||The 'Great War' Remembered:
||Gallipoli, Fromelles, Beersheba: What Do These Names Mean To Australians In 2019?
In the four years of World War 1, the 'War to end all wars', more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. On the 11th of November we remember them.
On 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare.
With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War.
From the summer of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been at the forefront of the allied advance to victory.
Beginning with their stunning success at the battle of Hamel in July, they helped to turn the tide of the war at Amiens in August, followed by the capture of Mont St Quentin and Pèronne, and the breaching of German defences at the Hindenburg Line in September.
By early October the exhausted Australians were withdrawn from battle.
They had achieved a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers, but victory had come at a heavy cost.
They suffered almost 48,000 casualties during 1918, including more than 12,000 dead.
The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the postwar decades.
Each year on 'Remembrance Day' Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
The Battle of Fromelles Commemoration
This Weeks 'Featured Stories':
"Book Of The Week':
German Battlecruisers Of WW1
The Funny & The Weird:
In this video I review a gem of a book by Gary Staff called, 'German Battlecruisers of World War I' and play some World of Warships.
The Sergeant Major growled at the young soldier: "Why weren't you at camouflage training this morning?"
"I was there, sir," answered the soldier.
"I didn't see you," returned the Sergeant Major.
"Thank you very much, sir," replied the soldier.
What Time Is It?
During the planning stages of a very large military operation, Operations HQ received a radio request for a "Time Check."
The Operations HQ lackey asks, "Who's calling?"
"What difference does that make?"
"It makes a lot of difference," says the lackey.
"If you're a Reservist Unit, it's 3 o'clock. If you're an Infantry Unit, it's 1500 hrs. If you're the Navy, it's six bells. If you're the Armoured Corps, the big hand is on the 12 and the small hand is on the 3. If you're the Artillery Corps, it's Thursday afternoon."
At one Army base, the annual trip to the rifle range had been cancelled for the second year in a row, but the semi-annual physical fitness test was still on as planned.
One soldier mused: "Does it bother anyone else that the Army doesn't seem to care how well we can shoot, but they are extremely interested in how fast we can run?"
Royal Australian Infantry Rules For Gunfights
* Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
* Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
* Have a plan.
* Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
* Be polite. Be professional.
* Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
* Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
Royal Australian Navy Rules For Gunfights:
* Go to sea.
* Drink coffee.
* Watch TV.
* Send the infantry.
Royal Australian Air Force Rules For Gunfights:
* Have a cocktail.
* Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
* See what's on pay TV.
* Determine "what is a gunfight."
* Request more funding from Government with a "killer" Power Point presentation.
* Wine & dine 'key' Parliamentarians, invite DoD & defence industry executives.
* Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
* Declare the assets "strategic" and never deploy them operationally.
* Tell the Navy to send the infantry.
It is October, 1917 & the British need to the capture Beersheba, a strategic township on the road to Jerusalem, and they plan to do it with the help of the Australia 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments.
The scene is set for the last great cavalry charge in history.
The film follows four Australian cavalrymen (Frank, Scotty, Chiller, and Tas), part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade of the British and Commonwealth forces.
The Movie Plot:
During an attack by Turkish cavalry, British officer Major Richard Meinertzhagen deliberately leaves behind documents indicating that the pending assault on Beersheba will only be a diversion.
The Australians leave for Beersheba, with limited water and supplies.
They bombard the town and the 4,000 Turkish-German defenders prepare for an assault.
However, the German military adviser Reichert, believes it is a diversionary attack and advises the Turkish commander he does not need reinforcements.
With time running out and water in short supply, the British command suspect any attack upon Beersheba will probably fail.
The Australian commanders ask the British to send in the Australian Light Horse.
The British consent to what they think is a suicide mission.
On 31 October, the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments are ordered to attack the Turks.
Dave and the rest of the medical detachment prepare for casualties and are ordered in behind the Light Horse.
The Turks report the Australian mounted soldiers lining up to charge, however the officer in charge orders the Turks not to open fire until they dismount.
The Australians begin advancing on the Turkish positions, gradually speeding up to a charge.
The Turks realise too late that the soldiers are not dismounting and open fire.
Artillery fire is sporadic and of limited effect and the attack so fast the Turkish infantry forget to adjust the sights on their rifles as the Light Horse get closer, eventually firing straight over the Australians' heads.
During the charge, Tas is killed by an artillery shell.
The remaining Australians make it "under the guns" (advancing faster than the artillery can correct its aim for the reduced range) and reach the Turkish trenches.
The Australians subsequently capture the first line of Turkish defences. Scotty and a few others take control of the guns. Chiller is wounded in the trench fight.
Dave is struck by a grenade and is seriously wounded while protecting Chiller. Scotty continues to fight on into the town.
When most of the remaining Turkish soldiers surrender, German commander Reichert tries to destroy the wells, but is captured by Scotty.
The attack was a fantastic success and the Australians miraculously suffered only 31 dead and 36 wounded. This action opened the 'door' and allowed for the subsequent capture of Jerusalem and the rest of the country.
General Allenby, in deference to the Holy City, walked into the city, coming as a liberator not a conqueror.
Trolls & cheapskates can say what they like. But this has got to be one of the most awe inspiring depictions of military bravado in history. I came here from Charge Of The Light Brigade 1936, which was, to coin a phrase, a clusterfuck. In British military history I don't know what to compare it with. We have glorious defensive actions. Rorkes Drift to name but one. But nothing to compare with this. Aussies. Hard irreverential bastards. Credence.
fantastic film showing the real heroes from Australia, make you feel so proud of these brave men
Only Australians could pull this off. Aussie Aussie Aussie. Oi Oi Oi.
Iconic charge. I guess seeing your friends fall in line of fire will send an adrenaline up the spine to turn even a Quaker into a warrior.