
Although Gallipoli was a tactical disaster, many of the horrors and hardships the Anzac’s faced there helped mould the image that Australia still carries with it to this day. We may have achieved more in the Western Front, but that’s not to say the impact the Gallipoli campaign had on us as a nation was not significant, indeed Gallipoli is without a doubt the more significant campaign out of the two theatres of war. I would like to sum up with a quote from Les Carlyon a prominent Australian author. “Getting ashore at Gallipoli was not that hard. Hanging on, up on that ridge, for eight months – that was hard. The Australians defended absurd positions. They looked after each other. They kept their good humour. The miracle is simply these men didn’t lose heart. That, to me, is why we are right to remember Gallipoli. We are surely right to honour them. We are surely right to walk past the political intrigues and the military blunders and say Gallipoli says something good about the Australian people and the Australian spirit.”
By Mitchell Hilton
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