The author has ably presented the story of the first real victory for the AIF. After two years of disasters, the ANZACs were placed in a position where their courage and determination could surmount the challenges to deliver a convincing triumph in a bloody battle. – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Messines 1917, The ANZACs in the Battle of Messines FILE: R2712 AUTHOR: Craig Deayton PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 332 PRICE: £16.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Western Front, Commonwealth soldiers, ANZACs, French Sector, German Army, British Army, BEF, Second Army, New Zealand Division, Ypres, Great War, WW1, WWI, First World War, World War One, World War 1, trench war
IMAGE: B2712.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyur.com/yagakhek LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author has ably presented the story of the first real victory for the AIF. After two years of disasters, the ANZACs were placed in a position where their courage and determination could surmount the challenges to deliver a convincing triumph in a bloody battle. – Highly Recommended. In 1914, the British Empire spanned the world and inspired a level of loyalty from the most diverse mixture of people that any Empire had ever brought together. The Commonwealth sent armies to support Britain in the fight against German expansion. In all the coverage of this epic struggle, historians have focused most on the disasters these brave soldiers suffered. The disaster of Gallipoli cost a great many Australian and New Zealand lives but it was a reverse that should never reflect badly on the soldiers. The ANZACs endured and survived to fight another day. The failure was in a gamble that was worth the attempt but failed because intelligence was incomplete and resources were not available to counter the home advantage of any army defending its coast against an amphibious landing. The failure was compounded because the senior officers and politicians persisted in fighting on when a withdrawal should have been undertaken as soon as the weakness of the British position was clear. Had an early evacuation been ordered, a great many lives would have been saved and, although it could not have been described as a victory, it would have been far from the disaster it turned into. Gallipoli was the most visible of a string of disasters for the ANZACs and encouraged historians to pick over disaster. The Australian and New Zealand soldiers were unfortunate that they arrived at a time when Britain needed to become more active against the Turks. In strictly British and Commonwealth interests, the first priority was to hold and protect the Suez Canal to maintain that vital sea route connecting Empire. Beyond that, a modest support for Arabs wishing to break free from Ottoman rule was a very cost effective way of dealing with the Turks. At remarkably little cost, the Arab armies focussed by Lawrence of Arabia were creating havoc for the Turks and ensuring that they did not provide effective support for their German allies. Using ANZAC troops in the area was logical because it saved sending troops from the Western front and roughly halved the distance of shipping soldiers from Australia to battle. Gallipoli was both an opportunist campaign after the success of British naval forces, and a need to open a new route to support the Russians who were not fairing well against the Germans. In 1917, the ANZAC fortunes changed. They were needed to fill the manpower requirements for a very well planned assault on German trenches in Ypres sector of the Western Front. The assault deserved to be victorious as a combination of good intelligence, careful planning, provision of adequate resources and total secrecy. The ANZACs were to form one third of the victorious Second Army and the British and Australian mining companies were critical to the success, placing a million pounds of explosive in 19 giant mines under the German positions. Messines was of great importance not only to Anzac morale and reputation, but it was a key point in the trench war, paving the route to eventual victory over Germany. It became a bloody battle of savagery and vicious hand to hand fighting. It was the ultimate test for the ANZACs which they passed with flying colours. There are a great many images in the form of maps and photographs embedded in the compelling text. A very suitable memorial in the 100 year Commemorations of the Great War.