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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

ABC Radio launches day of WW1 historical programs

To mark the centenary of World War One, ABC Radio National last weekend hosted a series of special broadcasts. The Great War: Memory, Perceptions and 10 contested questions explores 10 critical questions about the war and Australia’s place in it. Have a listen to these great programs.

The ten programs are:
1. Endgame. The Hundred Days offensive brought an end to the stalemate in the trenches and saw the collapse of the Central Powers, but should the allies have occupied Germany at the end of the war, and if they had, could they have prevented WW2? This program looks at the crucial role played by the US in bringing about victory for the Entente, the legacy of the conflict on the 20th century and beyond, and how we should remember The Great War today.
Crowd in Martin Place, Sydney celebrating the news of the signing of the armistice. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
2. Other Voices, Other Battles.The colonies of Britain and France fielded millions of men from places like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, West Africa, Madagascar and Indo-china – not to mention India, and thousands of  labourers from the Chinese mainland. Could the Entente powers have survived the war without the assistance of these troops and workers? And how did the issue of race determine where these men served, the kind of work they were made to do, and the casualty rates amongst them?
Two members of a Chinese Labour Company carrying their equipment during the British retirement in France, 24 March 1918. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
3. God and Country.  What part did religion play in WW1, and what impact did the conflict have on morality and belief? Throughout the war, churches and religious leaders on all sides were enthusiastic supporters of the slaughter, viewing the conflict as a war for civilisation against a godless and barbaric enemy and using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But was the Great War a holy war?
Archbishop Daniel Mannix campaigned prominently against conscription (Donaldytong/Wikipedia Commons) 
4. The view from Berlin.  Did Germany engineer the war for its own territorial ambitions, or was it a victim of the complicated diplomatic web that bound it to an unstable Hapsburg empire? The issue of German culpability is still hotly debated today, not least amongst German historians. We take the view from Berlin to find out how the war was perceived within the borders of the Central Powers.
 
Did the Kaiser steer Germany towards war? (WikiImages/pixabay)

5. The Pen and the Sword. How important is WW1 literature - the ironic poetry of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, the vivid memoirs of Robert Graves - to the way we remember the war today? In this program, we look at the canon of literature that emerged out of the Great War, its impact on how we understand the war today, and also at the literature that didn’t stick in the popular mind - the material that's been left behind and long forgotten.
 
Siegfried Sassoon, one of the most famous war poets, who was treated for shell-shock after declaring his opposition to the war in 1917 (George Charles Beresford/Wikipedia Commons)

6. Hell and Healing. Shellshock, poison gas, concussion, the loss of limbs and disfiguring facial wounds. Along with trench foot, these were the kind of injuries common in WW1. Industrial warfare forced doctors and nurses to find new ways to treat the wounded, maimed and psychologically damaged. What insights did the war give us into human suffering, and how have future generations benefited from this?

Camel ambulances flying the Red Cross Banner, with cacolets used to transport wounded on the camels. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
 7. The Enemy Within. No issue divided the people of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and America more than that of conscription. In each of these countries, Anarchists, syndicalists, Marxists, Christian pacifists, women's groups and intellectuals all appealed to our unease over conscription as part of their wider opposition to the war. So were the soldiers at the front let down by some of the people at home?
Anti-conscription leaflet by the Australian Labor Party (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
8. Sideshows. Entente commanders believed that the war would be decided on the Western Front and that everything else was a “sideshow”, but the Great War also raged in Italy, Austria, Russia, Palestine, Turkey, and New Guinea. These theatres of the war clearly weren’t just sideshows for those who took part. So how were they experienced by the soldiers on the ground, and how important were they to the outcome of the war itself?
The Australian Infantry Signal School in front of the Sphinx and Pyramid. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
 9. Lions and Donkeys. Many of us were taught in school that WW1 was mishandled by incompetent military leaders. "Lions led by donkeys" became a common phrase used to compare courageous soldiers with their bumbling commanders. But how accurate is the stereotype of the red-faced General, safely holed up in chateaux miles behind the lines, wasting the lives of brave soldiers in futile and badly planned battles?

Group portrait of five decorated Australian Flying Corps officers 1919-20 (Australian War Memorial/ The Commons)
 10. The Contested Beginning. After 100 years and millions of hours of academic research the causes and origins of WW1 are as contested as ever – why? Over the century almost every European leader and nation has been blamed for the outbreak of the war. Many ism’s have also been blamed; colonialism, nationalism and even a non-ism - stupidity. But today there are some historians who argue that no one nation, leader or event was to blame, but that Europe simply slid into war.
The first page of the edition of the Domenica del Corriere, an Italian paper, with a drawing depicting Gavrilo Princip killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo (Achille Beltrame/Wikipedia Commons)
For the link to these programs, please click below:

ABC Radio World War One programs

Jim Claven 
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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