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Uncover the stories that trace how the First World War changed the face of Queensland as you explore the Anzac Legacy Gallery.
How could an event on the other side of the world have had such a strong and lasting impact on us all?
The Anzac Legacy Gallery tells the fascinating story of the First World War in Queensland; the people and the things they held close – objects of war and warfare and personal items belonging to those on the front line.
Nearly 58,000 Queenslanders enlisted and more than ten times as many civilians supported their war efforts back home. As time has gone by, the ripples of the war have subsided, but the stories remain.
Uncover the stories, objects and journeys that trace how the First World War changed the face of Queensland and continues to shape our lives, a century later.
See inside Mephisto
Explore the hidden details of Mephisto. Take a virtual trip inside the tank or get up close and personal with inscriptions, a bird’s eye view and bullet damage though interactive displays. Delve into the history and technology of the German A7V Sturmpanzerwagen Mephisto and explore the tank’s combat history and understand how it operated.
In late 1917 the German Army produced 20 A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tanks which were deployed in combat the following year. Crewed with 18 men, the cumbersome war machines clambered into action in April 1918. The German tanks were engaged in actions at such places as Villers-Bretonneux, a small French village that was recaptured by Australian soldiers at the cost of 1,200 lives. The A7V’s were involved in the first tank versus tank action.
Named Mephisto by its crew, this 30-tonne tank was part of an advance towards the French town of Amiens, resulting in the capture of Villers- Bretonneux and the temporary retreat of Allied forces. During the battle, Mephisto became stuck in a shell crater and was abandoned by its crew. It remained on the battlefield for months before troops of the 26th Battalion AIF, composed mainly of Queenslanders, regained lost ground and retrieved it, dragging the tank behind Australian lines under the cover of darkness.
It was sent to Australia as a war trophy, arriving at Norman Wharf in June 1919 where it was towed by two Brisbane City Council steamrollers to Queensland Museum, then located in Fortitude Valley. It remains the sole surviving A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tank in the world.
Eventually Mephisto was shipped to Brisbane and preserved at Queensland Museum.
Anzac Legacy Gallery explores the First World War from a Queensland perspective, examining the war itself, its impacts from the multiple viewpoints of those in the front-line as well as their families, friends and associates back in Queensland, and its legacies, both historical and contemporary, which have had a lasting or profound impact on this state and its peoples.
Mephisto, an iconic object and Queensland Museum’s most valuable collection item, has a central role in the gallery, acting as a pivotal object to connect the two gallery spaces Queensland at War and Queensland Remembers.
This exhibition will support the development of historical knowledge and understanding and inspire research and analysis skills.
Explore the Anzac Legacy Gallery from anywhere in the world with our virtual tour. Navigate around the exhibition to uncover stories, objects, videos and more.
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