100 years ago today ANZAC forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. During the subsequent eight month Gallipoli Campaign the Ottoman Empire suffered 174,828 casualties (dead and wounded), and the Allies 187,959 including 28,150 from Australia and 7,473 from New Zealand.
Today will see commemorative services around the country, including many peace vigils.
NZ History has excellent information about Anzac Day. Coverage at Stuff includes some useful infographics. The Herald’s coverage is particularly good – Letters From Hell: Gallipoli heroes in their own words. From the quoted letter of Trooper F.C. Trenne 13/747, Auckland Mounted Rifles:
… It was simply dreadful at times. Fancy living amongst shell and bullet nights and days without sleep and only bully beef and hard biscuits from one week’s end to another and at the first week with sometimes only half a pint of water in a blazing hot sun.
And still you would not hear a murmur, only “when are we going to have another go at them?”
It used to turn me sick at times to see the dreadful pieces of human bodys lying about, with a head rolling without a body, legs and arms all over the place.
Often I have taken cover behind our own dead. As Mr Turk was having a shot at you, the bullet would plunk in the body in front of you.
Oh Gill, this was hell on earth for if hell can be worse but I really think that it can’t be worse. …
What more can be said.