old mate on the right’s face looks munted but that’s because of the angle I took the photo at, I swear.
But what is badly needed - if punters are going to learn from historical mistakes - is an education campaign explaining that Australia lost and we are commemorating a bold endeavour and retreat with honour, not a glorious victory. After all, this is Australia’s most famous and costly battle.
Asked to locate Gallipoli, some recent straw poll respondents placed it off Queensland, France, England and even the US; others could not explain ”ANZAC” and thought Australia won. It is not their fault because censored war correspondent Charles Bean reported the failed invasion as a triumph, led by heroic bronzed sportsmen bravely scaling steep cliffs at great speed and driving the defending Turks inland. They were brave, but they still lost, unlike the Western Front where Australians won battles from 1916 that helped end the war.
The truth was not revealed until prime minister Andrew Fisher sent journalist Keith Murdoch in September 1915.
When Murdoch told him the landing failed miserably, thousands were killed for little gain, an advance was impossible, hundreds were dying of disease and British leaders were incompetent, Fisher recommended retreat. ”Gallipoli is undoubtedly one of the most terrible chapters in our history,” Murdoch said.
Nevertheless Bean’s propaganda took hold. Winning the 1983 America’s Cup, entrepreneur Alan Bond proclaimed: ”This is Australia’s greatest victory since Gallipoli!” — http://www.smh.com.au/national/its-anzac-day—not-the-big-day-out-20130419-2i5a4.htm (via thewitchdoctor)