In New Zealand and Australia, we jointly commemorate the loss of our service personnel and celebrate those who serve still. The day is chosen to mark the day on which members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed at Gallipoli in the Turkish Dardanelles on April 25th 1915, in an effort to open up access to the Black Sea to subdue Turkey, which was a allied with Germany, and give easy access to support Russia.
It was an unmitigated disaster: and complete ignorance of the principles of amphibious warfare. Beset by poor planning, bad coordination and logistics, and a total disregard for the many men who were fed into what quickly could be seen as a lost cause, the remnants were finally withdrawn on 20th December, 2015.
The first ANZAC Day was marked in 2016 and has been a day of remembrance shared with our close neighbours, Australia. Since that time the ANZAC tradition has continued in both Australia and NZ with our forces and societies at many levels combined together in close association.
The navy has always been special to me - my father served in the Royal Navy before and during WWII. It still has a special place for me, now transferred to the NZ Navy, so I took myself to main base at Devonport in Auckland to commemorate the day with that service.
I found it quite different from ones I attended many years ago. Then, it was dominated by ageing veterans and their families. Now, there is a significant component of the young, which is great to see.
I believe the NZ fellows were known as Kiwis. My father was in the South Pacific. I recall his comment that the Aussie commandos were a rough bunch! Let's hope that the past doesn't repeat itself.
Yep, NZers are colloquially known as Kiwis. Our RNZAF aircraft have a roundel like the RAF has, but we have a Kiwi in the middle instead of a red dot - which is ironic, as Kiwis are birds that have no power of flight!
As to the past: it already has been repeating itself, John. Just look at Ukraine...
RE: Ukraine. Yes, and things don't look good globally. I'm bothered as Ukraine borders Slovakia which is where my grandparents came from in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
I'm bothered because I see a replay of the 1930's as a certain country hoovers up chunks of its neighbour's territory, and engages in horrific war crimes to do so. I have friends serving over there and it's tragic.
As a citizen of the Turkish Republic, I commemorate all the New Zealand and Australian soldiers who lost their lives in the Dardanelles War and convey my condolences to their families. They (the soldiers who lost their lives) are now our children and they rest in peace.
Finally, I would like to say that, as Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said, "Peace at home, peace in the world." I wish for a world where wars end and peace wins.🙏
Thank you Ata: That is a wonderful thing that Atatürk did - a very humane thing for those who did not shape the events that brought them to your shores, but who remain there. I wish you and your country peace and security.
Thank you Steve.
NZ and Australia are closely bound, although we do have major differences in capabilities. As of this month, Australia has about 27 million people while NZ has a population of about 5 million. The economies are even more different: the Australian economy is 7 times greater, so their ability to fund military is dramatically different. NZ and Australia share military personnel at a significant level, and quite a bit of our military are based on common platforms. That said, Australia has a much more capable military - for example, it has quite a strong combat air component, while NZ has no combat fighter air power. We do have a squadron of antisubmarine aircraft, but our efforts are more associated with our navy, which has one of the biggest areas to police in the world, yet one of the smallest navies. We have two modern ANZAC class frigates but most of our recent ship acquisition has been for naval supply and multi-function vessels that can support the countries in times of natural disaster, provide material support to task forces and do a lot of research, rescue and fisheries protection in the massive Southern Ocean.
Each country has its own foreign policy, for example Australia is strongly positioned against Chinese expansionism, and has engaged in the AUKUS alliance that will see it get a fleet of nuclear hunter-killer subs as a direct military response to China. while NZ is also not supportive of China, it is more muted, and has played the 'good cop' role of the two in trying to engage with China. One could say that the alliance is rather like Janus: the Australian face is directed north while the NZ face is south and east.
Finally, NZ has gone its own way since the mid-1970's when NZ went nuclear free and was ejected from the ANZUS aliance. The US refused any contact or support for our miltitary, not even allowing the US tall ships to visit. Since then, the NZ softly, softly approach to supporting the Pacific nations, and our efforts in Afghanistan in support of the US coalition, have won it some sympathy. Apparently while we are no longer allies, we are 'very, very good friends'. The NZ navy has actually been exercising with the US and other nations in the Pacific and has been a component of multi-national naval task forces incorporating the US, UK and Oz in enforcing freedom of navigation in the face of Chinese attempts to limit that.