||Last Australian forces sail for home
from the Middle East
||Japan's entry into the war forced the
Australian Government to decline British requests to concentrate on
the war in North Africa and Europe. Australia began to 'look to
America' for support and concentrated the bulk of her forces against
||First Japanese air attack on Port
||The Japanese had hoped to occupy Port
Moresby as a base from which to cut off shipping to Eastern Australia.
Their defeat in the Battle of the Coral Sea thwarted the planned naval
attack and invasion against Port Moresby.
||The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment, recaptured Baria after the Tet offensive. The effects of the
Tet Offensive were felt most acutely by the Australians when the Viet
Cong attacked targets around Phuoc Tuy's provincial capital, Baria.
The attacks were repulsed with few Australian casualties, though the
Communists suffered heavy losses.
||Turkish forces attack the Suez canal
||Turkish attempts to capture the Suez
canal, vital to Allied shipping, were repulsed largely by Indian
troops. Australians of the 7th and 8th Infantry Battalions temporarily
garrisoned the trenches after the fight.
||Australians counter-attack at Wau
||Having failed to take Wau the Japanese
were forced into retreat. At the end of the fighting some 1,200
Japanese had been killed as had some 300 Australians.
||Conference between President Roosevelt,
Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill to determine the shape of
||Captain H.W. Murray, 4th Division,
originally from Launceston, Tasmania, wins the Victoria Cross at
Stormy Trench north-east of Gueudecourt, France.
||6th Division enter Benghazi, Libya
||Benghazi changed hands XXX times as
fighting, first against the Italians and later the German Afrika
Korps, ebbed and flowed across Libya's Mediterranean coast.
||Japanese invade Singapore
||Singapore was believed to be an
impregnable fortress but the Japanese advance from the Malayan
Peninsula proved the falsity of this belief.
||Japanese defeat on Guadalcanal
||After the ill-fated Philippines
campaign, Guadalcanal was the first test of land strength between
Japan and the United States in the Second World War. Japanese reverses
at Guadalcanal contributed to their having to withdraw from the Kokoda
trail in 1942 when they were almost within sight of Port Moresby.
||End of Japanese resistance on the Houn
||Fighting in the Huon Peninsula lasted
from August 1943 until mid-February 1944 and involved heavy fighting
at such places as Lae, Finschhafen, Sattelberg, Shaggy Ridge and the
||Queen Elizabeth at War Memorial
||Queen Elizabeth II plants a tree at the
Australian War Memorial to mark the beginning of the Remembrance
Driveway between Canberra and Sydney
||Chinese offensive, Korea
||Chinese launch their fourth phase
offensive in Korea
||Pink Hill, Cape Colony, South Africa
||Pink Hill, held by Victorian, South
Australian and British troops was attacked by a superior Boer force
resulting in the deaths of 7 Australians and the wounding of 22
||First convoy of 2nd AIF reaches the
||Australia's first land campaign of the
Second World War took place in North Africa against the Italians.
||Main Australian contingent of BCOF
sailed for Japan from Morotai
||Australian personnel played a prominent
role in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan at the
conclusion of the Second World War in the Pacific. They were allotted
the devastated Hiroshima Prefecture on the island of Honshu.
||1st Australian SAS Squadron advance
party departs for Borneo
||The SAS served in Borneo during
Confrontation to gather intelligence, conduct reconnaissance patrols
and collect information on topography.
||Relief of Kimberley.
||The relief of Kimberley, Orange Free
State, South Africa, was a major operation undertaken to break the
Boer siege of the town. 500 Australians of the Queensland Mounted
Infantry, New South Wales Mounted Rifles and New South Wales Lancers
were involved in the breaking of the siege as part of the cavalry
division commanded by Lieutenant-General John French.
||SS Vyner Brooke sunk.
||The Vyner Brooke, carrying 65 Australian
nurses and other refugees from Singapore, was sunk by Japanese
aircraft one day after leaving the island. The survivors made their
way to Banka Island where one group of nurses were massacred by their
Japanese captors. Only Sister Vivian Bullwinkel survived the massacre.
||Fall of Singapore
||Over 15,000 Australians taken prisoner
by the Japanese on Singapore. .For both Britain and Australia this was
a terrible military defeat.
||Banka Island massacre
||22 members of the Australian Army
Nursing Service and other survivors of the sinking of the SS Vyner
Brooke massacred on Banka Island. The only survivor from this party of
Australian nurses was Sister Vivian Bullwinkel.
||Paardeburg, Orange Free State, South
||A major action of the Boer War in which
men of the New South Wales Mounted Rifles were involved that resulted
in the surrender of 4,000 Boers under General Piet Cronje.
||Australian troops arrive in Singapore
||Australia recognised that Singapore was
vital to its own defence, without the island the British fleet had no
suitable base for operations in the South East Asia. The 8th Division
was sent to bolster the island's defence in the event of Japan's
entering the war.
||9th Division arrives in Fremantle
||Having served in North Africa the 9th
Division was ordered back to help defend Australia against the
||Allied warships shell Dardanelles
||This was the first allied attempt to
force a passage through the Dardanelles and attack the heart of the
Ottoman Empire. Its failure ultimately led to the ill-fated Gallipolli
||1st Japanese air raid on Darwin.
||The city was bombed 64 times between
February 1942 and November 1943.
||Defence Bill approved
||Parliament approves Defence (Citizen
Military Forces) Bill introducing conscription for service in the
south west Pacific war zone.
||Japanese land in Portuguese Timor
||The Japanese landing in Portuguese Timor
heralded the beginning of a long and gruelling guerilla campaign waged
by elements of the Australian 2/2nd Independent Company with the
support of friendly Timorese.
||Verdun, Western Front
||A bitter battle between the French and
the Germans lasting nine months and costing over a million men killed
and wounded. French losses at Verdun meant that for the remainder of
the war British forces had to bear much of the burden of the fighting
on the Western Front.
||Australian and British aircraft bomb
||The raid was staged against the jungle
base of the 7th Independent Platoon, Malayan Races Liberation Army in
Central Johore and was carried out by Lincolns of No. 1 Squadron RAAF
and Canberra of No. 12 Squadron RAF. It wiped out the camp and was
regarded as the most successful of the 4,000 sorties flown by the
Australians in Malaya.
||General Douglas MacArthur ordered to
leave the Philippines
||MacArthur made his way to Australia from
where he directed much of the war against Japan. His famous promise
that 'I shall return' was kept when United States forces returned to
the Philippines in 1944.
||Main Australian force on Timor
surrenders to the Japanese
||Those Australians who remained waged a
guerilla war against the Japanese on the island.
||1 Squadron RAAF bomb Communist camps
near Kuala Lumpur during the Malayan Emergency
||1 Squadron flew Canberra bombers during
the Malayan Emergency.
||Major Badcoe, Australian Army Training
Team Vietnam, originally of Adelaide, South Australia, leads an attack
against Viet Cong troops - it was the first of 3 acts of bravery
between February and April 1967 for which he was awarded the Victoria
||Smith, MM & Bar
||Captain J.J. Smith, Australian Army
Training Team Vietnam, wins a Bar to his Military Cross
||Hill 614, Korea
||12 Platoon, D Company, 3rd battalion,
Royal Australian Regiment, captured this important piece of high
ground at the second attempt, enabling the United Nations' forces
northward advance to the Albany Line to continue.
||End of fighting at Wau
||The Japanese recognised that Allied
possession of Wau posed a significant threat to important Japanese
bases at Lae and nearby Salamaua and sought to take the town. They
were defeated after weeks of heavy fighting
||Battle of Java Sea
||In two separate actions off the coast of
Surabaya involving heavy losses in Allied shipping. HMAS Perth was
involved in the battle and was one of the few allied ships to survive.
The action delayed Japanese landings in Java by only one day.
||Japanese invade Java
||The Japanese invasion of Java signalled
the defeat of the Netherlands East Indies and was another in the
series of victories won by the Japanese in the opening six months of
the Pacific war.
||Gulf War ends
||With Iraqi forces having been driven
from Kuwait and defeated in the field the coalition forces called a
halt to the fighting.
||HMAS Sydney arrives at Vung Tau
||On this voyage Sydney embarked 457
soldiers. HMAS Sydney made 21 voyages to Vietnam during the war.