As it’s Armistice Day…By 1917 British command on the Western Front regarded the 200,000 strong Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to be the best they had, elite, and wherever possible used them as shock troops in any offensive. British military historian John Terraine:
the Australian divisions and the New Zealanders had become what they were to remain for the rest of the war – the spearhead of the British Army
You can pinpoint the time when the British had become completely comfortable in the belief that Germany was finished when they decided to withdraw the almost shattered, exhausted Anzacs from the line, in October 1918.
Another interesting fact: the only time an American force has been put under the command of a foreign army was at the Battle of Hamel in July 1918, under the Australian Lieutenant General, John Monash. Parts of the US 33rd Infantry went into battle with the Australian Corps, and their commander Major General George Bell Jr exhorted his men:
you’re going into action with some mighty celebrated troops guaranteed to win and you’ve got to get up to their level and stay with them
Hamel turned out to be a stunning victory, partly for the novel tactics employed by Monash (which were immediately adopted by the British Army as a whole; the Americans though didn’t learn from them), partly because casualties, at around 1600, were very low by WWI standards.
These are interesting facts and in a healthy, normal nation many people would know them. But pick a random group of 100 young people, educated at any type of school – private, Catholic, state – and precisely zero will have any idea, because this kind of thing is not taught anymore.
They might know about the holocaust though. Every Victorian school child will visit the holocaust museum, once in primary school, once in secondary school, plus may receive in-school visits from volunteers (long range holocaust survivors) at the museum. But they are never taken to the Shrine, and never receive visits from veterans.
Our federal Treasurer, Frydenburg, thinks there are more important things:
Racism & hate stem from ignorance which is why education, particularly of our young, is so important. pic.twitter.com/vxn8mlA1tn
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) February 25, 2020
The Morrison Govt is providing $10m to Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre, helping expand the size of the museum as it increases its educational activities to reach even more Victorians & people from around Australia & the world.@M_McCormackMP @DanTehanWannon @JHCMelbourne pic.twitter.com/2pvRwbP4lq
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) April 10, 2019