II Anzac Corps
The II ANZAC Corps was an Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 army corps
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...

 formed in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in February 1916 as part of the reorganization of the Australian Imperial Force
First Australian Imperial Force
The First Australian Imperial Force was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during World War I. It was formed from 15 August 1914, following Britain's declaration of war on Germany. Generally known at the time as the AIF, it is today referred to as the 1st AIF to distinguish from...

 following the evacuation of Gallipoli in November 1915, under the command of William Birdwood
William Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood
Field Marshal William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood, GCB, GCSI, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, CIE, DSO was a First World War British general who is best known as the commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.- Youth and early career :Birdwood was born...

. This corps, along with the I ANZAC Corps
I Anzac Corps
The I ANZAC Corps was a combined Australian and New Zealand army corps that served during World War I.It was formed in Egypt in February 1916 as part of the reorganisation and expansion of the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force following the evacuation of Gallipoli...

, replaced the original Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 1915 and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the First Australian Imperial...


General Alexander Godley
Alexander Godley
General Sir Alexander John Godley GCB, KCMG was a First World War general, best known for his role as commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force...

, commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
The New Zealand Expeditionary Force was the title of the military forces sent from New Zealand to fight for Britain during World War I and World War II. Ultimately, the NZEF of World War I was known as the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force...

, assumed command of the corps after the I Anzac Corps embarked for France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in late March, 1916. The corps initially comprised the two "new" Australian divisions — the Australian 4th
Australian 4th Division (World War I)
The Australian 4th Division was formed in the First World War during the expansion of the Australian Imperial Force infantry brigades in February 1916. In addition to the experienced 4th Brigade were added the new 12th and 13th Brigades...

 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
New Zealand Division
The New Zealand Division was a World War I infantry division formed in Egypt in January 1916 following the evacuation of Gallipoli. At the outbreak of war the New Zealand Expeditionary Force contained a single infantry brigade which was combined with the unattached Australian 4th Infantry Brigade...

 from I Anzac, and II Anzac took over a sector of front-line near Armentières
Armentières is a commune in the Nord department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in northern France. It is part of the Urban Community of Lille Métropole, and lies on the Belgian border, northwest of the city of Lille, on the right bank of the river Lys....

. In mid-July, II Anzac lent the 5th Division to the British XI Corps
XI Corps (United Kingdom)
XI Corps was an army corps of the British Army in World War I that served on the Western Front and in Italy. It was recreated as part of Home Forces defending the United Kingdom during World War II.-Western Front:...

 for a diversionary operation that became known as the Battle of Fromelles
Battle of Fromelles
The Battle of Fromelles, sometimes known as the Action at Fromelles or the Battle of Fleurbaix , occurred in France between 19 July and 20 July 1916, during World War I...


In the June 1917 Battle of Messines
Battle of Messines
The Battle of Messines was a battle of the Western front of the First World War. It began on 7 June 1917 when the British Second Army under the command of General Herbert Plumer launched an offensive near the village of Mesen in West Flanders, Belgium...

, 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
Australian 3rd Division (World War I)
The 3rd Division was an infantry division of the Australian Army. Existing during various periods between 1916 and 1991, it is considered the "longest serving Australian Army division". It was first formed during World War I, as an infantry division of the Australian Imperial Force and saw service...

 and the British 25th Division
25th Division (United Kingdom)
The 25th Division of the British Army was raised for the Third New Army during September 1914. It served on the Western Front for most of the First World War. The component units were assembled around Salisbury and moved to Aldershot in May 1915 to complete their training...

. 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.

Upon the formation of the Australian Corps
Australian Corps
The Australian Corps was a World War I army corps that contained all five Australian infantry divisions serving on the Western Front. It was the largest corps fielded by the British Empire army in France...

 in December 1917, which contained all five Australian divisions, II Anzac was reformed as the British XXII Corps
XXII Corps (United Kingdom)
The British XXII Corps was a British infantry corps during World War I.- History :British XXII Corps was formed in France in December 1917 from what was left of II ANZAC once the Australian divisions had left to form the Australian Corps...


See also

  • Military history of Australia during World War I
    Military history of Australia during World War I
    In Australia, the outbreak of World War I was greeted with considerable enthusiasm. Even before Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, the nation pledged its support for the Empire alongside other Commonwealth nations and almost immediately began preparations to send forces overseas to...

  • Military history of New Zealand during World War I
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