History In Focus

Corporal Mervyn Hall

AMWA proud custodians of Merv Hall DCM collection

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.
Soldiers during World War 2

A rare find leads to a mystery solved

Fort Queenscliff Museum reveals the secret identity of the author of the ‘Twelve Months with the Australian Expeditionary Force’.
Soldiers in World War 2

A Revolution in Military Affairs

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.
Crashed fighter plane

Attacks on Australia

Did you know that during the period February 1942 to November 1943 that Australia came under attack on nearly 100 occasions by the Japanese?
Tanks and soldiers in World War 2

Australian Armour in the Middle East 1940 to 1943

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.
The Longest War - The Australian Army in Afghanistan

Australian Army in Afghanistan

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 tanks at the battles of Coral and Balmoral

Australian tanks at the battles of Coral and Balmoral

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).
Brigade Hill - Papua New Guinea

Brigade Hill - Papua New Guinea

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.
Centenary of the August 1915 Offensive

Centenary of the August 1915 Offensive

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 - Papua New Guinea

Eora Creek - Papua New Guinea

Eora Creek was the site of the largest battle on the Owen Stanley Ranges in the Australians advance to Kokoda.
Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

During the war in Papua New Guinea, the local population who were sympathetic to the Australian troops would assist where they could.
Centenary of the August 1915 Offensive

Good old First Brigade. Well done!

Among the many soldiers who distinguished themselves during the Gallipoli campaign, Alfred John Shout stands tall.
Isurava - Papua New Guinea

Isurava - Papua New Guinea

Isurava provided as good a delaying position as could be found amongst the terrain on the Kokoda track.
Soldiers in Kokoda in World War 2

Kokoda recaptured

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.
Battle of Milne Bay

Milne Bay - Papua New Guinea

The Battle of Milne Bay is one of Australia’s most overshadowed battles. Kokoda deserves its accolades, but so too does its sister battle.
Olive and Ella

Olive and Ella

Olive May Kelso King was a young Australian woman with a passion for adventure.
Soldier having a tooth removed

Pull the Other One! – Dentistry in the 1st AIF

Dental health was an important aspect of physical wellbeing during WW1. When neglected, it had a serious impact on the manpower of the army.
Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

At 11.00am on 11 November 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare.
Russia 1919

Russia 1919

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.
Students to save lives

Students to save lives

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.
Supporting Armys Aviation Capability

Supporting Armys Aviation Capability

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.
The Airborne landing at Nadzab

The Airborne landing at Nadzab

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

The Battle for Brigade Hill

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

The Battle of Binh Ba: 6-7 June, 1969

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 Battle of Ioribaiwa

The Battle of Ioribaiwa

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.
Soldiers at the Long Tan Memorial

The Battle of Long Tan

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.
The Battle of Messines

The Battle of Messines

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.
The Changi Brownlow

The Changi Brownlow

In an attempt to raise morale amongst the Prisoners of War within the Changi Camp in Singapore, many sports competitions were conducted.
WW2 Army service numbers

The offending 'M' - WW2 Army service numbers

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).
The Shell Green Cricket Match

The Shell Green Cricket Match

There are many rumours that the ANZACs staged a cricket match at Gallipoli and this is in fact true.
Private James Charles (Jim) Martin

The Youngest ANZAC

Private James Charles (Jim) Martin (1901-1915) is believed to have been the youngest Australian to die during service at Gallipoli.
What did Grandpa do in the war?

What did Grandpa do in the war?

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!
Women's historical contribution recognised on Anzac Day

Women's historical contribution recognised on Anzac Day

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.
Troops of an Australian Battalion on the deck of battleship Prince of Wales in Mudros Harbour just before the landing. The ship was part of the fleet which transported Australian troops to the Gallipoli landing at Anzac Cove. 24 April 1915. AWM A01829.

WWI Gallipoli

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.
WWI Sinai, Palestine and Syria

WWI Sinai, Palestine and Syria

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.
: Stretcher bearers of the 6th Field Ambulance carrying the wounded from an Advanced Dressing Station to a waiting motor ambulance for conveyance to the Casualty Clearing Station. 2 September 1918. AWM E01317.

WWI The Western Front

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.