II ANZAC Corps

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II ANZAC Corps
Active 1916–1917
Country

Australia Australia

New Zealand New Zealand
Allegiance British Empire
Type Corps
Size 3 infantry divisions and support elements
Engagements

World War I

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Alexander Godley United Kingdom

The II ANZAC Corps (Second Anzac Corps) was an Australian and New Zealand First World War army corps formed in Egypt in February 1916 as part of the reorganization of the Australian Imperial Force following the evacuation of Gallipoli in November 1915, under the command of William Birdwood. This corps, along with the I ANZAC Corps, replaced the original Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).[1]

General Alexander Godley, commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, assumed command of the corps after the I Anzac Corps embarked for France in late March, 1916. The corps initially comprised the two "new" Australian divisions — the Australian 4th and 5th divisions — that had been spawned from the "veteran" 1st and 2nd divisions.

In July 1916, following the arrival of II Anzac in France, the Australian 4th Division was swapped for the New Zealand Division from I Anzac, and II Anzac took over a sector of front-line near Armentières.[2] In mid-July, II Anzac lent the 5th Division to the British XI Corps for a diversionary operation that became known as the Battle of Fromelles.[3]

In the June 1917 Battle of Messines, prelude to the Third Battle of Ypres, II Anzac was the southernmost of three British divisions to attack the Messines ridge. At this time II Anzac contained the New Zealand Division, the Australian 3rd Division and the British 25th Division.[2] The Australian 4th Division was also attached to the corps as reinforcements and was to mount a follow-up attack after the assault by the other three divisions.[2]

Upon the formation of the Australian Corps in December 1917,[4] which contained all five Australian divisions, II Anzac was reformed as the British XXII Corps.[5]

References[edit]

  • Fleming, Robert (2012) "The Australian Army in World War I". Osprey Publishing, ISBN 184908632X.

See also[edit]