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...
"Australian troops had, at Milne Bay, inflicted on the Japanese their first undoubted defeat on land. Some of us may forget that, of all the allies, it was the Australians who first broke the invincibility of the Japanese army."
- — Field Marshal Sir William Slim.
Did you know
Clare Grant Stevenson, AM, MBE (18 July 1903 – 22 October 1988) was the inaugural Director of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF). Formed as a branch of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in March 1941, the WAAAF was the first and largest Australian uniformed women's service during World War II, numbering more than 18,000 members by late 1944 and making up over thirty per cent of the RAAF's ground staff. Initially ranked squadron officer when appointed in May 1941, she rose to become group officer by April 1942. After her discharge in 1946, Stevenson resumed her civilian career at Berlei and was active in adult education and social welfare, helping to form several aid organisations including the Carers Association of New South Wales after retiring from her business career in 1960. In 2001, she was described as "the most significant woman in the history of the Air Force".
The 3rd Armoured Division was an Australian Army division of World War II. The division was established in November 1942 by redesignating the 1st Motor Division (which was previously the 1st Cavalry Division). As an armoured formation the division was equipped with M3 Grant medium tanks and M3 Stuart light tanks. As large armoured units were not suitable for the jungle warfare the Army was engaged in, the 3rd Armoured Division was not deployed outside of Australia. The division's 3rd Motor Brigade was gradually disbanded between March to August 1943 and the 3rd Armoured Division was disbanded in Queensland in October 1943 to provide manpower for operational units.
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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