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ANZAC's, Gallipoli, een mythe?

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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Jun 2006 7:44    Onderwerp: ANZAC's, Gallipoli, een mythe? Reageer met quote

Beetje rare titel misschien, en misschien leeft die mythe dan alleen in mijn hoofd.
Maar wat ik altijd begrepen heb is dat de ANZAC's vreselijke verliezen hebben geleden daar.
Bijna alles wat ik te lezen kan vinden gaat over de ANZAC's, maar al surfend kwam ik dit tegen:

Somehow the impression has taken root that in that terrible Battle of Gallipoli (1915) only the Anzac troops fought and suffered in Turkey. The reality is different, but the overwhelming attention that Australia and New Zealand place on Gallipoli is understandable.

The Battle of Gallipoli took place on a small peninsula on two, later three, different battlefields, not far from each other. On one of these fields merely Anzac soldiers (from Australia and New Zealand) fought - and died. In the other two places British and French troops took the Turkish blow.

The casualty figures give a good understanding of who suffered:

# Australia: 18.500 wounded and missing - 7,594 killed.
# New Zealand : 5,150 wounded and missing - 2,431 killed.
# British Empire (excl. Anzac) : 198,000 wounded and missing - 22,000 killed.
# France : 23,000 wounded and missing - 27,000 killed.
# Ottoman Empire (Turkey) : 109,042 wounded and missing - 57,084 killed.
# Furthermore 1.700 Indians died in Gallipoli, plus an unknown number of Germans, Newfoundlanders and Senegalese.

Ik doe dus niets af aan de verliezen en de dapperheid, alleen de cijfers doen me afvragen waar dan de heldenroem van de ANZAC's vandaan komt?

De cijfers vond ik trouwens op:
Geweldige site van Rob Ruggenbrink.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Jun 2006 8:49    Onderwerp: Mythe Gallipoli Reageer met quote

"Ik doe dus niets af aan de verliezen en de dapperheid, alleen de cijfers doen me afvragen waar dan de heldenroem van de ANZAC's vandaan komt?"

Goed punt, ik denk het volgende:

- Australie was pas sinds 25 januari 1901 een land maar nog steeds enorm verbonden met het imperium
- Gallipoli was de eerste veldslag van de australiers, naar verhouding was het australische aandeel 300.000 man >60000 doden beperkt in de hele oorlog maar voor het australie van die tijd met nog geen 1,5 miljoen inwoners een enorm aantal.
- Voor australiers is Gallipoli dan ook een soort Mekka geworden, iets wat bij de meeste andere landen vrijwel onbekend is.

Natuurlijk ook wat politiek

- Met name de film uit 1981 Gallipoli geeft eigenlijk wel de indruk dat de australiers daar al het vechten deden terwijl de britten alleen geportretteerd werden als incompetente officieren.

- Slimme dappere, eigenwijze australiers (en kiwis) vs de stomme rest.

- Australische landjongens die via de light horse (cavalarie) in een keer zonder paarden in een puinhoop terecht kwamen (soor omaha beach maar dan juni 1944 tot februari 1945)

Voor australie is dit ook de "onstaansgeschiedenis naar eigen identiteit".

Net zoals Vimy voor Canada onevenredig belangrijk is en de somme voor Newfoundland, wat later onderdeel werd van Canada.

Ik denk dat dit identiteitsprobleem met name speelt bij de "witte" ex-kolonien om een politiek incorrect woord te gebruiken.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords is NO basis for a system of government.
(Monty Python on the Excalibur makes you king legend!)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jul 2006 9:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zeer plausibel dit.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 7:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Myth and Reality of Gallipoli 1915

The Myth and Reality of Gallipoli 1915
World War One has become a fundamental theme shaping modern Australian identity, especially the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 against the Ottoman Empire. It was during this campaign that Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) fought as units of the British army. Gallipoli today signifies Australia's coming of age as a nation. However, the experiences of these troops, who fought against the Ottoman Turkish Empire have been shrouded in a mixture of reality, myth and half-truths. The Turkish government exploits the ANZAC Legend and has become part of the myth. While it is not a myth that the ANZACs made great sacrifices against immense odds, there is a myth which portrayed Turkey as "the noble enemy".

Even today, Ottoman Turks are treated as exceptional enemies, especially the Turkish commander at Gallipoli (and future dictator) Mustafa Kemal. He was later credited with saying that "After having lost their lives on this land", the Allied soldiers "have become our sons as well". The Australian Returned and Services League permits Turks to participate in the annual ANZAC commemorations on 25 April, the only former enemies to do so. In 2006, veterans of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus even participated in ANZAC Day parades. Some Australians - including political leaders - have bought into the ANZAC myth so much, that they describe Turkey as "a democratic country" (former Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dana Vale MP).

In an address to the Australian Christian Lobby's annual conference on 22 September this year, Treasurer Peter Costello said modern Turkey was "the most outstanding example" of a "secular state separate from the religious domain in the Muslim world". Chairman of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia Keysar Trad said Mr Costello was once again advertising his ignorance of Islam. "He is an ignorant fool and he has no idea what he is talking about".

Appalling Statistics
Conventional accounts of Australian involvement in World War One rarely mention the prisoners of war. There is little about their experiences in captivity that is "noble". Only 325 ANZACs were captured by the Turks; one in three never returned from captivity. One may compare these statistics to Germany, which captured 4,000 Australians, with a death rate of less than one in ten (mainly from influenza). The death of Australian POWs in Ottoman Turkey was mainly due to maltreatment. The fate of these Australians has become an inconvenient fact for the promoters of the ANZAC legend. In fact, Australian schoolchildren often do not know that there were POWs during the Gallipoli campaign, or that the Australian side lost.

Key Sources
One can follow the experiences of the Australian POWs in Turkey through archival reports and their published sources. One could look at the crew of the Australian AE2 (submarine) as an example. They were subjected to slave labour, physical torture and mental abuse.

In the Taurus Mountains, Australian POWs were used for slave labour to dig tunnels and work as pack animals to construct rail roads. In his memoirs, submariner John Harrison Wheat describes his experiences:

"There were eleven of us in this awful place swarming with lice and fleas. It was sweltering hot, and that, combined with the awful smell from this filthy pit was unbearable. We used to strip to the waist to enable us better to keep off attacks from vermin. Sometimes I think it was only a horrible dream but when I think it over, I know it actually happened. We endured this for fourteen days".

Infantryman George Kerr gives a similar account of his internment:

"Earlier in 1915, scores of Armenians had been murdered or driven out of the town (Afion Karahissar) by Turkish troops in the name of 'ethnic cleansing', and the grounds of the prison camp were reputedly sown with the remains of some of these victims".

Later transferred to the Taurus Mountains, Kerr made the following note in his secret diary:

"Underneath us on the floor of the room, were huddled, in all kinds of rugs, about sixty miserable creatures who, we afterwards discovered, were Greeks and Armenians employed on the tunnel. They were crouched about the fires made in old mess dishes and in that dull light, looked the lowest human beings I had ever set eyes on".

Australia, Turkey and the ANZAC Legend
The Australian government today does not care about the treatment of its POWs in Turkish hands. It chooses to follow the British Foreign Office lead in placating Turkey, an important export market for Australia. The Australian state chooses to prop up the ANZAC legend as it stands as a matter of politics. The Turkish government, in turn, uses the ANZAC myth to sanitise its own image in history and to promote tourism.

"When Japan used save labour and abused POWs during World War Two," said Dr Diamadis, "Japan's actions were condemned, punished by courts of law and the memory of the abuse memorialised. This did not happen following the First World War. Indeed, it was until 2005 that the Australian War Memorial in Canberra created a permanent display on this inconvenient truth".

Historical Record
The Australian attitude remains very different to a very similar situation. There are currently hundreds of unpublished reports written by former Australian and other Allied POWs describing their experiences in Ottoman Turkey. Many of these records throw light on the destruction of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. Dr. Diamadis is currently finishing work on BEYOND ANZAC COVE, a documentary book based on these records, to be published by the Gomidas Institute in 2007.

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