Portal:Military history of Australia

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The Military history of Australia Portal

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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.

The six British colonies in Australia participated in some of Britain's wars of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, as a federated dominion and later as 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 these conflicts. (Full article...)

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Selected picture

452 sqn (AWM OG3404).jpg

Photo credit: John Harrison and the Australian War Memorial

Spitfire fighters from No. 452 Squadron RAAF, over Morotai Island, 1944

Selected anniversaries

February 7

Did you know

HMAS Biloela (300408).jpg
  • ...that Major General John Paton commanded the rear party during the evacuation of Anzac Cove in World War I and was one of the last Australian soldiers to leave the beach?
  • ...that HMAS Biloela was the first ship to be built entirely from Australian materials to an Australian design?

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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

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, M Special Unit

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Daily unit article

HMAS Tarakan in 1948

HMAS Tarakan (L-3017) was a Tank Landing Ship which was originally built for the Royal Navy and launched on 28 November 1944 as LST 3017. The ship was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy and commissioned on 4 July 1946. She was named Tarakan on 16 December 1948, and served in Australian and New Guinea waters as a general purpose vessel, but was mainly used for dumping condemned ammunition at sea. On 25 January 1950 seven members of Tarakans crew were killed and the ship extensively damaged by an explosion which occurred while berthed alongside naval base HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney. Tarakan did not return to active service and was sold for breaking up on 12 March 1954.

Selected quote

"Nos Morituri Te Salutamus ("we who are about to die salute you")."
— Signal sent by Wing Commander John Lerew, commander of No. 24 Squadron RAAF on the eve of the Battle of Rabaul in 1942

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A Class: 1st Armoured Brigade (Australia)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)10th Battalion (Australia)2/10th 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 RawlinsonArthur BlackburnAustralian 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 WauBill KibbyCentral 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 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 BurstonRupert 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

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List of Australian Army artillery units in World War IAustralian New Guinea Administrative UnitAustralian occupation of German New GuineaBombing of Rabaul (November 1943)FCU UNTACGeoffrey FiskenHenry Arthur GoddardMilitary history of OceaniaNew Zealand ArmyImperial Service Club
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