SYDNEY, March 19 (Xinhua) -- A senior historian questioned on Thursday why Australia focuses so much on the WWI ANZAC campaign in Turkey when far many more of its people's lives were lost in Europe in the so-called Great War.
The ANZACs, the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, were deployed to Gallipoli on English orders on April 25, 1915.
The doomed seven-month campaign saw 8,159 Australian lives lost. It has become the major national symbol of the country coming of age and its impending centenary anniversary will be the biggest national event of the year.
But professor Hew Strachan of the History of War at Oxford University in England told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Australia's involvement on the Western Front in France and Belgium a year later was more significant.
"Australia suffered far more losses in 1916 on the Western Front than it does at Gallipoli," he said.
"Are you somehow diminishing those if you highlight Gallipoli?"
In all more than 46,000 Australians died on the Western Front and 132,000 were injured when the country had a population of just under 5 millions.
Thousands of Australians flock to Gallipoli on April 25 - ANZAC Day - every year, many more than gather in France and Belgium.