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  • End of World War II

    End of World War II
    With the end of World War Two in 1945, Australia like many other countries were concerned of the threat of communism.
    Many nations like China and North Korea were falling to communism.
    From these events came the idea that communism must be contained at all costs.
  • Containment Policy

    Containment Policy
    This policy originated in the United States after President Truman coined the idea. It proposed that the spread of communism must be stopped and contained to prevent it spreading throughout the world. Australia and Prime Minister Robert Menzies firmly believed in supporting this theory.
  • Communist Dissolution Bill

    Communist Dissolution Bill
    In the late 1940's, the Communist Party of Australia was gaining control of Trade Unions and began create an infulence in Australia. The government spread the idea that communists were responsible for many union strikes and industrial unrest. Robert Menzies attempted to introduce a law that would ban the Communist Party.
    - The party was to be outlawed.
    - Anyone who was a communist was banned from

    certain jobs.
    - People accused of being communists were guilty until
    proven innocent.
  • Korean War Begins

    Korean War Begins
    In 1945 Korea was split in two at the 38th parallel, seperating it into North and South Korea. In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea and gained control of the country. The UN forces were called to eject the forces from the South. Australia was one of fifteen nations to be involved in the war with:
    -A RAAF Squadron.
    -Two battalions of the Army.
    -Naval forces including an aircraft carrier and
  • Failure of the Dissolution Bill

    Failure of the Dissolution Bill
    Many saw the bill as unconstitutional despite their lack of sympathy for communism. It was challenged in the High Court and declared 'unconstitutional' consequently Menzies called forth a referendum to allow for the banning of communism in Australia.
  • ANZUS Treaty

    ANZUS Treaty
    The main idea of this the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and United States) Treaty was for the Menzies Government to create closer links with the US. Originally, the treaty was to create a triple military alliance between the three nations. In the event of an attack on one of the nations there was a mutual agreement to assist each other. Currently the Treaty does not apply between the United States and New Zealand, but is still in force between either country and Australia, separ
  • Banning communism

    Banning communism
    Like so many referendums in Australia, the referendum to ban communism was unsucessful.
    Whilst it did fail to change the constitution, it was by a small percentage that the referendum was lost. 2,317,927 in favour of banning communism.
    2,370,009 against banning communism.
  • Korean War Ceasefire

    Korean War Ceasefire
    The Korean War ended at the same parallel that it began, the 38th parallel.
    The Korean War has not officially ended as an armistice agreement has not been signed, hence the was is still offically in progress. However a ceasefire has prevented military fire from occuring Over 300 Australian troops were killed as a result of the War.
  • Domino Theory

    Domino Theory
    A theory first coined in the 1950's, with President Eisenhower using it in a speech. It stated that due to a small change in political government to communism, like what was occuring in South-East Asia, would eventually lead to a downfall of surrounding countries to communism. The theory supported the concept that communism must be stopped at all costs. The theory infulenced Australia in sending troops to the Vietnam War and was a widely held belfied by many nations.
  • The Petrov Affair

    The Petrov Affair
    On 13 April 1954 Menzies informed the parliment that a Soviet Russian official, Vladamir Petrov, had asked for political asylum in Australia. Petrov had provided details of a Soviet spy ring was operating in Australia. This led to a Royal Commission into these Claims.
    This event fueled Robert Menzies political compaign and added fear towards communism.
  • Mrs Petrov Kidnapping

    Mrs Petrov Kidnapping
    On this day, the wife of Vladamir Petrov was taken away by Russian officials back to Russia. At Sydney airport, Evdokia Petrov was dragged on a plane that was to refuel at Darwin. Upon reaching Darwin, Australian security guards detained the Russian officials and rescued Mrs. Petrov, who was also given political asylum in Australia. This event fueled fear of communism and helped the Menzies win the federal election in the same year.

    "South-East Asia Treaty Organisation"
    After the Korean War the United States propsed this alliance for the protection of South-East Asia. It comprised: the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, Pakistan and France. In spite of this agreement, no specific commitment have been made to defend treaty members in the event of an attack, however it was assumed that the spirit of this agreement would see it happen.
  • Support to South Vietnam

    Support to South Vietnam
    After the newly created Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), Robert Menzies reaffirms his support to the South Vietnamese Prime Minister, Ngo Dinh Diem. This shows Australias anti-communist stance against North Vietnam.
  • Vietnam War Begin

    Vietnam War Begin
    The Vietnam War offically begins between the Northern Communist Vietnam and Southern Vietnam.
    The Vietcong ambush two Southern Army Companies on the 26th September 1959.
  • Vietnam War and Australia

    Vietnam War and Australia
    When the war began, Australia dedicated thirty military instructors to Vietnam. No combat forces were to be sent at this time.
  • National Service Act (1964)

    National Service Act (1964)
    The Menzies government announced the introduction of Conscription and plans top increase the size of the Army to 37,500 in three years. Conscription was also known as National Service, to which all men over 20 years old were required to participate in.
    Selection was done through a ballot that was based on a persons birthday. Known as 'The Birthday Lottery', it randomly selected birthdays, to which anyone born on the date were required to serve for two years in the armed forces.
  • Combat Troops in Vietnam

    Combat Troops in Vietnam
    The decision was made to send a battalion of troops to Vietnam if it were requested by the South Vietnamese government. It is believed that the South Vietnamese government were reluctant to request troops but was persuaded by the Australian ambassador. On the 29th of April, a request was sent to Robert Menzies requesting forces to be sent to Vietnam.
  • SOS (Save Our Sons)

    SOS (Save Our Sons)
    The Vietnam War was going badly for the United States and its allies. Strong Anti-war movements began to form around the world. In Australia, the Save Our Sons (SOS) Movement was created. It involved a group of Australian Women who were against conscription in Australia and voiced their opinions through letter writing and protest rallies. Several SOS members were sent to prison after handing out leaflets at the Department of Labour and National Service.
  • "All the way with LBJ"

    "All the way with LBJ"
    A famous quote from Prime Minster Harold Holt in 1966 during his visit to Washington. "All the way with LBJ". This speech announced that Australia was with the United States and President Lyndon Baynes Johnson (Hence LBJ) in the fight against North Vietnam in the war.
  • National Service Act (1968)

    National Service Act (1968)
    In 1968 the National Service Act was altered. The reason behind this was to deal with those refusing to register for National Service.
    As a result the government altered National Service Act allowing for imprisonment of two year on account of defying conscription.
  • The Moratorium Movement

    The Moratorium Movement
    The anti-war movement in Australia often mirrored that of the United States. The largest moratorium demonstartion was held in Melbourne of between 80,000 and 100,000 protestors lead by Dr Jim Cairns which held Central Melbourne in a standstill.
  • Withdrawl of Forces Begins

    Withdrawl of Forces Begins
    Australia announces the Withdrawl of its troops from South Vietnam over a long period of time. Australian troops remain in South Vietnam until February 1972. However Advisors would still remain in South Vietnam.
  • The Whitlam Government

    The Whitlam Government
    The Whitlam government was an integral force in ending Australia's invlolvment in the Vietnam war. In early 1973, Gough Whitlam released the National Service Termination Act (1973), which effectively ended National Service and Conscription in Australia.
  • Cessation of Combat Operations

    Cessation of Combat Operations
    On this date the cessation of combat operations in Vietnam was officially announced by the Govenor-General
  • End of the War

    End of the War
    The Vietnam war ended with the North Vietnamese Communists winning over the South Vietnamese, thus taking over the entire Vietnam Australia was divided poltically over Vietnam - Labour opposed and the coalition parties were in favour. Vietnam veterans were also rejected when they came home, due to media coverage of the war.