Primary materials

Colonial and Pre-Federation

1788 to 1885 - Colonial and Pre-Federation

Starting with the arrival of British Army units in 1788, this period covers the emergence of military units in each of the Australian colonies prior to Federation, including contributions to both the New Zealand Wars during the 1860s and to the Sudan in 1885.
Pre-World War One 1903 to 1913

1903 to 1913 - Pre-World War One

Between Federation and WWI, the Australian Commonwealth raised an Army. Compulsory Military Training, the visit of Lord Kitchener and establishment of the Royal Military College at Duntroon were all key developments of this period.
World War One 1914 to 1918

1914 to 1918 - World War One

The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was raised in late 1914 to serve overseas in support of Empire. Sent initially to Egypt, Australian troops fought at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front.
Between the Wars 1919 to 1938

1919 to 1938 - Between the Wars

After WWI, Australia’s reduced appetite for war resulted in rapidly shrinking Defence budgets. Misplaced trust in the British Singapore Strategy, chronic underfunding and lack of equipment and training left Australia seriously exposed to threat on the outbreak of WWII.
World War Two 1939 to 1945

1939 to 1945 - World War Two

From the advance across North Africa against Italian and German forces in 1941 and the fall of Malaya and Singapore to the Japanese in 1942, Australian troops of the Second AIF and later, the Militia, fought a long and gruelling war through North Africa, Syria, Greece, Crete, Malaya, New Guinea and the South-West Pacific.
Post-War and Korea 1946 to 1953

1946 to 1953 - Post-War and Korea

Japanese defeat in WWII led to Australian troops joining the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan, while in September 1947 the Australian Regular Army was formed. Australia joined a multinational force on the Korean peninsula to fight North Korean and Chinese Communist forces in a short, but bloody war between 1950 and 1953 that has technically not ended.
South-East Asian Conflicts 1954 to 1961

1954 to 1961 - South-East Asian Conflicts

As part of a British Commonwealth response, Australian units deployed to Malaya to counter guerrilla activity by communist Chinese insurgents in Malaya. Australians also deployed to Borneo during Konfrontasi between Indonesia and Malaysia to support the establishment of the Malaysian nation.
Vietnam 1962 to 1972

1962 to 1972 - Vietnam

Commencing in 1962 with the deployment of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), the Australian Army commitment to the Vietnam War lasted until 1972. Based mainly in Phuoc Tuy province, the Army’s commitment included artillery, infantry, special forces and armoured elements.
Peacekeeping

1973 to 1998 - Peacekeeping

Sending troops to UN peacekeeping operations since 1947, the Australian Army has a proud history of contributing to security and stability missions around the world under UN Mandate. Peacekeeping engagements remain an important role for Army.
Unit Histories and Formations

Unit Histories and Formations

The Australian Army History Unit is proud to make available Unit histories. Unit histories are valuable resources for researchers. They provide unique insights into the formation, purpose and functions of Units - particularly during war periods.