Flecco wrote:I'm fortunate enough to be going on a school trip to the Western Front, Normandy and a few other spots in France/Belgium/London in June.
Your school seems to be copying my old school. Every two years a group sets off to do that. I was in the second group in 2004. We went to Turkey too, arriving in Instanbul at the same time as George Dubya, (which sucked, the city was so secure it looked like a ghost city. I'll be back there some day though.)
We were based in Çanakkale which is a really nice place and set out to the battlefields from there, ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair. Our group of fourty did a Haka near the big monument on top of Chunuk Bair which scared the other people there.
The whole Turkish campaign was a huge fuckup by the British. Not only did they cause Turkey to become enemies in the first place by refusing to give them the Battleships they bought, (Germany noticed this so sent two Battleships as a gift with the proposal to join forces,) and Churchill's whole strategy was bloody stupid, the commanders were idiots by sending wave after wave of ANZAC troops, (also Irish were a big group to suffer further down the penninsular,) into waiting gunfire. It's a sure sign of insanity to try the same thing repeatdly when it dosn' work th first time, yet somehow the commanders thought the Turks would run out of bullets?
The one successful move of the whole campaign was the retreat, in which thee were NO ANZAC CAUALTIES. The troops put a series of mechanism to fire discarded rifles at odd intervals to make the Turkish troops think that they were still there. Eventually when the Turks did venture down to the former ANZAC bases, (avoiding the booby traps which in my opinion were incredibly mean-spirited,) they actuall found gifts and lettes expressing their respect for the victors.
That's the weirdest thing righ there. During the whole Gallipoi campaign there are numerous occurences of the soldiers exchanging gifts and notes and singing songs together. The mutual respect the sides had is just so strange, but I guess warfare itself is pretty alien. My favourite story is of the exchange of food. Turkish troops threw bread and other food to the ANZACs and the ANZACs threw their rations of bully beef, (kind of like spam,) to the Turks. After trying it the Turks threw it back.