Australian and New Zealand Army Corps


an army corps formed in 1914–15 during World War I, eventually with three Australian divisions and one NZ division; formed in Egypt; saw service at Gallipoli; disbanded in 1916 following the Gallipoli evacuation and replaced with I ANZAC Corps and II ANZAC Corps. Abbrev.: ANZAC
Early in 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps headquarters in Cairo adopted the acronym ANZAC to replace the cumbersome ‘A and NZ Army Corps’; the name was suggested by British Lieutenant AT White. Commanding officer Lieutenant General William Birdwood approved the new title, and the word Anzac, which has become synonymous with the Gallipoli campaign and Australian soldiers in general, was born. The ANZACs who first went into battle at Gallipoli were part of a much larger force which consisted also of British, French and Indian troops, but because the Australians and New Zealanders were first ashore and because this was their countries’ first experience of war on such a large a scale, the campaign became peculiarly associated with them. The high reputation won by the ANZACs at Gallipoli was deserved, but it also suited elements in the British press to praise their vigour and endurance in unfavourable comparison with the prosecution of the war on the Western Front. This British adulation reinforced pride in and admiration for the ANZACs at home.
Early in 1916, following the Allied withdrawal from Gallipoli, the ANZAC Corps was split into two new formations – I ANZAC Corps, consisting of the 1st and 2nd Australian Divisions and the New Zealand Division (later re-allocated to II ANZAC), and II ANZAC Corps, consisting of the 4th and 5th Australian divisions and the NZ division (the 3rd Australian Division, still being raised in Australia, went straight to Britain, where Major General John Monash became its commander). Lieutenant General William Birdwood assumed command of I ANZAC Corps, accompanied it to France, and directed its operations throughout 1916 and 1917. In November 1917 all five Australian divisions were grouped together as the Australian Corps; the NZ division was moved to a British corps.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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