|Author/Artists:||Ian Sumner, illustrated by Graham Turner|
64pages, 7¼ x 9¼ inches, softcover
Once WWI got underway, it became quite apparent to the British that the British Army was not going to be able to supply enough troops so the request was put out to Commonwealth nations to help out. This included Australia and New Zealand. While they were not heavily populated, both countries were willing and provided a goodly number of units to help fight. It is here that the term ANZAC came into being from the phrase Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Fortunately for the British, both countries had initiated mandatory military service shortly after the turn of the century, so most eligible men had already had a taste of the military life through their admittedly short periods of military camps and training. Not only that, but especially in Australia, there was a high level of volunteers. New Zealand, being typically more conservative, was a place where more were not so ready to rush in to volunteer, yet there were enough to meet the commitment offered by their government.
Initial training was undertaken in their prospective countries before units were shipped off to help the British. They ended up in Egypt to continue their training, mostly because of the better weather offered in that area. It was, by all accounts, a pretty miserable existence as tent camps had to be set up. Not unexpectedly, the VD rate was pretty high as soldiers spent their off duty hours partaking in local color.
With the Gallipoli campaign planned, it was decided to send these troops there instead of Western Europe. As most of us know, that was a total disaster that did little more than kill or maim thousands of soldiers on both sides. It is also where the ANZAC legend began. In fact, the majority of the book is about this particular campaign and its aftermath.
In line with other books of this series there are sections on the recruitment, training, uniforms, and of course, what it was like in battle. It makes for an excellent look at these men and what they had to go through during the Gallipoli campaign. A book that found interesting, enjoyable, and full of a good assortment of images.
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