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ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and is the name these troops were given in 1915 when Allied Forces were co-ordinating a campaign in Turkey. The troops landed on the beach at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, and battled in trenches there for eight months.
Since then, ANZAC is a label that has been used for only a few campaigns but has come to stand for Australian or New Zealand troops. Love of 'Anzac spirit' is one of the few demonstrably patriotic things Australians tend to do. 'Anzac' is a term that is bitter-sweet for most Australians and New Zealanders, as it represents loyalty, spirit and mateship in the face of extreme hardship and imminent, pointless death. Australian WWI reporter Charles Bean summed it up neatly: 'Anzac stood, and still stands, for reckless valor in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat.'
Strangely enough, the continued remembrance of the 1915 ANZAC troops has led to a special close relationship between Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, filled with mutual respect for valour in war.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|