Introduction: The Anzacs (01:09)
When Britain went to war against Nazi Germany in September 1939, her entire empire loyally followed. Few countries contributed more proportionally than Australia and New Zealand, whose troops gained reputations as fierce fighters and rugged individualists.
Anzacs: Origins (05:29)
Australia and New Zealand had only recently become self-governing nations when the Great War broke out in 1914. Both countries sent troops to fight in the conflict, and they formed the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, aka the Anzacs.
Anzacs: Early Battles (10:59)
The 6th Australian Division participated in the British assault on the Italians in Libya in January 1941. The Australians helped capture the Italian-held Port of Bardia and Tobruk before advancing on Benghazi. The Anzacs participated in key battles in the Middle East, Greece, Yugoslavia and Crete.
Operation Crusader (02:42)
Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck launched Operation Crusader to relieve the Siege of Tobruk on Nov. 18, 1941. The New Zealand Division made a significant contribution to wearing down Axis forces and taking control of Cyrenaica.
Fighting in the South Pacific (15:50)
The governments of Australian and New Zealand requested the return of troops from the Middle East following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Anzacs participated in the unsuccessful defense of Malaya, and the Japanese bombed the Australian town of Darwin. Douglas MacArthur assumed control of Allied forces in the South Pacific.
El Alamein and Mareth (04:55)
The British had constructed a defense line at El Alamein, and the New Zealand Division helped Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery repel German forces there. New Zealanders also took part in the final defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia in May 1943.
Anzacs in Italy and Borneo (05:11)
The New Zealanders fought the Nazis at the Battle of Monte Cassino and helped break through German defenses at the Gothic Line in April 1945. Australian forces helped liberate Borneo in the Dutch East Indies. Anzac prisoners of war were finally liberated from grueling conditions.
Credits: Gladiators of World War II: The Anzacs (00:56)
Credits: Gladiators of World War II: The Anzacs
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