First World War, 1914-1918

Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Date started 28 July 1914
Date completed 11 November 1918

On 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany for violating Belgian neutrality. Austrlalia followed and sent troops in October 1914. Australians departed by ship for the Gallipoli peninsula, with troops from New Zealand, Britain, and France. The Australians landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915. The troops were evacuated on 19 and 20 December.After Gallipoli the AIF was reorganised and expanded from two to five infantry divisions, all of which were progressively transferred to France, beginning in March 1916.The AIF mounted division that had served as additional infantry during the campaign remained in the Middle East.In July 1916 Australian infantry were introduced to Western Front combat at Fromelles, where they suffered 5,533 casualties in 24 hours. By the end of the year about 40,000 Australians had been killed or wounded on the Western Front. In 1917 a further 76,836 Australians became casualties in battles, such Bullecourt, Messines, and the four-month campaign around Ypres, known as the battle of Passchendaele. The allied offensive, beginning on 8 August at Amiens, also contributed to Australian successes at Mont St Quentin and Peronne and to the capture of the Hindenburg Line. In early October the Australian divisions withdrew from the front for rest and refitting; they were preparing to return when Germany surrendered on 11 November. the Australians in the Middle East fought a mobile war against the Ottoman Empire. Casualties were comparatively light, with 1,394 Australians killed or wounded in three years of war. This campaign began in 1916 with Australian troops participating in the defence of the Suez Canal and the allied reconquest of the Sinai peninsular. In the following year Australian and other allied troops advanced into Palestine and captured Gaza and Jerusalem; by 1918 they had occupied Lebanon and Syria. On 30 October 1918 Turkey sued for peace.

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