What does ANZAC stand for?
ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”. The ANZAC was formed during World War I with troops from Australia’s Imperial Force and New Zealand’s Expeditionary Force. This army corps was actually formed in Egypt back in 1915 and took part in the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey.
It was on the 15th day of April 1915 when the ANZAC reached Gallipoli cove to battle with the Turkish troops. In command at that time was a general named William Birdwood. The ANZAC lasted only for about one year and was disbanded after the withdrawal of allied troops from the Gallipoli cove or peninsula. Its disbanding though led to the formation of I and II ANZAC Corps’.
Australasian Army Corps was the original name given to the group. At that time, the term “Australasia” was widely used in sporting activities and events participated by both New Zealanders and Australians. But some people from New Zealand opposed to the term and so the ANZAC name was adopted. Back in 1914, plans of forming this army corps already took place. It was during this time when troops from both countries were headed to Europe to train. But to escape the harsh winter in England, the Australian and New Zealander troops were redirected to a warmer location in Egypt. The training of the troops commenced in Egypt and then later the entire troop transferred to France. But having Australia and New Zealand in the term ANZAC does not mean that the army corps was exclusive to both countries. In fact, the ANZAC was composed of other troops including those from the British, Irish, and Indian infantry and artillery divisions.
The battle at the Gallipoli cove in Turkey marked the first major participation of Australian and New Zealand army troops in World War I. The day the troops landed in Turkey is celebrated as the “Anzac Day” in both Australia and New Zealand and in other countries like Tonga, Niue, and the Cook Islands. Anzac Day commemorates the contribution of the soldiers and troops of both countries during World War I.