New Zealand and Australian Division
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|New Zealand and Australian Division|
|Country|| New Zealand
|Branch|| New Zealand Military Forces
|Part of||Australian and New Zealand Army Corps|
First World War
The New Zealand and Australian Division was formed at the start of the Battle of Gallipoli as a composite division under the command of New Zealand general Alexander Godley. At the start of World War I New Zealand had mustered insufficient infantry battalions to form their own division while Australia did not have enough to form a second division so the brigades were combined. After Gallipoli, the Australian 4th Brigade was moved to the newly formed Australian 4th Division while New Zealand formed their own division, the New Zealand Division.
The history of the New Zealand and Australian Division was brief but distinguished. It existed as a formation only for the duration of the Gallipoli campaign, after which its constituent brigades became the veteran foundation for two new divisions; the Australian 4th Division and the New Zealand Division.
The division was the second division of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that made original landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. The Australian 1st Division made the initial landing and the NZ & Aus Division came ashore as the day progressed. Some of the 4th Brigade would not land until the evening. The division's battalions were swiftly drawn into the chaotic fighting on the left (or north) of the landing area. The first to enter the battle were the Auckland and Canterbury Battalions which joined the struggle on the Baby 700 around midday.
The New Zealanders took up positions along Walker's Ridge which formed the extreme left flank of the landing area. The Australian 4th Brigade, which landed last, was sent to fill the gap between the left and right flanks of the Anzac perimeter, which required holding positions across the head of Monash Valley. As a result of these dispositions, by the end of the first day the immediate division of responsibility had the NZ & Aus Division holding the left flank of the landing and the 1st Division holding the right and centre.
The New Zealand and Australian Division was formed in December 1914 from the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade and two mounted infantry brigades, the 1st Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles supported by New Zealand artillery. The staff and the divisional commander Major General Godley, came from New Zealand.
- New Zealand Infantry Brigade
- Australian 4th Infantry Brigade
- 13th Battalion (New South Wales)
- 14th Battalion (Victoria)
- 15th Battalion (Queensland & Tasmania)
- 16th Battalion (Western Australia & South Australia)
- Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment
- Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment
- Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment
Normally a British or dominion division contains three brigades. At the time of the landing at Anzac Cove, the intention had been to complete the NZ & Australian Division with the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade, commanded by Major General Vaughn Cox, however as the situation at the Helles landing deteriorated, General Sir Ian Hamilton directed Cox's brigade there to support the British 29th Division.
When in May 1915 the Australian and New Zealand mounted soldiers were sent to Gallipoli as infantry reinforcements, the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade joined the division. As mounted brigades contained fewer men than infantry brigades, and these brigades had left a portion of their strength in Egypt to attend the horses, each brigade mustered only about 1500 men and hence combined were roughly equivalent to the missing infantry brigade.
- Battle of Gallipoli