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Category: WW2/2nd AIF

This page is a sub category index

6th Division (formed in September 1939) and the 7th (March 1940) were dispatched to Palestine, in the Middle-East, to complete their training before joining the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France.

Together they formed the 1st Australian Corps, 2nd AIF. However, events overtook them, and France fell to the Germans in July 1940 before the Australian Corps arrived.

The 6th Division was the first division formed for the Second AIF in the Second World War. 

It was so designated because there were already five divisions in the Australian Military Forces when the decision was made in September 1939 to raise a 'special force' for overseas service. Also this fitted with the fact that the 1st AIF had fielded 5 active Divisions.

The division was originally composed of the 16th, 17th and 18th Brigades, but the diversion of the 18th Brigade to the United Kingdom in June 1940, meant that the 19th became its third infantry brigade. 

Between early 1942 and late 1943 the composition of the 6th Division varied considerably due to the changing operational situation. During this time the 14th, 21st, 25th and 30th Brigades also came under the division's command for varying periods.

As a formation, the 6th Division fought in the campaigns in Libya, Greece, and the Aitape-Wewak region of New Guinea. Its individual brigades also fought on Crete, in Lebanon, along the Kokoda Trail and at the Japanese beachheads in Papua, and in the Wau-Salamaua region of New Guinea.

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Sub category index

6th Australian Infantry Division 16th Brigade  17th Brigade  19th Brigade 
Battalions:  2/1st, 2/2nd, 2/3rd  2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th   2/4th, 2/8th, 2/11th
6th Australian Infantry Division - Raised 28 September 1939
  • 2/1st Field Regiment, RAA (New South Wales)
  • 2/2nd Field Regiment, RAA (Victoria)
  • 2/3rd Field Regiment, RAA (South Australia, Western Australia, Darwin and NSW)
  • 2/5th Field Regiment, RAA (Queensland and Tasmania) - Converted to 2/1st Anti-Tank Regiment 
  • 2/1st Australian Machine-Gun Regiment
  • 2/1st Australian Pioneer Battalion
  • 6th Australian Divisional Cavalry
  • 2/1st Field Company, RAE - Sydney, New South Wales
  • 2/2nd Field Company, RAE - Melbourne, Victoria
  • 2/3rd Field Company, RAE - Tasmania/Western Australia/South Australia
  • 2/1st Field Park Company, RAE - Queensland

    16th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion (New South Wales)
  • 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion (New South Wales)
  • 2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalion (New South Wales)
  • 2/4th Australian Infantry Battalion (New South Wales) to 19 Bde after reorganisation

    17th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 2/5th Australian Infantry Battalion (Victoria)
  • 2/6th Australian Infantry Battalion (Victoria)
  • 2/7th Australian Infantry Battalion (Victoria)
  • 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion (Victoria) to 19 Bde after reorganisation

    18th Australian Infantry Brigade - To 7th Division after reorganization
    Replaced by 19th Brigade
  • 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion (Queensland)
  • 2/10th Australian Infantry Battalion (South Australia)
  • 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion (Western Australia) to 19 Bde after reorganisation
  • 2/12th Australian Infantry Battalion (Queensland/Tasmania)

19th Australian Infantry Brigade

  • 2/4th Australian Infantry Battalion (New South Wales)
  • 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion (Victoria)
  • 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion (Western Australia)
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Bardia, Libya. 1941-01-08. A soldier of the 6th Australian Division with a special kind of Italian anti-tank "Molotov-cocktail", consisting of a bottle of petrol with a hand grenade tied to the bottom. The Italians had little chance of using these.

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