Corporal Mervyn Hall was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his outstanding gallantry on the geographic feature known as ‘the Pimple’ during the battles for Shaggy Ridge in 1943. The Army Museum of Western Australia (AMWA) is the fortunate custodian of his DCM and four campaign medals.
History In Focus
Fort Queenscliff Museum reveals the secret identity of the author of the ‘Twelve Months with the Australian Expeditionary Force’.
The description, “A Revolution in Military Affairs”, has been applied to many periods in the Australian Army’s history. It has become more common in recent times due to massive changes in the technology of war and radical changes in how wars are fought. However, it is not a new phenomenon.
Did you know that during the period February 1942 to November 1943 that Australia came under attack on nearly 100 occasions by the Japanese?
Last year celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Fall of Crete, the Siege of Tobruk and the Battles for Syria,all of which included Australian forces. The efforts of Australia’s fledgling armoured units is less well known, and this article will attempt to give an overview of Australia armoured operations in the Middle East during the Second World War.
In November 2001, Australia joined the United States-led coalition to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, to remove the Taliban from power and to defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan. There was no indication at the time that this would be Australia's longest war.
Australian participation in the Vietnam War began in 1962 with the commitment of the Australian Army Training Team. In 1965, the commitment was expanded to include an infantry battalion supported by ten M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Initially known as Efogi Ridge, Brigade Hill was the site of one of the most horrific delaying battles the Australian were forced to fight while withdrawing over the Owen Stanley Range.
On 6 August 2015, Australia will commemorate the centenary of the August Offensive, pausing to reflect on the entire Gallipoli campaign and, particularly, the sacrifice of those Anzacs at the battles of Lone Pine and the Nek.
Eora Creek was the site of the largest battle on the Owen Stanley Ranges in the Australians advance to Kokoda.
During the war in Papua New Guinea, the local population who were sympathetic to the Australian troops would assist where they could.
Among the many soldiers who distinguished themselves during the Gallipoli campaign, Alfred John Shout stands tall.
Isurava provided as good a delaying position as could be found amongst the terrain on the Kokoda track.
On 2 November 1942, a small Australian patrol led by Lieutenant Alexander Black of the 2/31st Battalion cautiously entered Kokoda. Expecting to encounter the Japanese, Black’s patrol found the village abandoned, the enemy having withdrawn to the Oivi Pass several days earlier.
The Battle of Milne Bay is one of Australia’s most overshadowed battles. Kokoda deserves its accolades, but so too does its sister battle.
Dental health was an important aspect of physical wellbeing during WW1. When neglected, it had a serious impact on the manpower of the army.
At 11.00am on 11 November 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare.
We have received a number of enquiries in relation to Australia’s involvement in the war in Russia. As the Australians involved fought under British units, it is difficult to gain detailed information.
Despite having both parents in the Air Force, a trainee medic at the triservice Army School of Health at Bonegilla, Victoria, decided to join the Army.
The Australian Army History Unit’s Museum of Australian Army Flying, in Oakey, plays an important training and support role for Army’s aviators, by sharing the museum’s aviation heritage and technical resources.
Seventy years ago, on 5 September 1943, Australian combat troops took part in the first successful airborne operation of the Pacific War, completing an airborne landing at Nadzab in Marobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
The Battle for Brigade Hill, fought along the Kokoda Trail, was an unmitigated calamity for Australia’s Maroubra Force. The battle was fought over three days in September 1942 as besieged Australians desperately fought to hold the advancing Japanese as far north of Port Moresby as possible.
The Battle of Binh Ba, fought 50 years ago on June 6 and 7, 1969 was a key moment in the history of Australian operations in Vietnam and is a prime example of combined arms and joint operations in general, and infantry and armour cooperation in particular.
The final great defensive battle fought by the Australians in the Kokoda Campaign was fought on Ioribaiwa Ridge, just 40 kilometres from and within sight of Port Moresby. It marked the end of the Japanese surge southwards and their final victory in the Kokoda Campaign.
The Battle of Long Tan is the most recognised Australian battle of the Vietnam War. In a decade-long war that, for the most part, consisted of small contacts, Long Tan was one of the exceptions.
Precipitated by the detonation of 19 enormous mines under the German front lines (made famous in the Australian feature film Beneath Hill 60), the Battle of Messines has historical significance for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as it was the first time that the 3rd Australian Division saw service on the Western Front.
In an attempt to raise morale amongst the Prisoners of War within the Changi Camp in Singapore, many sports competitions were conducted.
During the Second World War, Australia’s land fighting force was essentially composed of two separate armies, the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the Citizen Military Forces (CMF or Militia).
There are many rumours that the ANZACs staged a cricket match at Gallipoli and this is in fact true.
Private James Charles (Jim) Martin (1901-1915) is believed to have been the youngest Australian to die during service at Gallipoli.
This is a common question and being a member of the Australian Army History Unit (AAHU) I get asked it a lot! What many people do not understand is that it is not the function of the AAHU to conduct such research on behalf of individuals. But regrettably, most individuals do not understand how to conduct their own research to find the answers. The fact is, however, that such research can be relatively easy – once you know how!
Anzac Day provides an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the contribution of all servicemen and women from our oldest to our youngest veterans.
At dawn on 25 April 1915, the ANZACs landed north of Gaba Tepe (the landing area later named Anzac Cove) while the British forces landed at Cape Helles on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
In March 1916, the ANZAC Mounted Division was formed in Egypt from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Brigades and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. It was commanded by Major General Harry Chauvel. In August, the Division helped defeat the Turkish Advance to Romani and, by March 1917, had forced the enemy back to the line Gaza-Beersheba.
By early 1916, recruiting in Australia had raised sufficient troops to replace the ANZAC losses. The Australian Imperial Force in Egypt was expanded to four divisions before being transferred to the Western Front, with a fifth division raised in Australia.