2/32nd Battalion (Australia)

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For other uses, see 32nd Battalion (Australia).
2/32nd Battalion
Active 1940–46
Country  Australia
Branch Australian Army
Type Infantry
Size ~800–900 personnel[Note 1]
Part of 25th Brigade, 9th Division
24th Brigade, 9th Division

World War II

The 2/32nd Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, which served during the Second World War. Formed in June 1940 from surplus Australian troops who had been sent to the United Kingdom shortly after the Fall of France, the battalion was originally designated the "71st Battalion", before being redesignated.[2] After completing training in the United Kingdom, the 2/32nd served in North Africa in 1941–42 as part of the 25th Brigade, which was assigned to the 9th Division, before being assigned to the 24th Brigade. In early 1943, the battalion returned to Australia and later took part in campaigns against the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943–44 and Borneo in 1945, before being disbanded in 1946.

Battle honours[edit]

The 2/32nd Battalion received the following battle honours:

  • North Africa 1941–42, Defence of Tobruk, Defence of Alamein Line, El Alamein, South-West Pacific 1943–45, Finschhafen, Defence of Scarlet Beach, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Borneo, Lae–Nadzab, Beaufort, Tell el Makh Khad, Sanyet el Miteirya and Pabu.[3]

Commanding officers[edit]

The following officers served as commanding officer of the 2/32nd:[3]

  • Raymond Keith Anderson;
  • John Walter Balfe;
  • Thomas Mayo Conroy;
  • Thomas Henry Scott;
  • Alonzo Sydney Clive Sparkes; and
  • David Adie Whitehead.


  1. ^ By the start of World War II, the authorised strength of an Australian infantry battalion was 910 men all ranks, however, later in the war it fell to 803.[1]
  1. ^ Palazzo 2003, p. 6.
  2. ^ Festberg 1972, p. 118.
  3. ^ a b "2/32nd Battalion". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Trigellis-Smith, Syd (1993). Britain to Borneo: A History of the 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion. 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion Association. ISBN 978-0-646-13407-9.