Discover more from UnMonumental
Gallipoli: the ANZAC Myth
The Gallipoli campaign was an unsuccessful invasion of Gelibolu Yarımadası (Gallipoli Cove) by the British imperial forces in World War I.
The Gallipoli campaign is incorrectly considered to be
Australia and New Zealand’s first conflict of World War I. In fact, their first joint military conflicts were in late 1914, invading the German colonies of Samoa, Nauru, and New Guinea in north-east Papua New Guinea. Australia and New Zealand became the new colonial administrators of these Pacific nations.
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps ( ANZAC) was formed in Cairo, Egypt in December 1914.
On Good Friday, 2 April 1915, around 2,500
ANZACs stationed near Cairo rioted in the area of Haret Al Wassir. They looted shops, set fire to houses and indiscriminately attacked locals. This was an alcohol-fuelled attack against local Egyptians, who they blamed for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to the ANZAC soldiers.
This British imperialist invasion of Gelibolu Yarımadası began on 17 February 1915.
The British military’s objective was to take control of the
Dardanelles Strait Çanakkale Boğazı shipping lane. This would allow their navy to attack and capture the capital Constantinople (Istanbul).
The first British and French naval attacks on the Ottoman military took place on 7 February 1915. The British invasion of Gelibolu Yarımadası began on 17 February.
The British wanted to seize the
Dardanelles Strait Çanakkale Boğazı shipping lane, allowing them to attack the capital Constantinople (Istanbul).
The British land invasion began on 25 April, with
Australian and New Zealand imperial forces in participation.
Defeated by the Ottoman Turkish forces, the British forces withdrew on 9 January 1916.
Australian government has fabricated a nationalist mythology around the invasion of Gelibolu Yarımadası, telling a story of heroism and sacrifice.
However, the involvement of
Australian forces in the Gallipoli campaign wholly supported the interests of British imperialism.
ANZACs were neither heroes nor victims in this conflict. Rather, they were aggressive participants in a British attack on Turkish territory.
In 1985, the coastal site of Ari Burnu, where the
ANZAC invaders landed, was officially renamed Anzak Koyu ( Anzac Cove) by the Turkish government.
The Australian government spends an average of 5.8 million AUD on the annual
ANZAC commemoration at Anzac Cove in Turkey.