Conspiracy Cafe

Conspiracy, alternative news, history, intelligence agencies

ANZACS 5 Now There Was A Day


Anzacs (named for members of the all volunteer ANZAC army formations) is a 1985 Australian five-part television miniseries set in World War I. The series follows the lives of a group of young Australian men who enlist in the 8th Battalion (Australia) of the First Australian Imperial Force in 1914, fighting first at Gallipoli in 1915, and then on the Western Front for the remainder of the war

It follows in the wake of Australian New Wave war films such as Breaker Morant (1980), Gallipoli (1981), and precedes The Lighthorsemen (1987). Recurring themes of these films include the Australian identity, such as mateship and larrikinism, the loss of innocence in war, and also the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers (the ANZAC spirit).

5 "Now There Was A Day" 31 October 1985

By summer-autumn 1918, the Anzacs are weary and yearn for the war to end. American soldiers ("Yanks") arrive in the British sector and are trained by the Anzacs. The company takes part in the Allied counter-offensives organised by General John Monash, now commanding a unified Australian Corps. With superior organisation, better co-ordination between forces and tank and air support, the attacks on Hamel achieve much success, sending the Germans falling back in retreat. Barrington recommends Flanagan to be awarded a VC after destroying a German machine gun post. In October, while clearing out an enemy-held village, both Barrington and Pudden are killed by retreating German soldiers. Over the first weeks of November, the remaining veterans wearily advance eastwards, and are overjoyed when news of the Armistice ends the war. In November 1919, one year after the conclusion of the war, the surviving veterans reunite back in Australia for the unveiling of the new war memorial. Kate and Flanagan are now a couple and Collins is set to become a journalist working for Sir Keith Murdoch. Cleary, Harris, Kaiser and Bluey also attend, as do a fragile Armstrong and Earnshaw. Reverend Lonsdale reads a moving tribute to the Anzacs, and Collins reads from the Ode of Remembrance. As a bugler plays, the scene dissolves to the fields of the Somme in the present day.

Sir Keith Arthur Murdoch (12 August 1885 – 4 October 1952) was an Australian journalist, businessman and the father of Rupert Murdoch, the current Executive chairman for News Corporation and the chairman of Fox Corporation.

First World War

In 1912, he became Melbourne political correspondent for the Sydney Sun. Losing out to the more experienced Charles Bean for the position of official Australian correspondent covering World War I, he was appointed managing editor of the London cable service run by the Sun and the Melbourne Herald in 1915. Murdoch travelled to New Zealand in January 1915 with Prime Minister Andrew Fisher, and two other MPs, the Hon. J. Boyd and the Hon. D. Hall, covering war talks between Fisher and the New Zealand Prime Minister, William Massey, just before the engagement of Australian and New Zealand troops in the Gallipoli campaign. They travelled from Wellington aboard the Ulimaroa, arriving in Sydney on 2 February 1915. Andrew Fisher and Defence Minister George Pearce then asked him to take time on his journey to London, to check on some matters of concern relating to supplies and mail for Australian troops in the conflict, so he stopped off in Egypt. While there in August, he was able to secure the permission of Sir Ian Hamilton, commander of the Dardanelles campaign in Turkey, to visit Australian troops in Gallipoli and write his impressions for the newspapers, subject to the usual military censorship. The agreement he signed specified that he was "not to attempt to correspond by any other route or by any other means than that officially sanctioned" and during the war he must not "impart to anyone military information of a confidential nature.... unless first submitted to the Chief Field Censor."

Murdoch visited Anzac Cove at the beginning of September, then moved to the headquarters on the island of Imbros. Discussing the situation with other journalists, he was befriended by the Daily Telegraph correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, who was deeply concerned that censorship was being used to suppress criticism of the Dardanelles campaign, which, as Murdoch had seen for himself, had serious problems. Murdoch agreed to carry a letter from Ashmead-Bartlett to the British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith in London, written on 8 September, presenting his uncensored report of the situation. Hamilton quickly learned about the existence of this letter (another British reporter, Henry Nevinson, has been blamed for this but his biography points to an official Royal Navy war photographer). Reaching France on his route to London, Murdoch was arrested by Military Police in Marseille and the letter was confiscated. Arriving in London on 21 September, he spent some time at the Australian High Commission composing his own letter to his Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, in a similar vein to the Ashmead-Bartlett letter and particularly critical of the British general and administrative staff:

The conceit and self complacency of the red feather men are equaled only by their incapacity. Along the line of communications, especially at Moudros, are countless high officers and conceited young cubs who are plainly only playing at war. ...appointments to the general staff are made from motives of friendship and social influence.

— Murdoch

After sending the letter to Australia, he supplied two copies to the British Munitions Minister David Lloyd George, with his letter of introduction from Andrew Fisher. Very quickly, Murdoch's letter reached Asquith and was circulated to senior ministers of the British government. Ashmead-Bartlett, expelled from the Dardanelles, reached London about this time and soon, thanks to the influence of Lord Northcliffe, proprietor of The Times, The Daily Mirror and other national newspapers, his version of events began to be published. Murdoch, initially alarmed that Northcliffe's staff had obtained a copy of his private letter, soon became a friend of the newspaper tycoon. Although his letter, written from memory, contained many mistakes and exaggerations, the main points were supported by other evidence and Hamilton was relieved of command, the subsequent operation to evacuate the troops from Gallipoli in December being accomplished with perfect effectiveness.

In 1917, while visiting the Western Front as an unofficial war correspondent, Murdoch attempted to conduct negotiations with Field Marshal Douglas Haig in support of the Australian government's policy of the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) divisions to be brought together into a united Australian Corps. Although Murdoch pushed for the appointment of Major General Brudenell White as the new corps commander while denigrating Major General John Monash (who was of Jewish German ancestry), the latter was given command when the Australian Corps was formed in 1918. Along with official war correspondent Charles Bean, Murdoch continued to lobby for Monash's demotion by appealing directly to Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes and misleading him into the belief that the A.I.F.'s senior officers were strongly opposed to Monash. When Hughes visited the front just before the Battle of Hamel intending to replace Monash, he first consulted the same senior officers and discovered that their support for their commander was strongly positive and that Monash's powers of planning and execution were excellent. The subsequent outcome of the Hamel assault closed the question of Monash's suitability but later in the same year Murdoch attempted again to convince Hughes that Monash should not control the repatriation of Australian troops.

He seemed to be more than reporting on the war. The spin doctors then and now seem to be actually orchestrating events. 

Dawn of the Legend: Roll of Honour

There was no opportunity in the first few days of the fighting at Anzac for units to compile lists of their dead. The total number of Australian casualties, killed and wounded, on the first day is estimated to be around 2,000. Many men died alone and unseen when Turkish counter-attacks overran their positions. Few of their bodies were ever recovered.



Posted by George Freund on November 9, 2021 at 6:21 PM 444 Views