On the day that around 20000 Australians and New Zealanders climbed ashore Gallipoli was one of the most disastrous and terrifying days. The Gallipoli campaign had a devastating impact on Australian society then and now. This essay will highlight the reasons why Australian soldiers fought at Gallipoli, the harsh living and fighting conditions, the outcome of the Gallipoli campaign and how the Gallipoli campaign and the Anzac legend should be remembered now.
Australians fought at Gallipoli because of the relationship with the “mother country” Britain. The British government was looking for a way to cut Turkish communication, provide access for Russia through to the Mediterranean and overcome the western front. They needed a new army as all the British troops were already fighting elsewhere. The plan was to send a naval force to Gallipoli to get the Turks to surrender and also threaten Germany. To create the voluntary army the government used the newspaper, advertisement and mainly played on men’s guilt. Battery sergeant major G Ellsworth said “[I]f I had stayed at home I would never have been able to hold my head up and look any decent girl in the face... the empire is going thro a crisis… everyone is expected to do their duty.” Australians were very loyal to Britain and still are right to the last man, drop of water and scrap of food.
The fighting and living conditions for soldiers at Gallipoli were quite different to the surroundings in Australia. A lot of things went wrong when the Anzacs first arrived at Gallipoli. They’re boats arrived 2kms away from their originally planned site because of darkness, poor planning, bad maps and ocean currents. The Turkish had been warned of their plan to attack them so there were Turkish trenches around and snipers everywhere. One description of the landscape, from a soldier’s point of view was a rugged, narrow strip of beach facing perpendicular cliffs. They got the best available food but it was a luxury to be clean and have fresh water because the Turks defended the rivers, lakes and had a sniper on top of a cliff over the ocean. Most soldiers had to have limbs cut off as they had either been shot or had trench foot. For Australians their surroundings weren’t very nice in the war and they didn’t have the luxuries of home, this might have made fighting