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Re: [Slovak-World] OT What is Anzac Day?

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  • Claudia Medvik
    Thanks Nick, courage should always be remembered! ... From: Nick Holcz To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 11:59 PM Subject: Re:
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 26, 2004
      Thanks Nick, courage should always be remembered!
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Nick Holcz
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 11:59 PM
      Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] OT What is Anzac Day?

      At 10:09 AM 26/04/2004, you wrote:
      >I've read something about Anzac Day in Australia. What is that a historic
      >reference to? And what are Anzac bicuits?

      I have cut and pasted some information. It is fairly long so apologies to
      those not interested.

      On 25 April every year Australians commemorate Anzac Day. It is Australia's
      sacred day. The day has the same significance in New Zealand, Australia's
      counterpart in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZACs) at

      What is it Australians commemorate on Anzac Day?

      Australia and New Zealand at war

      On 25 April 1915 Australia and New Zealand were at war. Along with the
      <http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/allied_powers.html>Allies (the major
      Allied Powers were the British Empire [Britain and her colonies and
      dominions], France and the Russian Empire), the ANZACs were fighting
      against the Central Powers (Germany, Turkey [then known as the Ottoman
      Empire], and Austria-Hungary).

      In response to a request for help from Russia, which was being battered by
      the Turks in the Caucasus, the Allies decided to begin a campaign which
      they hoped would distract Turkey from their attack on Russia.

      The plan was for the Allies to attack and take the Gallipoli Peninsula, on
      Turkey's Aegean coast, from which point the Allies believed they could take
      control of the Dardanelles - a 67 kilometer (42 mile) strait which connects
      the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara - and lay siege to Turkey's main
      city, Istanbul (then Constantinople).

      Landing at Gallipoli

      As part of the larger British Empire contingent the ANZACs were brought in
      from training in Egypt to participate. The ANZACs comprised the 1st
      Australian Division and the composite New Zealand and Australian Division.
      On 25 April 1915, the ANZACs landed on the
      <http://www.anzacs.org/gallipolimap1.html>Gallipoli Peninsula.

      Instead of finding the flat beach they expected, they found they had been
      landed at an incorrect position and faced steep cliffs and constant
      barrages of enemy fire and shelling. Around 20,000 soldiers landed on the
      beach over the next two days to face a well organized, well armed, large
      Turkish force determined to defend their country - and led by
      <http://www.ataturk.com/index2.html>Mustafa Kemal, who later became
      Atatürk, the leader of modern Turkey. Thousands of Australian and New
      Zealand men died in the hours and days that followed the landing at that
      beach. The beach would eventually come to be known as Anzac Cove.

      What followed the landing at Gallipoli is a story of courage and endurance,
      of death, and despair, of poor leadership from London, and unsuccessful
      strategies. The ANZACs and the Turks dug in - literally - digging
      kilometers of trenches, and pinned down each other's forces with sniper
      fire and shelling. Pinned down with their backs to the water the ANZACs
      were unable to make much headway against the home-country force.

      A lack of success

      In Britain, the lack of success of the campaign was creating arguments
      amongst the leaders of the time about whether the campaign should be continued.

      While political leaders argued, the Australian and New Zealand soldiers
      died in battle, from sniper fire and shelling, and those that lived
      suffered from a range of ailments due to their dreadful living conditions -
      typhus, lice, gangrene, lack of fresh water, poor quality food, and poor
      sanitary conditions all took their toll.
      That is surely at the heart of the Anzac story, the Australian legend which
      emerged from the war. It is a legend not of sweeping military victories so
      much as triumphs against the odds, of courage and ingenuity in adversity.
      It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived
      less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship
      and the demands of necessity.
      Former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Mr Paul Keating, at the
      Entombment of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial 1993

      The withdrawal

      Eventually it was decided that the Allied troops would be withdrawn from
      the Peninsula; the attempt to control the Dardanelles had failed. The
      ANZACs were evacuated and returned to the Middle East and the Western Front
      where they were involved in other battles.

      The Gallipoli campaign was an enormous failure, a failure bought at the
      cost of an enormous number of lives, and the failure led to the resignation
      of senior politicians in London. Thousands of Australian and New Zealand
      soldiers had died, and thousands of other Allied troops from France and
      Britain also died.

      An <http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/>Anzac commemorative location has been
      built at Gallipoli in conjunction with the New Zealand government and with
      the approval of the Turkish government.

      ANZAC biscuits

      During World War 1, the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian
      soldiers were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being
      supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Any food they sent to the
      fighting men had to be carried in the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of
      these were lucky to maintain a speed of ten knots (18.5 kilometers per
      hour). Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able
      to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women
      came up with the answer - a biscuit with all the nutritional value
      possible. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats. These oats
      were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that
      helped counteract the extremely cold climate.

      The ingredients they used were: rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut,
      butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water.
      All these items did not readily spoil. At first the biscuits were called
      Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed
      ANZAC Biscuits.

      A point of interest is the lack of eggs to bind the ANZAC biscuit mixture
      together. Because of the war, many of the poultry farmers had joined the
      services, thus, eggs were scarce. The binding agent for the biscuits was
      golden syrup or treacle. Eggs that were sent long distances were coated
      with a product called ke peg (like Vaseline) then packed in air tight
      containers filled with sand to cushion the eggs and keep out the air.

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