Saturday, April 25, 2009

ANZAC Day in Australia, Jerusalem, Beersheva

Because the Sabbath is supposed to be a day of rest, our buses do not run from Friday afternoon until Saturday night. Very rarely, but sometimes, I wish I had a car. Like this morning. I would have gone to the 6:00 Dawn Service at the Commonwealth War cemetery on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

Instead, I offer you my photos from St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia.

April 25 is ANZAC Day. Australia New Zealand Army Corps soldiers were known as ANZACs.
"In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that 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), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war."
On Wednesday the Turkish General Staff website posted previously unseen film clips and photographs of the Battle of Gallipoli to coincide with the 94th anniversary of the devastating campaign. I actually watched the half-hour video.

I wondered HOW these armies, using ox-drawn carts, camels, mules, donkeys, and horses (so primitive compared to today's equipment) managed to slaughter each other in such terrifying numbers: 55,000 Allied losses and an estimated 250,000 Turkish casualties.


Dick said...

That is an impressive statue, and it's true most people in Europe don't know anything about the Australian soldiers.

Karen said...

I have met very few people, here in the US, who know about ANZAC day and what the cost was to the Aussies and my fellow Kiwis.

Thankyou so much for posting this..