The Military history of Australia Portal
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...
The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of World War I, with more than one million casualties. The British and French forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 25 mile (40 km) front north and south of the River Somme in northern France. One purpose of the battle was to draw German forces away from the battle of Verdun; however, by its end the losses on the Somme had exceeded those at Verdun. The battle is best remembered for its first day, July 1, 1916, on which the British suffered 57,470 casualties, making it the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. As horrific as the battle of the Somme is in British memory, it also had a staggering impact on the German army; one officer famously describing it as "the muddy grave of the German field army." By the end of the battle the British had learnt many lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreparable losses. Four divisions of the Australian Imperial Force saw action during the Somme: the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th. In total they suffered around 23,000 casualties.
"My men are being unmercifully shelled. They cannot hold out if an attack is launched. The firing line and my headquarters are being plastered with heavy guns and the town is being swept by shrapnel. I myself am O.K. but the front line is being buried."
- — Lieutenant General Henry Gordon Bennett, 26 July 1916.
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The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) is an Australian infantry battalion based in Townsville, Queensland, as part of the 3rd Brigade. 3 RAR was initially formed in 1945 as the Australian 67th Battalion and has seen active service in Japan, Korea, Malaya, South Vietnam, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. For many years, the battalion was assigned to the parachute role and was based in Sydney, but was converted to a light infantry battalion in 2011 and subsequently relocated from Holsworthy Barracks, Townsville.
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
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
RAAF • History
Aircraft, Airfield Defence Guards, Bases, Chief of Air Force, Flights, First Tactical Air Force, Ranks, Roulettes, Squadrons, Structure
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, M Special Unit
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- 2nd Division (New Zealand) • Court martial of Breaker Morant • History of the Royal Australian Navy • Military history of New Zealand • Military history of New Zealand in World War I • Military history of New Zealand during World War II • New Zealand Army • New Zealand in the Vietnam War • Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment • Slouch hat • Uniforms of the New Zealand Army
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