In this talk, Professor Gary Sheffield explores the morale, discipline and combat motivation of Australian and New Zealand troops on Gallipoli in 1915-16.
Troops were severely tested throughout the Gallipoli campaign, as a rash of short-lived ‘panics’ demonstrated. There was a distinct downturn in August 1915, which was marked by an increase in rates of sickness and self-inflicted wounds, and a ‘strike’, when a sub-unit simply refused to carry out an attack. Despite this, there was no general and permanent breakdown of morale, in the sense of unwillingness to obey the orders of higher command.
Ultimately, British and Anzac troops were characterised by stoicism and resilience in the face of appalling conditions.