Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Anzacs and Gallipoli

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/

The above site is just one source of information on the setting up of the Anzacs, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and their exploits. 'Anzac Day' is held on the 25th April every year to commemorate the Anzac landings at Gallipoli in Turkey on 25th April 1915, an action of some renown, some might say infamy. These annual commemorations are primarily to honour the bravery of those who fought there (and in other places afterwards) and who suffered huge losses, but achieved very little in military terms. These days the memorial services are as much to do with Turkish losses which were also great. Along with those who fought so bravely and so well, the day also brings to mind the ineptitude of those in command, those at the top of the hierarchy who sent these men into battle, for example, one wave of troops is said to have landed on the wrong beach giving them the almost impossible task of getting off that beach because of the surrounding cliffs. But this is not meant to be a definitive summary, there are many web sites which deal with Gallipoli in one way or another, I am simply interested in looking at the astrology of that ominous day in 1915.


The first problem becomes apparent with the chart because there are various times given for the first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli. The abovementioned web site provides a time of 4.10am from one source, and 4.30am to 4.45am on the timeline. If anyone has a definitive time of the first Anzac landing, I'd be obliged if they'd let me know. I've opted for 4.30am and this is based on the chart, although there are few differences through to 4.45am. The 4.10am time gives a different perspective.

At 4.30am with Aries rising, its ruler, Mars is just above the horizon and I took this as the troops just reaching land, but the time could as easily have been four or five
minutes earlier when an even closer match is obtained. Having a strong Mars as a significator in a chart relating to war is of course the best that can be hoped and here it is not only strong, but the strongest in the chart. So, if that's the case, why did this expedition fail and a withdrawal effected less than a year later? The fighting force is not the only issue in battles, the strength of command, the continuity of supplies and communications are just as vital; without even one of these being in place, no amount of bravery will win.

I'm going to use Christian Astrology by William Lilly to find my arguments and this should present no problem because the nature of war does not change, its essence remains the same. At the time that this book was published, England was in the midst of a fierce civil war; many battles were fought and many lives were lost. Even so, Lilly reports from much older authorities in times when the arrow and the siege engine replaced the bullet and the cannon.

It would be tempting to investigate the aphorisms for beseigement, and some certainly would apply, but the battle for Gallipoli reached a point where it was difficult to say who was besieging whom, although I'm sure that the soldiers and sailors fighting in the battle would have their own ideas on that. So, I will examine the section in Christian Astrology from page 380 to page 383, "Of Commanders in Armies, their abilities, fidelity, and whether by them Victory may be had yea or not, &c.". This is a simple exercise that you can apply for yourselves.

The Anzacs are signified by the 1st house, Aries and Mars; the 7th house, Libra and Venus signify the Turkish defenders and reinforcements. The first indicator here is fulfilled: "An Infortune in the ascendant...it notes, the querent, or that side he takes part with, will not amange their matters well, or prosecute the Warre discreetly:". Mercury is the ruler of the sign intercepted in the 6th house, an unfortunate house, and is thus unforutnate itself. the same might be said about the Sun, even though it is in a different sign from that rising. Just concentrating on this for a moment, you will also see that the South Node is conjunct the 6th cusp with the Moon also in the 6th. This house, in "Christian Astrology" relates to "the Carriage-Horse attending the army...", and mules and horses were used at Gallipoli, but we can take this as transport in the terms intended by Lilly. This then suggests that transport was a problem, in that getting supplies and equipment from place to place actually caused serious problems because the rulers are placed in the 1st house.

These infortunes in the 1st also indicate that that there was no "good cause" for this expedition and this was, in fact, true because (albeit with hindsight) it is known that the Royal Navy could have achieved its goal if it had persisted because the Turkish army had run out of ammunition after the first bombardments. Had it done so, the landings would not have been necessary at all. As it was, the bombardment gave the Turks notice and they brought up supplies and reinforcements in the interim.

"If an Infortune be in the fourth, the place where the Warre is like to be, or where the Armies engage, is like to be unfit for the querent's Army:..." In this chart there is no infortune in the 4th, but Mars aspects the cusp closely by square. Even though Mars is well dignified and is ruler of the 1st, it is also ruler of the 8th and thus has some claim to being unfortunate. Certainly, stuck on a beach with the sea behind you is no place to have a battle. Exalted Jupiter is in a trine with the 5th cusp and this indicates that "If Mars be in the fift, well dignified, or the good aspects of the Fortunes irradiate that house,... the Army or Souldiers on the querent's part, will be good Souldiers, apt for fight, and obedient to their Officers;". Since there is no querent because this is an event chart, we might extend the argument about Mars to its 1st house position. There are no fortunes in the 8th house and so "much destruction of men will follow, or wil there be many men wounded, or their wounds difficult to cure;" to reverse the aphorism. Notice that Mars rules this house and is strong in dignity, thus it is capable of great bloodshed. Jupiter also holds a square to the 9th house cusp, it is fairly well-off in terms of dignity and so we might allow this to be less harmful and indeed the Turks were in a very good position, situated as they were above the Anzacs; Turkish snipers did enormous damage.

"...but if Saturn or the South Node be therein [the 10th], or Mars, any wayes unfortunate, the Officers and Captaines are very asses and buzzards, have no judgement, simple Fellowes, the whole designe [plan] is like to be overthrowne by their knavery, and want of discretion and judgment; I meane, the greater part of the Officers, &c. they are more fit for hanging, then to Command." This statement seems a little excessive, and this exact configuration isn't present anyway, but Mars does have a square to the 10th cusp, and even though this aspect occurs in signs of short ascension, it doesn't bode well in these circumstances. Furthermore, the 10th is ruled by an undignified Saturn. As Saturn is disposited by Mercury, it seems to me that bad communications were as much to blame. The lower ranking officers have no fortune in the 11th to support them, although exalted Venus does cast a sextile to the cusp, indicating that the officers on the ground were less at fault than those higher up.

And so we move to the 12th house: "If a Fortune be in the twelft house, those against whom the Army is to go, are well provided, and resolved to defend thelselves; they agree well, feare nothing, will stand it out to the last:"

So, we have a strong Mars for the Anzacs, but this planet also rules the turned 2nd of the Turkish resources, furthermore, Turkish supplies and ammunition are
signified by an exalted Jupiter. This when added to the slightly more elevated position of Venus in exaltation provides additional testimony of the position of the Turkish troops. We should not forget the poor decision-making of the upper eschelons of the Allied forces, because this was the single greatest obstacle to victory which even that very strong Mars could not overcome.

A quiet withdrawal of the Anzacs, with few casualties, was achieved by 19th December 1916, just short of 8 months after the landings. The Moon applies to a trine of
the Sun, revealing the errors and the futility of further attempts, in about 41' of arc. When proprotioned to a year, this equates to about 8 months.

The total number of deaths among the British, French, Australian, New Zealander, Indian and Turkish forces was over 130,000, The Turkish forces losing almost twice the number lost by the Allied forces. In terms of population size, New Zealand suffered the highest percentage of Allied deaths. No wonder then that both sides participate in Anzac Day.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

Hi Sue, I got this back from the Waiouru Army Museum Education Officer.

The Australians landed at dawn (around about 530 am), New Zealand troops
started landing at about 930 in the morning - not a great time to be
attacking another country as they can see you!!

Sue Ward said...

Thank you for this information. Another reader sent me this information - it's nice to see people interested in the Anzacs. You might not be aware that certainly that the Anzacs earned great respect amongst the armed forces of other countries. I know that because my father told me from his experiences in the Second World War.