Open main menu

Portal:Military history of Australia

The Military history of Australia Portal

The RAN Ensign
The flag of Australia
The RAAF Ensign

The military history of Australia spans the nation's 230-year modern history, from the early Australian frontier wars between Aboriginals and Europeans to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 21st century. Although this history is short when compared to that of many other nations, Australia has been involved in numerous conflicts and wars, and war and military service have been significant influences on Australian society and national identity, including the Anzac spirit. The relationship between war and Australian society has also been shaped by the enduring themes of Australian strategic culture and its unique security dilemma.

As British offshoots, the Australian colonies participated in Britain's small wars of the 19th century, while later as a federated dominion, and then an independent nation, Australia fought in the First World War and Second World War, as well as in the wars in Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam during the Cold War. In the Post-Vietnam era Australian forces have been involved in numerous international peacekeeping missions, through the United Nations and other agencies, including in the Sinai, Persian Gulf, Rwanda, Somalia, East Timor and the Solomon Islands, as well as many overseas humanitarian relief operations, while more recently they have also fought as part of multi-lateral forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, nearly 103,000 Australians died during the course of these conflicts. Read more...

Selected article

Australiantroopsembarking.jpg

The Battle of Greece was an important World War II battle which occurred on the Greek mainland and in southern Albania. The battle was fought between the Allies (Greece and the British Commonwealth) and the Axis (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) forces. The battle of Greece began on October 28, 1940, when Fascist Italy invaded Greece, and ended with the fall of Kalamata in the Peloponnese. With the Battle of Crete and several naval actions it is considered part of the wider Aegean component of the Balkans Campaign of World War II. The British Commonwealth troops were sourced mainly from the Australian 6th Division which played a key role in the battle, while units of the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy also took part in the battle.

Selected picture

HMAS Canberra (FFG 02) Harpoon.jpg

Photo credit: PH3 Chris Holmes USN
HMAS Canberra launching her first Harpoon missile near the Pacific Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, California. Three UH-1 Iroquois helicopters provide aerial coverage of the launching.

Selected quote

Without any inhibitions of any kind I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom
Prime Minister John Curtin, 27 December 1941

Selected anniversaries

July 17

Did you know

  • ...that the 2/12th Field Ambulance suffered the highest rate of casualties for a non-combatant unit in Australian history?
  • ...that the Office of Australian War Graves is also responsible for the maintenance of some 20,000 graves of Commonwealth war dead in 76 war cemeteries and plots and in numerous civil cemeteries, as well as Memorials to the Missing listing over 3,000 names?

New articles

News

28 May 2019 – Australia–China relations, South China Sea dispute
Australian helicopters, from the Royal Australian Navy flagship HMAS Canberra, are forced to make an emergency landing after being targeted by lasers from fishing boats in the South China Sea. The Canberra was being trailed by a Chinese warship. (AP via MSN.com)

Selected biography

Alfred John Shout at Quinns Post.jpg

Alfred John Shout VC, MC born in Trentham, New Zealand (7 August 1881 – 11 August 1915). Following service in the Second Boer War, Shout emigrated to Australia in 1907, joined the 29th Infantry Regiment and was commissioned as second lieutenant on 16 June 1914. Shout was the most highly decorated Australian of the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915, being awarded the Military Cross during the landing at Anzac Cove in April and receiving the Victoria Cross posthumously during the Battle of Lone Pine in August. He was also Mentioned in Despatches twice.

Daily unit

HMAS Arunta

The second HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) is an Anzac class frigate currently in service with the Royal Australian Navy. Arunta was built at Williamstown, Victoria and was commissioned in December 1998. Since her commissioning Arunta has been deployed to patrol northern Australian waters on a number of occasions. The ship first saw active service in 2002 when she was deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper. During this deployment Arunta conducted more boardings than any other ship had previously conducted while enforcing the sanctions imposed on Iraq.

Selected equipment

A Royal Australian Air Force Boeing Wedgetail

The Boeing Wedgetail is an aircraft developed to meet Australian specifications for an Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force ordered six Wedgetails, with the first airframes arriving in November 2009. The RAAF's first operational sortie with the aircraft came in 2014 and the following year the aircraft fleet achieved final operational capability. The aircraft has also been purchased by several other air forces around the world, including the Turkish Air Force, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

WikiProjects

Major topics

Army • History
Armoured Units, Army Aviation, Corps, First Australian Imperial Force, Second Australian Imperial Force, Brigades, Cadets, Royal Military College, Enlisted Ranks, Memorial, Officer Ranks, RAR, Regiments, Senior Officers, Regional Surveillance Units, Structure, VC Recipients, Weapons

RAN • History
Admiral of the Fleet, Bases, Cadets, Clearance Divers, Current Ships, Fleet Air Arm, Future, Historic ships, HMAS, Memorial, Patrol Boat Group, Persian Gulf Operations, RANVR, Reserve, Ship classes, Silent Service, WRANS

RAAF • History
Aircraft, Airfield Defence Guards, Bases, Chief of Air Force, Flights, First Tactical Air Force, Ranks, Roulettes, Squadrons, Structure

Special Forces
1st Commando Regiment, 2nd Commando Regiment, 171st Squadron, 200 Flight, Coastwatchers, Special Operations Engineer Regiment, SASR, SOCOMD, Tactical Assault Group, WWII Commando companies, Z Special Unit

Featured, A-Class and Good content

Featured article star.png

Featured articles: 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collisionAdmiralty Islands campaignAdrian Cole (RAAF officer)AHS CentaurAlan McNicollAlfred ShoutAlister MurdochAllan WaltersArthur Henry CobbyAttack on Sydney HarbourAustralian Air CorpsAustralian contribution to the Battle of NormandyAustralian Defence ForceAvenue Range Station massacreAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of AraweBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of BardiaBattle of the Bismarck SeaBattle of Cape EsperanceBattle of GreeceBattle of Milne BayBattle of KaiapitBattle of MorotaiBattle of Rennell IslandBattle of Savo IslandBattle of SioBattle of TassafarongaBattle of Tulagi and Gavutu-TanambogoBattle of the Eastern SolomonsBill DennyBill McCannBlack Friday (1945)Blair Anderson WarkBobby GibbesBoeing C-17 Globemaster III in Australian serviceBrian EatonBruce KingsburyCedric HowellCharles Eaton (RAAF officer)Clare StevensonColin HannahConvoy GP55David Evans (RAAF officer)Dick CresswellDonald HardmanEastern Area Command (RAAF)Edgar TownerEdmund HerringEllis WackettElwyn Roy KingFirst Battle of DernancourtFrank BerrymanFrank BladinFrank HeadlamFrank Hubert McNamaraFrederick SchergerGarnet MalleyGeorge Jones (RAAF officer)Guadalcanal CampaignHarry ChauvelHarry MurrayHector WallerHenry Burrell (admiral)Henry PetreHenry Wells (general)Henry WrigleyHMAS Melbourne (R21)HMS Nairana (1917)Ian Dougald McLachlanInvasion of Tulagi (May 1942)Issy SmithIven MackayJames NewlandJames Park WoodsJames Rowland (RAAF officer)James Whiteside McCayJerry PentlandJoe Hewitt (RAAF officer)John BalmerJohn Francis JacksonJohn LerewJohn Lloyd WaddyJohn McCauleyJohn Treloar (museum administrator)John Wilton (general)John WhittleJørgen Jensen (soldier)Landing at NadzabLawrence WeathersLes HoldenLester BrainList of Australian George Cross recipientsList of Australian Victoria Cross recipientsLockheed C-130 Hercules in Australian serviceLou SpenceMaurice Wilder-NeliganMcDonnell Douglas A-4G SkyhawkMcDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in Australian serviceMcDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in Australian serviceMichael WoodruffMilitary history of Australia during World War IIMorotai MutinyNaval Battle of GuadalcanalNeil Hamilton FairleyNicky BarrNo. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAFNo. 1 Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Squadron RAAFNo. 1 Wing RAAFNo. 2 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 33 Squadron RAAFNo. 34 Squadron RAAFNo. 36 Squadron RAAFNo. 37 Squadron RAAFNo. 450 Squadron RAAFNo. 77 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Squadron RAAFNo. 90 Wing RAAFNo. 91 Wing RAAFNorth-Eastern Area Command (RAAF)North-Western Area Command (RAAF)Operation KitaOswald WattOtto BecherPaterson Clarence HughesPeter Drummond (RAF officer)Peter Jeffrey (RAAF officer)Phillip DaveyRAAF area commandsRagnar GarrettRaymond BrownellRaymond LeaneReg Pollard (general)Reg SaundersRichard Williams (RAAF officer)Roderic DallasRoy DowlingRoy PhillippsSingapore strategyShrine of RemembranceStanley GobleStanley Price WeirStanley SavigeThomas Baker (aviator)Thomas BlameyTom DerrickValston HancockVance DrummondVictoria Cross for AustraliaWalter PeelerWaterloo Bay massacreWestern Area Command (RAAF)William BostockWilliam BrillWilliam Ellis NewtonWilliam Hely

Symbol a class.svg

A Class:

2/1st Machine Gun Battalion (Australia)2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion (Australia)2/3rd Battalion (Australia)2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion (Australia)2/4th Machine Gun Battalion (Australia)2/5th Battalion (Australia)2/7th Battalion (Australia)2/9th Battalion (Australia)12th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)2/14th Battalion (Australia)15th Battalion (Australia)2/15th Battalion (Australia)2/17th Battalion (Australia)2/18th Battalion (Australia)2/43rd Battalion (Australia)2/48th Battalion (Australia)4th Armoured Brigade (Australia)Admiralty Islands campaignAir Board (Australia)Air Combat Group RAAFAlan CharlesworthAlan RawlinsonAustralian Army during World War IIAustralian light destroyer projectBattle of Bita PakaBattle of Goodenough IslandBattle of the Hongorai RiverBattle of IsuravaBattle of KaiapitBattle of KapyongBattle of Porton PlantationBattle of Slater's KnollBattle of Tsimba RidgeBattle of WauCentral Flying School RAAFClarence Smith JeffriesEric Harrison (RAAF officer)First Battle of Maryang SanFrank BerrymanFrank LukisGeorge Alan VaseyGeorge Julian HowellGeorge IngramGeorge MackinoltyGordon SteegeHippolyte De La RueHorace RobertsonJohn LeakJohn NorthcottJoseph MaxwellLanding at Jacquinot BayLanding at SaidorLeslie MorsheadLewis McGeeMary Bell (aviator)New Britain campaignNo. 78 Wing RAAFNo. 81 Wing RAAFNo. 82 Wing RAAFNo. 84 Wing RAAFNo. 86 Wing RAAFOperation BrevityOperation CoburgOperation CrimpOrdnance QF 25-pounder ShortPercy Herbert CherryPercy StattonRoy BurstonRoy InwoodRupert DownesSamuel BurstonSouth Australian Mounted RiflesSouth West Pacific Area (command)Sydney RowellTeddy SheeanTet OffensiveThomas White (Australian politician)Vernon SturdeeWilbur DartnellWilfred ArthurWilliam Anderson (RAAF officer)William McAloney

Symbol support vote.svg

Good articles:12th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)14th/32nd Battalion (Australia)1st Armoured Brigade (Australia)1st Armoured Regiment (Australia)1st Parachute Battalion (Australia)2nd Armoured Brigade (Australia)2/6th Battalion (Australia)2/10th Battalion (Australia)2/14th Battalion (Australia)2/18th Battalion (Australia)2/31st Battalion (Australia)2/33rd Battalion (Australia)2/48th Battalion (Australia)2/9th Battalion (Australia)23rd Battalion (Australia)27th Battalion (Australia)29th Battalion (Australia)2nd Battalion (Australia)31st/51st Battalion (Australia)3rd Division (Australia)6th Battalion (Australia)6th Division (Australia)61st Battalion (Australia)7th Battalion (Australia)Arthur BlackburnArthur Sullivan (Australian soldier)Arthur William MurphyAustralian Army ReserveAustralian Army ship Crusader (AV 2767)Battle of AmiensBattle of Chongju (1950)Battle of Coral–BalmoralBattle of FranceBattle of Gang ToiBattle of the Hongorai RiverBattle of KranjiBattle of KujinBattle of Lone PineBattle of Long KhanhBattle of PakchonBattle of Porton PlantationBattle of RatsuaBattle of the Samichon RiverBattle of SattelbergBattle of Sungei KoembaBattle of Suoi Bong TrangBattle of Suoi Chau PhaBattle of YongjuBill KibbyBritish nuclear tests at MaralingaCharles CrombieCharles Read (RAAF officer)Charles ScherfDave ShannonDemobilisation of the Australian military after World War IIErnest Albert CoreyFirst Australian Imperial ForceFrederick BirksGeneral Dynamics F-111CGeorge GosseGerman attacks on NauruHistory of the Royal Australian NavyHMAS Sydney (1934)Hobart coastal defencesHughie EdwardsHuon Peninsula campaignIvor McIntyreJohn Hines (Australian soldier)Len WatersLes ClisbyLeslie Douglas JacksonLionel MatthewsMilitary history of AustraliaMilitary history of Australia during World War INeville McNamaraNew Guinea Volunteer RiflesNew Zealand and Australian DivisionNigel CullenNo. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Long Range Flight RAAFNo. 1 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 285 Squadron RAAFNo. 38 Squadron RAAFNo. 4 Operational Training Unit RAAFNo. 457 Squadron RAAFNo. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAFNo. 6 Squadron RAAFNo. 71 Wing RAAFNo. 72 Wing RAAFNo. 73 Wing RAAFNo. 75 Squadron RAAFNo. 75 Wing RAAFNo. 76 Wing RAAFNo. 77 Wing RAAFNo. 78 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Wing RAAFNo. 8 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 80 Wing RAAFNorthern Command (RAAF)Operation BribiePeter BadcoePeter Edwards (historian)Peter IsaacsonPeter RawPeter Turnbull (RAAF officer)RAAF Transport Flight (Japan)Richard MinifieRobert A. LittleRussell FoskettSecond Battle of PasschendaeleSelarang Barracks IncidentStuart Clarence GrahamVirgil BrennanWilfrid Kent HughesAustralian contribution to the Allied Intervention in Russia 1918–1919

Categories

To display all subcategories click on the "►":

Things you can do

Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed
2nd Division (New Zealand)Court martial of Breaker MorantHistory of the Royal Australian NavyMilitary history of New ZealandMilitary history of New Zealand in World War IMilitary history of New Zealand during World War IINew Zealand ArmyNew Zealand in the Vietnam WarRoyal New Zealand Infantry RegimentSlouch hatUniforms of the New Zealand Army
Requested articles 
Auckland RegimentCanterbury Regiment (currently a redirect) • 1st Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery2nd Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery4th Submarine Squadron (United Kingdom)4th Medium Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery6th Light Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery12th Heavy Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal New Zealand ArtillerySouth Australian Imperial BushmenTasmanian Citizen BushmenTasmanian Mounted InfantryTasmanian Imperial Bushmen (currently redirect) • Victorian Citizen BushmenVictorian Imperial BushmenWestern Australian Mounted Infantry (currently redirect) • Western Australian Citizen Bushmen22nd Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 2nd/4th Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment3rd/6th Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry RegimentNo. 83 (Army Cooperation) WingNo. 52 Squadron RNZAFNo. 51 Squadron RNZAFNo. 43 Squadron RNZAFNo. 12 Squadron RNZAFNo. 11 Squadron RNZAFNo. 10 Squadron RNZAFCAC/North American Avon Sabre in Australian serviceGAF/Dassault Mirage III in Australian serviceHarry Charles BundockFrederick Alexander BurrowsGrant CavenaghFrederick Hay ChristisonJohn August ClareboroughJack Kerr CoffeyBertrand CombesJohn CravenRalph DalyCharles Stewart DaviesHarold Charles de LowWilliam Huggett DouglasHerbert Frederick Henry DurantLeslie Glanville Howard DykeHenry Herrick EdwardsCyril Maurice Lloyd ElliottFrederick Percy Herbert FewtrellAlexander Moore ForbesStephen Gilbert FriendVivian Harrold GatliffArthur Harry Langman GodfreyLeonard George GossPeter HaddadWilliam Allan HailesNeville Gordon HattonHealth Services Wing RAAFWilliam Alexander HendersonJohn HillFrederick Brock HintonOswald Vick HoadAustin Claude Selwyn HollandMaurice Barber Bevan KeatingDouglas Oswald Luke KittoErrol KnoxIan LillieThomas Steane LouchJohn Walter MainGordon Edward ManchesterJames Eric Gifford MartinAthelsan Markham MartynJohn MaxwellPatrick Sanfield McGrathEric George Henderson McKenzieKenneth Alan McKenzieDouglas Murray McWhaeArthur James MillsRaymond Frederic MonaghanGerald Vincent MoriartyNew Zealand Infantry Brigade (currently a redirect) • Edward Michael NeylanReginald Havill NormanFrancis Roger NorthHarry Scott NurseDavid O'BrienDouglas PaineWilliam Edward Hill PascoeMichael PhelpsClaude Esdaile PriorRalph Carlyle Geoffrey PriskBeauchamp Worters PulverJohn Herbert RasmussenJohn David RogersHenry Gordon RourkeRobert Amos RowHarry Blamyre SewellColin McOlvin SharpEdward Lonergan SheehanJames Thomas SimpsonFritz Peter Max SollingWilliam Howard St. ClairRobert Mackay StodartRoy Buchanan SutherlandHarold Bourue TaylorPercy Chamberlin ThompsonRoy Meldrum ThompsonWalter James UrquhartDonald Norwood VeronEric Lacy VowlesRoy William Whiston WalshAugustine William WardellThomas Edgar WeaversDavid WelchFrank Elwyn WellsAllan Respen WendtErnst Morgan WilliamsKenneth WilliamsKenneth Agnew WillsRobert Emmet WinningRoy GordonSouth Pacific Peacekeeping Force9th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery2/1st Anti-Tank Regiment (Australia)2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment (Australia)2/4th Anti-Tank Regiment (Australia)Queensland Mounted Infantry20th Motor Regiment (Australia)
Expansion needed
1st Light Horse Brigade2nd Infantry Brigade (New Zealand)2nd Light Horse Brigade3rd Light Horse Brigade4th Light Horse Brigade5th Light Horse BrigadeAustralian Army Veterinary CorpsMilitary history of Australia during the Malayan Emergency32nd Small Ship Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers1st Aviation Regiment (Australia)1st Combat Engineer Regiment (Australia)II Anzac CorpsAlfred Richard Baxter-CoxAustralian military involvement in peacekeepingEmile DechaineuxHarold FarncombHistory of the Australian ArmyHistory of the Royal Australian Air ForceJohn BakerJohn RoystonLanding at AitapeLark ForceNew Guinea campaignNorthern Territory ForceRobert William RankinCorps of Royal New Zealand EngineersHMNZS Resolution (A-14)Military history of New Zealand in MalaysiaNew Zealand and Australian DivisionNew Zealand Mounted Rifles BrigadeNew Zealand Rifle BrigadeSurvey Motor BoatList of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft squadronsList of Australian generals and brigadiersList of Australian armoured unitsAustralian Army Artillery Units, World War IAir Lift GroupSurveillance and Response GroupCombat Support Group RAAFAerospace Operational Support Group RAAF41 WingNo. 26 Squadron RAAFNo. 29 Squadron RAAFAir Movements Training and Development Unit RAAFSurveillance and Control Training Unit RAAFNo. 386 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron RAAFNo. 322 Combat Support Squadron RAAFNo. 323 Combat Support Squadron RAAFNo. 324 Combat Support Squadron RAAFNo. 1 Combat Logistics Squadron RAAFNo. 1 Air Terminal Squadron RAAFNo. 3 Airfield Defence Squadron RAAFNew South Wales Mounted RiflesCombat Reserve Wing RAAFJohn William Alexander O'BrienHarold Pope (soldier)Otago Infantry Regiment (NZEF)more...
Images needed
7th Field Regiment, Royal Australian ArtilleryAustralian Army Veterinary CorpsMilitary history of Australia during the Malayan Emergency32nd Small Ship Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers
Merging needed
Add an article here!
Citations needed
Australian and New Zealand Army CorpsAustralian New Guinea Administrative UnitAustralian occupation of German New GuineaBombing of Rabaul (November 1943)FCU UNTACHenry Arthur GoddardMilitary history of OceaniaNew Zealand ArmyOperation I-Go
Translation needed 
Add an article here!

Associated WikiMedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Purge server cache