Just the words Gallipoli and Kokoda evoke such vivid imagery in our minds of war, hardship and struggle. Australia’s involvement in Gallipoli suggests a sense of mate ship,an Anzac legend, created out of total confusion. Kokoda however calls to mind a war of ideologies and of survival. But both events have their similarities and differences - how and why they started, troop experiences and how they ended and what and why we remember them are some examples .
The British Gallipoli campaign of WWI was the scene of the first major fighting by Australian soldiers. Devised by the British. The plan was intended to push enemy forces to Turkey's capital, for Turkey to capitulate which would bring the war to an early end. The forces comprised Australian and New Zealand troops; given the name ANZACS.
Alternately the Kokoda Campaign was to prevent Japan from gaining control of the administrative capital of Papua, Port Moresby. If the Japanese gained control of Port Moresby, they could use the city as a base for further attacks on Australia. Australian troops bravely fought in tremendously difficult conditions in Papua New Guinea. Both campaigns exemplified the Australian spirit and saved countless lives whilst losing many in warfare.
At the time of WWI, Australia was still a young country; for just over a century Australia had enjoyed peaceful growth and development but in 1914 it was still isolated from the rest of the world. To most Australians the war origins remained unclear, yet there was almost universal agreement on what Australia’s role would be. ‘Whatever happens’,’ said the Prime Minister Cook, " When the empire is at war, all our resources are in the Empire and for the preservation and security of the Empire." Australia was swept by a wave of emotional support for the Mother Country. Soldiers joined for different reasons. For some it was a great escape to...