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Portal:Military history of Australia

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The Military history of Australia Portal

The RAN Ensign
The flag of Australia
The RAAF Ensign

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...)

Selected article

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest recognition for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces of any rank in any service, and civilians under military command. It is also the highest military award in the British and Australian honours systems. The decoration is a cross pattée, 1.375 inches (35 mm) wide, bearing a crown surmounted by a lion, and the inscription "FOR VALOUR". This was originally to have been "FOR BRAVERY", until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria, who thought some might erroneously consider that only the recipients of the VC were brave in battle. The decoration, suspension bar and link weigh about 0.87 troy ounces (27 g). In total 100 Australians have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Of these, 96 have received the Imperial version of the award, and five have received the Victoria Cross for Australia. The first recipient received the award during the Second Boer War, while the most recent was during the War in Afghanistan.

Selected picture

HMAS Canberra (FFG 02) Harpoon.jpg

Photo credit: PH3 Chris Holmes USN
HMAS Canberra launching her first Harpoon missile near the Pacific Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, California. Three UH-1 Iroquois helicopters provide aerial coverage of the launching.

Selected quote

In the event of war Government prepared place vessels of Australian Navy under control British Admiralty when desired.
Australian Government telegram to the Admiralty on August 3, 1914

Selected anniversaries

June 21

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Avro Ansons, having landed after collision

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Selected biography

John Collins 28AWM P00444 093 29.jpg

Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins KBE, CB (1899–1989) was an Australian naval officer who served in World War I and World War II, and who eventually rose to become the First Naval Member of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board and Chief of Naval Staff. Collins was one of the first graduates of the Royal Australian Naval College to attain flag rank. During World War II, he commanded the cruiser HMAS Sydney in the Mediterranean. The latest class of Australian submarine, the Collins class, bears his name. The first of these, HMAS Collins, was launched by his widow in 1993.

Daily unit

Composite image of Royal South Australian Regiment Colours and hat patch

The Royal South Australia Regiment is a reserve regiment of the Australian Army. The Regiment traces its history to early volunteer and citizen militia units from pre-federation Australia and was formed in July 1960 by the amalgamation of three one-battalion infantry regiments. Although the Regiment has reached a peak strength of three battalions, it currently consists of only a single battalion, the 10th/27th Battalion, which forms part of the 9th Brigade.

Selected equipment

Sentinel (AWM 101156).jpg

The Sentinel tank was designed in Australia in World War II in response to the war in Europe, and to the threat of Japan expanding the war to the Pacific or even a possible Japanese invasion of Australia. It was based on the engine, drive train, and lower hull of the American M3 Medium tank but was built closely along the lines of a British Crusader. The few Sentinels that were built never saw action as Australia's Armoured Divisions had been equipped by that time with British and American tanks.


Major topics

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

Featured, A-Class and Good content

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Featured articles: 1940 Brocklesby mid-air collisionAdmiralty Islands campaignAdrian Cole (RAAF officer)AHS CentaurAlan McNicollAlfred ShoutAlister MurdochAllan WaltersArthur Henry CobbyAttack on Sydney HarbourAustralian Air CorpsAustralian contribution to the Battle of NormandyAustralian Defence ForceAvenue Range Station massacreAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of AraweBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of BardiaBattle of the Bismarck SeaBattle of Cape EsperanceBattle of GreeceBattle of Milne BayBattle of KaiapitBattle of MorotaiBattle of Rennell IslandBattle of Savo IslandBattle of SioBattle of TassafarongaBattle of Tulagi and Gavutu-TanambogoBattle of the Eastern SolomonsBill DennyBill McCannBlack Friday (1945)Blair Anderson WarkBobby GibbesBoeing C-17 Globemaster III in Australian serviceBrian EatonBruce KingsburyCedric HowellCharles Eaton (RAAF officer)Clare StevensonColin HannahConvoy GP55David Evans (RAAF officer)Dick CresswellDonald HardmanEastern Area Command (RAAF)Edgar TownerEdmund HerringEllis WackettElwyn Roy KingFirst Battle of DernancourtFrank BerrymanFrank BladinFrank HeadlamFrank Hubert McNamaraFrederick SchergerGarnet MalleyGeorge GosseGeorge Jones (RAAF officer)Guadalcanal CampaignHarry ChauvelHarry MurrayHector WallerHenry Burrell (admiral)Henry PetreHenry Wells (general)Henry WrigleyHMAS Melbourne (R21)HMS Nairana (1917)Ian Dougald McLachlanInvasion of Tulagi (May 1942)Issy SmithIven MackayJames NewlandJames Park WoodsJames Rowland (RAAF officer)James Whiteside McCayJerry PentlandJoe Hewitt (RAAF officer)John BalmerJohn Francis JacksonJohn LeakJohn LerewJohn Lloyd WaddyJohn McCauleyJohn Treloar (museum administrator)John Wilton (general)John WhittleJørgen Jensen (soldier)Landing at NadzabLawrence WeathersLes HoldenLester BrainLionel MatthewsList of Australian George Cross recipientsList of Australian Victoria Cross recipientsLockheed C-130 Hercules in Australian serviceLou SpenceMaurice Wilder-NeliganMcDonnell Douglas A-4G SkyhawkMcDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in Australian serviceMcDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in Australian serviceMichael WoodruffMilitary history of Australia during World War IIMorotai MutinyNaval Battle of GuadalcanalNeil Hamilton FairleyNicky BarrNo. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAFNo. 1 Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Squadron RAAFNo. 1 Wing RAAFNo. 2 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 33 Squadron RAAFNo. 34 Squadron RAAFNo. 36 Squadron RAAFNo. 37 Squadron RAAFNo. 38 Squadron RAAFNo. 450 Squadron RAAFNo. 77 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Squadron RAAFNo. 90 Wing RAAFNo. 91 Wing RAAFNorth-Eastern Area Command (RAAF)North-Western Area Command (RAAF)Operation KitaOswald WattOtto BecherPaterson Clarence HughesPeter BadcoePeter Drummond (RAF officer)Peter Jeffrey (RAAF officer)Phillip DaveyRAAF area commandsRagnar GarrettRaymond BrownellRaymond LeaneReg Pollard (general)Reg SaundersRichard Williams (RAAF officer)Roderic DallasRoy DowlingRoy InwoodRoy PhillippsSingapore strategyShrine of RemembranceStanley GobleStanley Price WeirStanley SavigeThomas Baker (aviator)Thomas BlameyTom DerrickValston HancockVance DrummondVictoria Cross for AustraliaWalter PeelerWaterloo Bay massacreWestern Area Command (RAAF)William BostockWilliam BrillWilliam Ellis NewtonWilliam Hely

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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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Good articles: 1st Armoured Brigade (Australia)1st Armoured Regiment (Australia)1st Parachute Battalion (Australia)2nd Armoured Brigade (Australia)2nd Battalion (Australia)3rd Division (Australia)6th Battalion (Australia)2/6th Battalion (Australia)6th Division (Australia)7th Battalion (Australia)2/9th Battalion (Australia)2/10th Battalion (Australia)12th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)2/14th Battalion (Australia)14th/32nd Battalion (Australia)2/18th Battalion (Australia)23rd Battalion (Australia)27th Battalion (Australia)29th Battalion (Australia)2/31st Battalion (Australia)31st/51st Battalion (Australia)2/33rd Battalion (Australia)2/48th Battalion (Australia)61st Battalion (Australia)Arthur Sullivan (Australian soldier)Arthur William MurphyAustralian Army ReserveAustralian Army ship Crusader (AV 2767)Battle of AmiensBattle of Balikpapan (1945)Battle of Chongju (1950)Battle of Coral–BalmoralBattle of FranceBattle of Gang ToiBattle of the Hongorai RiverBattle of KranjiBattle of KujinBattle of Lone PineBattle of Long KhanhBattle of PakchonBattle of Porton PlantationBattle of RatsuaBattle of the Samichon RiverBattle of SattelbergBattle of Sungei KoembaBattle of Suoi Bong TrangBattle of Suoi Chau PhaBattle of YongjuBorneo campaign (1945)British nuclear tests at MaralingaCharles CrombieCharles Read (RAAF officer)Charles ScherfDave ShannonDemobilisation of the Australian military after World War IIErnest Albert CoreyFirst Australian Imperial ForceFrederick BirksGeneral Dynamics F-111CGerman attacks on NauruHistory of the Royal Australian NavyHMAS Sydney (1934)Hobart coastal defencesHughie EdwardsHuon Peninsula campaignIvor McIntyreJohn Hines (Australian soldier)Len WatersLes ClisbyLeslie Douglas JacksonMilitary history of AustraliaMilitary history of Australia during World War INeville McNamaraNew Guinea Volunteer RiflesNew Zealand and Australian DivisionNigel CullenNo. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAFNo. 1 Long Range Flight RAAFNo. 1 Operational Conversion Unit RAAFNo. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 285 Squadron RAAFNo. 4 Operational Training Unit RAAFNo. 457 Squadron RAAFNo. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAFNo. 6 Squadron RAAFNo. 71 Wing RAAFNo. 72 Wing RAAFNo. 73 Wing RAAFNo. 75 Squadron RAAFNo. 75 Wing RAAFNo. 76 Wing RAAFNo. 77 Wing RAAFNo. 78 Squadron RAAFNo. 79 Wing RAAFNo. 8 Service Flying Training School RAAFNo. 80 Wing RAAFNorthern Command (RAAF)Operation BribiePeter Edwards (historian)Peter IsaacsonPeter RawPeter Turnbull (RAAF officer)RAAF Transport Flight (Japan)Richard MinifieRobert A. LittleRussell FoskettSecond Battle of PasschendaeleSelarang Barracks IncidentStuart Clarence GrahamVirgil BrennanWilfrid Kent HughesAustralian contribution to the Allied Intervention in Russia 1918–1919


To display all subcategories click on the "►":
Military history of Australia(29 C, 34 P)
ANZAC (Australia)(2 C, 32 P)
Conscription in Australia(1 C, 12 P)
Forts in Australia(1 C, 20 P)
Invasions by Australia(2 C, 7 P)
Australian military uniforms(2 C, 10 P)

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