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Gallipoli And The Anzac Legend Essay

1972 words - 8 pages

The landing at Gallipoli was necessary because of the Navy's failure to push on through the Dardanelles Straits and take out Constantinople due to sea mines. The original campaign had been planned so that once the Straits were taken, Allied ships could assist Russia, bolstering the Eastern Front and knocking Turkey out of the war. However after the loss of one third of its fleet due to mines and mortar damage from the forts the Allied navy sailed out and the army was sent in to take possession of Constantinople.On the 25th April 1915, just over a month after the navy had left, the first wave of Australians landed at Ari Burnu (renamed Anzac Cove shortly after). Their aim was to secure the Third ridge to enable the following men to land quickly and efficiently. Instead of finding the flat beach they expected it was rugged terrain with steep cliffs all under constant barrages of enemy fire and shelling. Around 20,000 soldiers landed on the beach over the next two days and managed to take and hold the beach. However they faced a well organised, well armed, large Turkish force determined to defend their country. It was led by Mustafa Kemal, who later became Atatürk, the leader of modern Turkey.By the end of the first day the Anzacs had gained a few hundred metres but the defences were too strong for the Anzacs and they were unable to push any further onwards. An order was given to dig in and now the campaign had come to a stalemate just like on the Western Front.In the ensuing battles the Anzac Legend would be born and it was instrumental in helping shape Australia as the nation that it is today. The Australian soldier had gained a reputation for ingenuity and improvisation even in the Boer War however this was championed a lot more in Gallipoli. One example of this was the invention in May 1915 of the periscope rifle by L/Cpl. Beech of Sydney. Mirrors allowed the user to sight the rifle while being completely invisible to the enemy. The rifle was accurate up to 300 metres (many were effective only metres apart). This idea was quickly adopted by the Turks.The Nek was one of the most important land marks to the Australian soldier throughout the whole of the Gallipoli campaign and even World War I. It was a crucial position on the northern end of the ANZAC front line and the scene of a tragic attack by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at dawn on the 7th August 1915. Even though this piece of land was important it was actually a diversion so that the British could land at Suvla Bay.At 4:37 am a full 7 minutes after the covering bombardment had stopped, giving the Turks time to get back in to their trenches, the 8th Division charged.They had bayonets fixed to unloaded rifles and some carried hand bombs. Turkish machine gun and rifle fire mowed them down from the moment they stepped out of the trenches. The second line, also from the 8th, scrambled over the dead and wounded of the first line to make their attack, and suffered the same fate. Cancellation...

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