Saturday, 24 April 2010

‘Cold brutality of campaign that changed a nation’

From Paul Moon’s piece in this week’s Herald, ‘Cold brutality of campaign that changed a nation’:

    _quote For the New Zealand public - which had been kept immune from some of the early episodes of fighting by a heavily censored media - Gallipoli was the abrupt moment of realisation of the extent of annihilation the war was capable of inflicting.
    “Ironically, it was the fact that Gallipoli was a defeat that made it such a potent focus of attention for later generations of New Zealanders.
    “The sort of elation that erupts over victories is usually a short-lived thing - a moment in which bursts of jubilation and relief flare, only to grow quickly dim, and then become extinguished altogether.
    “Brooding over defeats, on the other hand - particularly those that are so traumatic for the populations of the suffering countries - not only seems to ingrain the event deeper in the recesses of people's minds, but can sometimes take on a life of its own, making ‘men to live eternally, or, being dead, raise them to life again,’ in the words of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.”

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, not sure about that. Do the Americans mark July 4th more than the withdrawal from Vietnam? Or do the Brits mark the winning of WWII more less emphatically than the Germans, Italians or Japanese?

    I think what made it key to the "national psyche" (if such a thing were to exist) was that we fought valiantly and as independent divisions, albeit 'supported' by the British (esp. Navy).


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