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ANZAC nations mark centenary of Gallipoli rout


The centenary of the ill-fated landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli beach in Turkey, a rout many historians blame on poor military planning by Britain, will see nationwide remembrances in ANZAC countries and an oversubscribed ceremony at Gallipoli itself.

The Gallipoli landings and ANZAC involvement in World War I helped define Australian and New Zealand as nations.

Britain's Prince Charles is expected to be one of the 10,000 Gallipoli visitors, along with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

The small constrained area surrounded by the sea and steep terrain can hold only about a quarter of the 40,000 who applied to attend. The 40,000 were whittled down with a randomly-drawn ballot. Australia's quota is 8,000 passes, New Zealand's 2,000 and the remaining 500 will be reserved for representatives from Turkey and other countries involved in the conflict, and a small number of VIPs from Australia and New Zealand.

The 1:4 allocation is based on the relative number of casualties suffered by New Zealand and Australia during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Part of the allied Dardanelles Campaign in World War I, the Gallipoli landings proved to be a rout by Turkish forces, with ANZAC troops suffering a disproportionate number of the combined British, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, and French casualties.

Dardanelles Campaign (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Australian Gallipoli web

New Zealand Gallipoli web

Prince tipped for Gallipoli centenary (AAP/The Australian 14 Apr 2014 AAP 2014)

Date written/update: 2014-05-15