II ANZAC Corps
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).
|II ANZAC Corps|
|Size||3 infantry divisions and support elements|
|Engagements||World War I|
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. 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.
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. 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.