Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The battle of Gallipoli began 96 years ago today. For the Allied Powers, the fighting was done primarily by soldiers from Australia and New Zealand.

After the Royal Navy tried to force its way through the Dardanelles, the British waited six weeks before launching an invasion. The delay allowed the forces of the Ottoman Empire time to prepare to resist the forthcoming invasion. The Allied forces were never able to push the Ottoman soldiers from the high ground and the British eventually evacuated the beaches.

Gallipoli arguably began the final separation of the colonies of Australia and New Zealand from Great Britain. At the end of the Great War, the former colonies began to conduct their own foreign policy and formed separate armed forces. Part of that seemed to be a political souring at home towards allowing the Pommies to control the use of Australian and New Zealand troops, as the battle gave rise to the view that the English were all too cavalier about the lives of soldiers from other nations of the Commonwealth.

Winston Churchill, who had advocated fighting the battle, lost his position of First Lord of the Admiralty. Despite the slaughter of Gallipoli, Churchill continued to regard the Balkans as "the soft underbelly of Europe", though in the next war, the Allied commanders didn't listen to him.

On the other side of the line, the battle began the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who during the battle, issued an order that included the line: "I do not command you to fight, I command you to die."

ANZAC Day is equivalent with our Veterans' Day.

And so, in honour of the Aussies and the Kiwis:

Update: By Eric Bogle, the writer of the song.


BadTux said...

Kemal Ataturk is one of those names almost unknown here in the West, which is a shame, because a study of the guy blows your mind. I mean, without him there *is* no Turkey. Can you say that about any one of the U.S. founding fathers? I think not. If George Washington had never existed, some other general would have issued the order "Retreat!" just as readily as Washington did. If Thomas Jefferson had never existed, someone else, perhaps Patrick Henry, would have written the stirring words of our Declaration of Independence. If James Madison hadn't existed, someone else would have codified all the ramblings of the Constitutional Convention into a single Constitution document to be signed by everybody. But if Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had not existed, there would be no Turkey -- there would have been British and French protectorates in the area of modern Turkey until after WW2, but no modern state of Turkey. It boggles the mind to realize that so much of the history of a nation is tied up in the person of one single human being...

- Badtux the History Geek Penguin

jbrock said...

Clancy has one of the better versions of that song, IMHO.

Stewart Dean said...

Clancy may be good, but better is the man who wrote the song, Eric Bogle...in *1971*. Wonder why then? Here's the original:
As a solo with just him and piano:

The story of the song (it was a sleeper)

Stewart Dean said...

One more..........the kicker is at the very end.

"Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well" - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, sent to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934

Batocchio said...

Thanks. I've used that Bogle version on YouTube with the great photos before for 11/11 Armistice Day, but I was first introduced to the song as a kid by Makem and Clancy.