World War One for Australian Essay

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For Australia, World War 1 was the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and injuries. From a population of less than five million, (416,809) men, 60,000 were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed, or taken as prisoners. The outbreak of the war was greeted in Australia, as in many other places, with a great amount of public enthusiasm. Most of the men accepted into the army in August 1914 were sent first to Egypt, not Europe. After four and a half months of training near Cairo, the Australians left by a ship for the Gallipoli peninsula, with troops from New Zealand, Britain, and France. The Australians landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915. During the early days of the campaign, the allies tried to break through Turkish lines, while the Turks tried to drive the allied troops off the peninsula. It ended up that both sides failed. The most successful operation of the campaign was the evacuation of troops on 19 and 20 December, under cover of a comprehensive deception operation. As a result of this the Turks were unable to inflict more than a few casualties on the quickly retreating forces. After Gallipoli the AIF was reorganized and expanded from two to five infantry divisions, all of which were progressively transferred to France, beginning in March 1916. When the other AIF divisions arrived in France, the war on the Western Front had long been settled in a stalemate, with the opposing armies facing each other from trench systems that extended across Belgium and north-east France, from the English Channel to the Swiss border. The development of machine-guns and artillery favored defence over attack and compounded the impasse, which lasted until the final months of the war. Throughout the years 1916-1917, the Australians and other allied armies repeatedly attacked, preceded by massive artillery bombardments, intended to cut barbed wire

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