WW1. 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Evacuation from Gallipoli
The New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF, or N.Z.E.F.) was the title of the military forces sent from New Zealand to fight for Britain during World War I.
Despite the blunder at ANZAC Cove, the New Zealand soldiers fought valiantly throughout the campaign but it was a failed venture overall. The estimated casualties on both sides were 392,000 of whom 131,000 were killed, with New Zealand casualties of 2,721 dead and 4,852 wounded. The Allied forces eventually evacuated in December 1915 and early January 1916. The significance of the Gallipoli Campaign was strongly felt in New Zealand (and Australia) where it was the first great conflict experienced by the fledgling nation. Before Gallipoli the citizens of New Zealand were confident of the superiority of the British Empire and were proud and eager to offer their service. The campaign in Gallipoli shook that confidence.
The New Zealand Rifle Brigade (less two battalions) had meanwhile reached Egypt in November 1915 and was sent into the Egyptian desert to help defeat a Senussi invasion from Libya.
The 1st Battalion fought two brisk but inexpensive actions south-west of Matruh as part of a mixed force (including British, Australians, and Indians), one on Christmas Day, the other on 23 January 1916. Both were successful and broke the back of the invasion. In mid-February the 1st Battalion rejoined the rest of the brigade at Moascar in the Suez Canal area
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