Background information for students
Known variously as the Battles of Wasser, Wozzer, Wazzir, Wossa etc. this was a riot in the red light district of Cairo in a street known as the Haret El Wasser by Australian and New Zealand troops several weeks before the Gallipoli campaign started. A myth has built around it so that a lot of what happened was blown out of proportion and the causes and instigators are all given differently depending on the source.
For most of these young Australian soldiers this was their first encounter with a foreign culture and resentments against perceived injustices built up. The disciplinary repercussions were small – especially since they were on their way to battle several days afterwards. As one writer to a newspaper asked, ‘did anyone expect that Australia would send away a force of 20,000 angels?’
Three months later there was another smaller disturbance in the red light district – the lesser known Second Battle of the Wasser.
Use the sources provided, your own knowledge and other sources to answer the following questions:
- Where did the battles take place?
- When did the battles take place?
- Who was involved in the battles?
- How many people were killed and how many injured?
- What was the damage to property?
- How was the battle resolved?
- Why was it called a battle?
- How does the official version of events differ from the individual accounts?
The Making of the Modern World
Depth Study 3 Australians at War: World Wars I and II (1914-1918, 1939-1945)
The making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I (1914 - 1918) and World War II (1939 - 1945)
Significant events and the experiences of Australians at war (ACDSEH108)
using sources, students investigate the following features of each war:
- a specific event/incident
Commemorations and the nature of the Anzac legend (ACDSEH097)
- explain different perspectives on the Anzac legend
HT5-1 explains and assesses the historical forces and factors that shaped the modern world and Australia
HT5-5 identifies and evaluates the usefulness of sources in the historical inquiry process
HT5-7 explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the modern world and Australia
HT5-9 applies a range of relevant historical terms and concepts when communicating an understanding of the past
HT5-10 selects and uses appropriate oral, written, visual and digital forms to communicate effectively about the past for different audiences
|Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts
Analysis and use of sources
Perspectives and interpretations
Explanation and communication
Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts:
Analysis and use of sources:
Perspectives and interpretations:
LEARNING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
Background information for teachers
Images of Wasser
The Wasser burnt, Cairo, 1914-1918, J.F. Smith
Principal Wasser Street, Cairo, 1914-1918, J.F. Smith
"CONDUCT OF TROOPS." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 1 Apr 1915: 10. Web. 23 Sep 2013
"More LETTERS from EGYPT." Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954) 18 Apr 1915: 3. Web. 23 Sep 2013
Glossary of Slang and Peculiar Terms in Use in the A.I.F. - Australian National Dictionary Centre, ANU.