Australia's involvement in World War I

Essay by maryyJunior High, 9th gradeB, October 2007

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Why Australians were sent to fight at Gallipoli?Australia went to war because we were part of the British Empire. There was enormous enthusiasm. Most Australians in 1914 were of a British descent and many still referred to Britain as the ‘motherland’. They stated that they were willing to fight for ‘king and country’.

On 28th June 1914, the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated. This started a war between the two alliances Triple Entente VS Triple Alliance. British have joined with Russia and France in an alliance called the Triple Entente, while Germany was linked with Austria-Hungary and Italy in the Triple Alliance.

Australians are well known for fighting Turkey (on German's side) at Gallipoli. They fought as the Anzacs - Australia New Zealand Army Corps.

They chose the battle site Gallipoli because it was an alternate route for Germany and they could get supplies there from Russia.

Other reasons men rush to enlist included:- Australian soldiers became the best paid in war. They received six shillings a day, while a labourer received half of this.

- A sense of adventure and opportunity to travel back ‘home’ at government expense.

-Men’s feeling that it was their ‘duty’ to enlist.

Difficulties soldiers experienced at Gallipoli and some of the causes of these difficultiesThe landing at Gallipoli was difficult, soldiers had to arrive swimming to shore. Many soldiers couldn’t make it to shore because of their heavy packs they carried and many couldn’t swim.

The basic living conditions were very difficult. Lack of dirty water, swarms of flies, lice, no clean clothes to change into, poor food and sickness such as dysentery, diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and infestations of lice. It was virtually impossible to keep clean. Toilets were open pits.

Over the next few months, fighting was fierce.