Australia's Involvement in World War II

By Che'
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    War at Sea

    During World War II, Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships carried troops, escorted merchant ships, carried out bombardments and provided support for Allied operations in the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Several hundred Australian naval personnel also served on British and Allied warships and some on merchant ships as gunners.
  • Australia at War

    Australia at War
    On 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced that Australia was at war with Germany.
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    Australia's Involvement in World War II

    By the end of the war, Australia lost atleast 30'000 men and thousands were injured.
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    Australia fight in North Africa and Middle East

    In 1940 and 1941, Australian troops saw action in the Middle East and North Africa. In January 1941, Australian troops helped capture Bardia and Tobruk in Libya.
  • The Royal Australian Navy's Entrance

    The Royal Australian Navy's Entrance
    In 1940 was used for the first time in WWII against the Italians.
  • Libya and the Siege of Tobruk 1941

    Libya and the Siege of Tobruk 1941
    In 1941, Australians fought in land and air campaigns in Egypt and Libya in North Africa. Three AIF divisions - the 6th, 7th and 9th - fought in those countries. Royal Australian Navy ships served in the eastern Mediterranean and in particular provided support to ground forces during the 'Siege of Tobruk' . Royal Australian Air Force squadrons, as well as RAAF personnel serving with Royal Air Force units, provided air support against the Germans and Italians.
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    Aliakmon Line

    Three divisions of British, Australian and New Zealand troops at the Aliakmon Line in the Vermion Mountains are defeated.
  • Operation Mercury in action

    Operation Mercury in action
    Allied flak teams destroy as many as 50% of the invading German transport planes in the first few hours of the operation.
  • Allies inercept German invasion

    Allies inercept German invasion
    Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.
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    Operation Demon

    Operation Demon is activated, covering the evacuation of some 51,000 Allied troops from southern Greece via the Royal Navy.
  • Allied forces recieve new leader

    Allied forces recieve new leader
    Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.
  • RAF Fighters relocated

    RAF Fighters relocated
    In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.
  • Operation Mercury

    Operation Mercury
    Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.
  • German para-troopers air loss

    German para-troopers air loss
    In-air losses for the second wave of German paratroopers is nearly equal to the first thanks to the stellar Allied flak defenses on Crete.
  • Royal Navy attacks German forces in Crete

    Royal Navy attacks German forces in Crete
    German Army troops making their way to Crete via the sea are intercepted and pummeled by elements of the Royal Navy. Just 60 of these German soldiers live to see another day.
  • German forces at Heraklion

    German forces at Heraklion
    A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.
  • Allied forces retreat

    Allied forces retreat
    Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.
  • Withdrawal from Crete

    Withdrawal from Crete
    The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.
  • Defence at Rethymnon falters

    Defence at Rethymnon falters
    The brave defense of Rethymnon by Australian soldiers finally falters under intense pressure from the German Army.
  • Allies invade Syria

    Australia and the Allies successfully invade Syria.
  • Australia declares war on Japan

    Australia declares war on Japan
    After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Australia declared war on the Japanese.
  • Japanese conduct surprise attack

    Japanese conduct surprise attack
    The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.
  • Japan invades New Guinea.

    Japan invades New Guinea.
    Japan invades New Guinea.
  • The Bombing of Darwin

    Japanese bombed Darwin.
  • Battle of the Coral Sea

    Battle of the Coral Sea
    The Japanese offensive in New Guinea was the most direct threat Australia faced. Fortunately, the Americans staved off a naval attack on Australia at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.
  • Japanese attack Sydney Harbour

    Japanese attack Sydney Harbour
    In May and June 1942 the war was brought home to Australians on the east coast when the Japanese attacked Sydney Harbour from the sea
  • Japanese gain ground

    Japanese gain ground
    The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.
  • Japanese gain territory

    Japanese gain territory
    The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.
  • Japanese take Kokoda

    Japanese take Kokoda
    The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.
  • Australian Brigade on Milne Bay

    Australian Brigade on Milne Bay
    The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.
  • Japan withdrawals

    With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.
  • Allies continue taking territory

    Allies continue taking territory
    Allied Australian and US forces continued their marches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.
  • Allies take Kokoda

    Allies take Kokoda
    The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.
  • Sananada is officially in Allied hands.

    Sananada is officially in Allied hands.
    Sananada is officially in Allied hands.
  • War ends

    War ends