Australia's involvement in World War One

  • Assassination of Franz Ferdiand

    Assassination of Franz Ferdiand
    Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarjevo, Bosnia (province of Serbia) by Serbian Nationalists during a tour of the country. Ferdinand was the archduke of Austro-Hungary and was thus a very important political figure. The aim of his tour of Serbia was to persuade the people of Serbia that Austro-Hungary and Serbia should form an alliance. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the short term cause of the war.
  • Andrew Fisher's famous speech

    Andrew Fisher's famous speech
    Andrew Fisher, 4th Australian Prime Minister, ensures the Australian public that ''should the worst happen, Australians will stand beside the mother country to help and defend her to the last man and the last shilling.'' This famous quote by the former PM affirmed the Australian attitiudes towards the war- the Australian public believed they had a loyal commitment to Britian and consequently were influenced through propoganda to support Britian anyway required (this is known as a blank cheque).
  • Britian declares war on Germany (start of war)

    Britian declares war on Germany (start of war)
    Germany invades Belgium in order to outflank the French army as part of their activated Schifflen Plan. However, Britain protests the violation of Belgian neutrality, ensured by The Treaty of London signed in 1839. German Chancellor replies to Britian that the treaty is just a ''chiffon de papier'' (a scrap of paper). Therefore, The United Kingdom declared war on Germany, this subsequently signified the start of W.W 1.
  • AIF train in Egypt

    AIF train in Egypt
    On 10 November, the AIF arrived in Egypt for intensive physical combat training. Major-General Sir William Birdwood took command of the units in Egypt. These units were formed into an army corps of three division 1st Australian Division, the New Zealand and Australian Division and a mounted division. The AIF did not recieve good training due to the lack of quality equipment, the Australian soliders also developed a repuatation for being Larrikans due to ther absurd idea of fun- stealing food.
  • ANZAC Infantry Divisions land in Gallipoli

    ANZAC Infantry Divisions land in Gallipoli
    After four and a half months of training near Cairo, the ANZAC toops departed by ship for the Gallipoli peninsula, with troops from Britain and France. On 25 April 1915, 16 000 Anzac troops landed two kilometres north of the intended position at Gaba Tempe. The following primary source (quote) from Cpt. DeVine journal (4th Battalion) gives a clear image of the unplanned landing, ''many Turkish guns gave us alot of trouble, shelling our boats and causing many casualties.''
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    Gallipoli Campaign

    The Australian Infantry and Light Horse divisions landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on April 25, 1915, and thus established a set of trenches on the beach in spite of heavy Turkish fire. The allies tried to break through Turkish lines, while the Turks tried to drive the allied troops off the peninsula. Attempts on both sides ended in failure, this resulted in a stalemate. During the campaign there were 26 000 casualties among the Anzac troops, including about 10,000 deaths.
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    Battle of Lone Pine

    Battle of Lone Pine was a battle fought between ANZAC and Turkish forces that took place during the Gallipoli campaign from 6–10 August, 1915. It was part of a diversion aiming to draw attention from the main assaults of the Turkish Line. The ANZAC troops, managed to capture the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine, and as the counterattacks increased the Australians brought up two new brigades. On 9 August the Turks called off all further counterattacks and by 10 August offensive movement ceased.
  • Battle of The Nek

    Battle of The Nek
    The Battle of the Nek was a minor World War I battle fought as part of the Gallipoli campaign. "The Nek" was a narrow stretch of ridge in the Anzac battlefield on the Gallipoli peninsula. On 7 August 1915, two segments of the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade mounted a tragic and futile attack on the Ottoman trenches on the Baby 700 which involved over 1000 Australian casulaties. The Australian's were used as Cannon Fodder, due to their repuatation as Larrikans.
  • Evacuation from Gallipoli

    Evacuation from Gallipoli
    The most successful operation of the Gallipoli campaign was the evacuation of infantry and Lighthorse troops on 19 and 20 December. A well organised tactical deception operation was used in order to evacuate the troops. Consequently, as a result, the Turks were unable to inflict casualties on the retreating forces.
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    Battle of the Somme

    The aim of this offensive attack was to cut the Germans off from behind and make them so demoralised that they would surrender.British artillery failed to destroy the barbed
    wire protecting the German trenches. When the
    soldiers advanced into no man's land, they
    advanced into a non-stop barrage of German
    machine gun fire. There were 23 000 Australian casualties
    at the Somme battlefields , all of this
    effort was for the gain of about 1.5 km. German casualties were estimated at about 500,000.
  • Battle of Fromelles

    Battle of Fromelles
    On July 19th Australian and British troops from two divisions (61st Division and the 5th Australian Division) attacked German positions at Fromelles. Allied intelligence had failed to pickup that the Germans had abandoned these lines and had set up new positions about 200m behind them where they had built concrete bunkers that housed machine guns.The oncoming attacks by the Australian divisions were failures and consequently very costly in terms of firepower with 5, 533 Australian casualties.
  • Battle of Pozieres Ridge

    Battle of Pozieres Ridge
    The Australian and British infantry troops launched an attack on 23 July, 1916. The Battle of Pozieres Ridge on the Albert-Bapaume road saw the Australians and British fight hard for an area that featured an observation post over the surrounding countryside and battlefields. The Australian divisions of the Anzac Corps, having served in Gallipoli, were primarily given the task of capturing the Pozieres Ridge. The Australians troops captured the oupost, but at a cost of 5,708 casualties.
  • Battle of Romani

    Battle of Romani
    This battle fought in the Middle East signified the end of the Turkish threat on the Suez canal. The British and Australian defences were camped admist a series of large, towering sand dunes, 35 kilometres east of the canal, this position was held throughout the 4th of August. The next morning the Australian 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades advanced on foot with the bayonet. Turkish resistance collapsed at this point, and large numbers of prisoners were taken.
  • First Referendum for Conscription

    First Referendum for Conscription
    On 28 October 1916, Australians had to say YES or NO to the following question: ''Are you in favour of the Government in this time of grave emergency, the same compulsory powers of citizens in regard to their military service, for the term of this war, as it now has in regard to military service within the commonwealth.’’ The referendum failed despite a vigorious conscrition campaign by Bill Hughes. 1087557 people voted in favour of the proposal and 1160033 against the proposal.
  • Battle of Magdhaba

    Battle of Magdhaba
    Magdhaba, a village located in the northern Sinai desert, was the scene of a battle when Turkish forces blocking the route to Palestine were attacked by Major General Harry Chauvel's ANZAC Mounted Division on the 23rd of December, 1916. Success in this hard fought battle was secured through an assault with the bayonet by the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade. Another mounted charge by the 10th Light Horse secured vital water supplies and was a vital contributory factor in the victory.
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    Third Battle of Ypres

    The Third Battle of Ypres, was a major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. The plan was to break through German defences enclosing the Ypres salient, a range of trenches near the British front line, with the intention of sweeping through to the German submarine bases on the Belgian coast. However,in eight weeks of fighting Australian forces incurred 38,000 casualties. The combined total of British and ANZAC casualties had been estimated at 310,000 - only two km was gained from the attack.
  • First Battle of Passchendaele

    First Battle of Passchendaele
    The aim of this futile offensive attack was to capture Passchendaele village. The 3rd Australian Division came under German artillery fire before the offensive movement even started. Australian patrols reached Passchendaele village, but did not hold the village and were forced to retreat to their starting point. The 10th Australian Brigade was stopped by machine gun fire from its flank. The Australian and New Zealand Light Horse Brigades suffered a casualty count of nearly 3,000 men.
  • 2nd Referendum for Conscription

    2nd Referendum for Conscription
    Bill Hughes' futile attempts to introduce concription in the first referendum resulted in the Labor Party expelling Hughes from office on the 14th Novemeber, 1916. Despte the split, Hughes tried to introduce Conscritpion through a 2nd referendum with his newly formed Nationalist Pary.
    Voting for the second referendum took place on 17 December of 1917, however, again the referendum failed.
    1181747 people opposed the idea and 1059105 people were in favour of the proposal.
  • Black Day of the German Army

    Black Day of the German Army
    Australian infantry troops and approxiametely 6000 armed tanks shatter German defensive forces and consequently reach the Hindenburg line (a sustainable defensive system comprising of bared wire metal fences and concreate trenches). Thus, pushing German defensive forces back past their own bared wire fences and metal trenches of the Hindenburg Line. Consequently, the AIF and British military services gained approxiametely 10 kilometres of land.
  • Armistice Day

    Armistice Day
    The Germann Government signed a treaty (armistice) with the allies at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. This significant event represented the official end of World War 1. The Australian population consequently reacted to this news with enjoyment and happiness due to the horrific imapacts of WW1 and the bravery demonstrated by the Australian infantry and Light Horse divisions which lead to the 'Birth of Australia as a Nation' or 'Our Baptism of Fire'.