ANZAC army formations and units include both Australian and New Zealand troops. The term "ANZAC" originated as an acronym for the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, an army corpsof Australian and New Zealand troops who fought against the Turks in 1915 at the Battle of Gallipoliduring World War I. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was disbanded in 1916 and other "ANZAC" formations were then formed and fought during that war in the Middle Eastand on the Western Front.
The term "ANZAC" was used again during the
Vietnam Waras part of the name of battalions comprising Australian and New Zealand troops.
Australasia, "ANZAC" came to stand not just for the troops in World War I, but for Australian and New Zealand soldiers in time of war more generally. Anzac Dayis observed annually in memory of those soldiers who died in war. It is commemorated each year by both countries on 25 April, the date of the first landing at Gallipoli in 1915 on a beach known as ANZAC Cove. (It is similar to days such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Dayor V-E Daycommemorated in other countries.)
World War I formations
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
Australian and New Zealand Army Corpswas the original "ANZAC" formation. It served at Gallipoli under the command of General William Birdwoodand comprised the Australian 1st Division and the New Zealand and Australian Division. The three Australian and one New Zealand mounted brigades were employed as infantrywith ANZAC during the Gallipoli campaign. The Australian 2nd Division began to arrive from Australia in August 1915 and some battalions saw action on Gallipoli in the final months of the campaign.
Other World War I formations
Following the evacuation of Gallipoli in November 1915, the Australian and New Zealand units reassembled in
Egypt. The New Zealand contingent expanded to form their own division; the New Zealand Division. The Australian Imperial Force underwent a major reorganization resulting in the formation of two new divisions; the 4th and 5th divisions. (The Australian 3rd Divisionwas forming in Australia and would be sent directly to England and then to France.)
These divisions were reformed into two corps; I ANZAC Corps and II ANZAC Corps. By this time, "ANZAC" had ceased to be an acronym and had begun to be used as a term to describe any formation containing Australian or New Zealand units. I ANZAC Corps, under the command of General Birdwood, departed for France in early 1916. II ANZAC Corps, commanded by General
Alexander Godley, followed soon after.
The ANZAC Mounted Division (originally the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division) was also formed at this time and contained the three Australian
light horsebrigades as well as the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. The division fought as mounted infantrythroughout the Middle East, including Egypt, the Sinai (Romani, Magdhaba and Rafa) and Palestine(First and Second battles of Gaza, Beersheba, Jerusalem, Jericho, Es Salt, Megiddo and Amman) and Syria.
On the Western Front, ANZAC formations participated in many battles, the first of which was the disastrous
Battle of Fromelleson 19/20 July 1916 where the Australians lost 5,533 men killed or wounded in one night. Australian and New Zealand Divisions were involved in a number of engagements during the Battle of the Somme (1916)while components of British corps but it was only during the Battle of Pozieres, 23 July 1916, that an ANZAC formation participated as a whole. This was I ANZAC (Australian 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions).
Villers-Bretonneux, in the 1918 First Battles of the Somme, the "ANZAC" designation ceased to be used to represent an army corps containing Australian and New Zealand divisions. I ANZAC Corps was renamed the Australian Corps (and comprised the Australian 4th and 5th Divisions at the time). The Australian Corps ultimately contained all five Australian divisions, making it the strongest Allied army corps on the Western Front.
Formations and units since World War I
World War II, the Australian I Corps HQ was moved to Greece during April 1941. As the corps also controlled the New Zealand 2nd Division(along with Greek and British formations), it was officially renamed the "Anzac Corps" on April 12. The Battle of Greecewas over in weeks and the corps HQ left Greece on April 23-24, with the name "Anzac Corps" no longer being used. [D.M. Horner. " [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130231b.htm Blamey, Sir Thomas Albert (1884 - 1951)] ". "Australian Dictionary of Biography", Volume 13, Melbourne University Press, 1993, pp 196-201.]
Vietnam War, two companies from the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regimentwere integrated into Royal Australian Regimentbattalions. These integrated battalions had the suffix (ANZAC) added to their name (for example, 4 RAR became the 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion).
ANZAC Battle Groupis a battle group of Australian and New Zealand units deployed to Timor Lesteas part of Operation Astute. The battle group was established in September 2006.
HMAS "Anzac" was a
destroyerlaunched in 1917. It was commissioned into the Royal Navyin 1917 as HMS "Anzac", named to honour the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was presented to the Australian Government in 1919 and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navyas HMAS "Anzac".
"ANZAC" was chosen as the name of a new class of
frigates based on the MEKO 200 design, for the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy. The "ANZAC" class, beginning with HMAS "ANZAC" (FFH 150), will serve well into the 21st century.
Non-military uses of ANZAC
ANZAC teams have also played representative rugby league with players from both Australia and New Zealand. The last match took place in 2005 in
Workington, England, against a team representing Cumbria.
ANZAC Dayin Sydney, the NRL hold an annual match between Sydney and St. George-Illawarra. In Melbourne, the AFL annually holds an Australian Rules Footballmatch at the MCGwith Collingwoodvs Essendonmatches every year.
Alec Campbell, the last living ANZAC at Gallipoli [Shaw, John. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E7D61438F933A15756C0A9649C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/D/Deaths%20(Obituaries) "Alec Campbell, Last Anzac at Gallipoli, Dies at 103,"] "New York Times." May 20, 2002.]
* [http://dl.filmaust.com.au/tag/ANZAC/ Educational Resources about the ANZACS]
* [http://www.wspd.wellington.net.nz/resources/anzacarticle.htm W(h)ither ANZAC Day? - The Legal Protection of "ANZAC"]
* [http://suttonveny.co.uk/1st_World_War/Anzacs/anzacs.html Anzacs in Sutton Veny, Wiltshire during the First World War and the Australian War Commission Graveyard]
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