What is the ANZAC myth?

Essay by ipodrixJunior High, 8th gradeA-, October 2006

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The Anzac myth defined the qualities claimed to represent the Australian soldiers. It is about the Australian soldiers maintaining courage and mateship through hopeless conditions which pulled all of the troops together through the devastating loss of the Gallipoli Campaign.

The Anzac myth created an emerging image of the Australian identity, before Gallipoli a national identity had been lacking, just like the soldiers who were fresh and untried. After Gallipoli the nation had an image in which others could identify it to, thanks to the battle weary Australian troops who showed loyalty, bravery and courage throughout the battle.

The Anzac Myth was mentioned regularly between Charles Bean and Ashmead Bartlett, the two main historians during the campaign. They frequently reported of the courage displayed by the Australian troops fighting in the front lines. Headlines such as "Australian Heroes" created intense pride in the Australians, and helped spread the myth back home into the minds of the Australians.

The troops were seen as fit, healthy, duty bound and courageous which formed a united Australian identity. However the praise on the troops was not only from their own country.

The fighting spirits, loyalty, bravery and honesty were all praised by the British, Canadian and French troops who enjoyed fighting by their side. The Anzac troops also had their own style, they had their own slang and they were well known for their disrespect to higher ranking officers because they respected people for their personality and not for their rank. This created an identity of egalitarianism to the Australians.

The Anzac Myth portrays a sense courage in the face of adversity and self-sacrifice for the benefit of a greater good. The Anzac myth defined the ideals of mateship, courage, loyalty and friendship which continue to represent Australia today.