World War II: Australian Experience - Watch on ClickView. Royal Australian Navy. Home WWII. Unlike World War I, the Second World War was waged much closer to home.
This time, they were facing an enemy in their own Pacific neighbourhood, aiming to invade the mainland. Civilians had to prepare for the invasion, and they faced years of hardships and shortages. Australia entered the war with only a small army: it had to urgently build a large fighting force. Women were ready to serve and suffer in the cause of winning the war.
World War II was an opportunity for Australian women to take a step outside of the domestic sphere. The war was a political struggle for Prime Minister John Curtin, while the people prepared for invasion. Everyday life on the home front had to change when basic food items became hard to find. Australians met Americans for the first time and discovered they did not always match the Hollywood image. Refugees escaping from Hitler found themselves caught up with captured enemy soldiers in Australia’s internment camps. Kokoda Trail. New Guinea campaign The capture of Port Moresby remained a Japanese priority as it would enable them to bomb vital Allied bases in northern Australia.
Second World War conscription. Labor government When Menzies lost office in October 1941, he was replaced by John Curtin.
Many members of the Australian Labor Party were strongly opposed to conscription for overseas service. However by late 1942 Curtin realised that with voluntary recruitment waning it was necessary to expand the limits of where the CMF could serve. At this stage the CMF comprised some 262,000 troops, while the AIF stood at about 171,000. 1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1946-47. This page was updated on 23 Nov 2012 to include the disclaimer below.
No other content in this article was affected.DISCLAIMER: Users are warned that historic issues of this publication may contain language or views which, reflecting the authors' attitudes or that of the period in which the item was written, may be considered to be inappropriate or offensive today. Virtual War Memorial.
"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.
No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement. " Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies. 3 September 1939 If World War 1 impacted Australia in terms of sheer numbers of losses, it was largely remote from Australia. The Second World War. This major international conflict officially began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 3 September 1939.
It lasted for six years, gradually increasing in scope and intensity as it blazed through Europe into Africa and Asia and on into Pacific Asia and the Americas. Germany’s territorially and economically expansionist war aims divided the belligerent world into two groups: the Axis powers, supporting Germany, and the Allied powers, based on Britain, France and, from 1941, the Soviet Union.
Australia, as part of the British Empire, supported the Allies. By January 1940 Australia’s three defence forces had joined the war. Australia’s Defence Act (1903) specifically forbade established military forces to be used in foreign wars. State Library of South Australia. Australia's Involvement in WWII - Classroom - BTN. Australia and the Second World War - Anzac Portal.
Second World War, 1939–45. On 3 September 1939 Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced the beginning of Australia's involvement in the Second World War on every national and commercial radio station in Australia. Almost a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time, as Japanese aircraft bombed towns in north-west Australia and Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney harbour. On 7 May 1945 the German High Command authorised the signing of an unconditional surrender on all fronts: the war in Europe was over. The surrender was to take effect at midnight on 8–9 May 1945. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) participated in operations against Italy after its entry into the war in June 1940. Australians in World War II.
Announcing Australia's commitment to the war on 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies spoke the following, famous words that were broadcast on every national and commercial radio station in the country: "Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.
No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement. "