Contribution and Performance of the AIF at Gallipoli

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The AIFS contribution to the Gallipoli campaign was extremely great. On the 19th of August 1914 Australia began organizing a force to go to war. This force was named the Australian Imperial Force or AIF. Eventually on the morning of the 25th of April 1915 the AIF were sent into battle at the Gallipoli Peninsula. They landed at Anzac Cove a few miles south of were they were supposed to land. Although the overall campaign was a failure the AIF still performed brilliantly even though it seemed almost everything was against them.

During the first landing at Gallipoli the Australians were massacred. Over 2000 were dead or wounded on just the first day. They fought it out fighting for the higher ground whilst men beside them were getting shot down onto the flats below. They soon captured the first line of trenches and had to climb with there hands and knees to reach the second set however they got there eventually.

This sheer determination is a fantastic example of the AIFs courage. Ashmead Bartlett was quoted as describing this as “the race of athletes” this creates a great picture of what it would have been like at the time.

Some of the achievements of the AIF are that they captured a strong strategic point at lonesome pine and they also assisted in the capture of Chunuk Bair and HILL Q. They did this with many things against them including that they landed at the wrong spot. They were supposed to land at Gaba Tepe however they landed at Anzac Cove. This was a fatal mistake as Anzac Cove was virtually cliff faces yet the Anzacs still charged up them. Also, they were untrained men from Australia who were given a gun. Faced with this unexpected situation the Australians scrambled up the cliffs hunting down the Turks who were bombarding them with bullets from above. They did this as this is what there commanders would have told them to do. They could have given up in times like this however they stuck it out.

Throughout the whole campaign they fought for the high ground grinding it out for those vital meters. However sometimes they were massacred including the battle at the Nek. This was a battle of the light horse brigade. They were charging over a piece of land 16m wide and 40m long with only bayonets facing 4 machine guns and huge amounts of rifles. At the end of this battle 57 out of 550 soldiers were still alive. Overall the AIF’s contribution was extraordinary although they only reached 1 kilometer inland and 3 kilometers wide it was still an amazing feat considering what they were up against.

Tom Heber, Word Count: