Today is Anzac Day, in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I. Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.
At the beginning of the war the New Zealand and Australian citizen armies, illustrating the robust humor of both nations, engaged in self-mockery best illustrated by this poem:
We are the ANZAC Army
We cannot shoot, we don’t salute
What bloody good are we ?
And when we get to Ber – Lin
The Kaiser, he will say
Hoch, Hoch, Mein Gott !
What a bloody odd lot
to get six bob a day.
By the end of World War I no one was laughing at the Anzacs. At the end of the war a quarter of the military age male population of New Zealand had been killed or wounded and Australia paid a similarly high price. Widely regarded as among the elite shock troops of the Allies, they had fought with distinction throughout the war, and added to their reputation during World War II. American veterans I have spoken to who have fought beside Australian and New Zealand units have uniformly told me that they could choose no better troops to have on their flank in a battle.
In 1918 four Australian divisions and the New Zealand division were locked in battle on the Western Front, grinding down the initial German offensives and then helping to lead the way in the battles of the Hundred Days that resulted in Allied victory. In the Middle East two Australian mounted divisions and a New Zealand mounted brigade performed prodigies in the battles that ended the Ottoman Empire. In 1919 Field Marshal Allenby praised the New Zealand troops who fought under his command:
“Nothing daunted these intrepid fighters: to them nothing was impossible.”
Let that stand as a tribute to all the Citizen soldiers of the Anzacs who fought in the Great War.
Hattip to my bride.
This is not an April Fool’s story:
New Zealand Post has announced its couriers will home-deliver KFC fast food, in a trial that could provide a recipe for success as letter volumes continue to dwindle.
Under a pilot scheme that started this week in the North Island town of Tauranga, KFC customers can order online and have their food delivered by NZ Post drivers.
KFC operator Restaurant Brands NZ said that while it knew how to produce food, it had no experience in logistics, making the postal service a natural fit.
“NZ Post has an extensive delivery distribution network around New Zealand, and KFC is available in most towns nationwide,” chief executive Ian Letele said.
“With the support of NZ Post, we hope to service the home delivery needs of many more KFC customers throughout New Zealand.”
Hattip to Don the Kiwi for reminding me of this anniversary. Seventy years ago on June 12, 1942 the Marines landed in New Zealand. They were the vanguard of some 20,000 Marines who would train in New Zealand before going on to hellish battlefields throughout the Pacific, including Tarawa featured in the above video. In the memoirs of the Pacific War that I have read, US troops stationed in New Zealand and Australia viewed their time there as paradise and the Aussies and the Kiwis as some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on the planet. Some US servicemen settled in both nations after the war, and some 15,000 Aussie and 1500 Kiwi women went to America as war brides. Continue Reading
A follow up to my initial post here on what is becoming known as Climategate. Now news comes from New Zealand about massaging of data by global warming proponents.
The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.
The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.
In New Zealand’s case, the figures published on NIWA’s [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century.
A special guest post for American Catholic by commenter Don the Kiwi.
Last week I attended the funeral of my wife’s uncle, James William Foy. Jim was born on 21st. January 1926, and died on the 24th, September 2009, aged 83. Jim died of bowel cancer, which was diagnosed too late for it to be operable, several months previously. Though he was raised Catholic, like some of his generation his war experiences tended to dilute the importance of our Faith to him, and though he had a crucifix, and pictures of the Sacred Heart and of Our Lady in his home, he hadn’t practised his faith for many years.
The funeral service was conducted at the Matamata funeral director’s ‘chapel.’ It was a very secular affair, and the only part remotely religious was the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer toward the end of the service. Jim had joined the RNZ Navy as soon as he left school, and after his training, was posted to HMNZS Achilles (a light cruiser, of the 1939 Battle of the River Plate fame) in 1944. Part way through the service, which was attended by a number of aged war veterans – friends of his from the local RSA (Returned Services Assn.) – an old shipmate of Jim’s named James Craig, rose and walked to the rostrum. These are his words, as best as I can recall them. Continue Reading
Today is Anzac Day. It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I. Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.