Concept

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

Summary
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was originally a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. It was formed in Egypt in December 1914, and operated during the Gallipoli campaign. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which primarily consisted of troops from the First Australian Imperial Force and 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force, although there were also British and Indian units attached at times throughout the campaign. The corps disbanded in 1916, following the Allied evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula and the formation of I ANZAC Corps and II ANZAC Corps. The corps was reestablished, briefly, in the Second World War during the Battle of Greece in 1941. The term 'ANZAC' has been used since for joint Australian–New Zealand units of different sizes. Plans for the formation began in November 1914 while the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops were still in convoy bound for, as they thought, Europe. However, following the experiences of the Canadian Expeditionary Force encamped on Salisbury Plain, where there was a shortage of accommodation and equipment, it was decided not to subject the Australians and New Zealanders to the English winter, and so they were diverted to Egypt for training before moving on to the Western Front in France. The British Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener, appointed General William Birdwood, an officer of the British Indian Army, to the command of the corps and he furnished most of the corps staff from the Indian Army as well. Birdwood arrived in Cairo on 21 December 1914 to assume command of the corps. It was originally intended to name the corps the Australasian Army Corps, this title being used in the unit diary in line with the common practice of the time which often saw New Zealanders and Australians compete together as Australasia in sporting events. However, complaints from New Zealand recruits led to adoption of the name Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
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