Commemoration: Australia's Wartime Heritage

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The Thai–Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass

The Thai–Burma railway and Hellfire Pass Web Site

The Thai–Burma railway and Hellfire Pass

Australian Prisoners of war on the Thai–Burma railway 1942–1945 ...

Since 1945 prisoners of war and the Thai–Burma railway have come to occupy a central place in Australia’s national memory of World War II.

There are good reasons for this. Over 22 000 Australians were captured by the Japanese when they conquered South East Asia in early 1942. More than a third of these men and women died in captivity. This was about 20 per cent of all Australian deaths in World War II. The shock and scale of these losses affected families and communities across the nation of only 7 million people.

This site focuses on Hellfire Pass (Konyu Cutting), the deepest and most dramatic of the many cuttings along the Thai–Burma railway. Not all Australian POWs worked here in 1943. Nor was the workforce in this region exclusively Australian. However, in recent years Hellfire Pass has come to represent the suffering of all Australian prisoners across the Asia–Pacific region. The experiences of prisoners elsewhere were, in fact, very diverse but this site only can only hint at these.

Go to The Thai-Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass web site.

Gallipoli Web Site

Gallipoli and the Anzacs ...

Visit Gallipoli and the Anzac Commemorative Site

The site includes several walking tours of the Gallipoli battlefield, with photographs, maps, instructions and contemporary accounts. Audio commentaries are available for all locations. These are also avaliable in Turkish language, as are many texts on the site.

A unique feature is a detailed animation of the Australian submarine AE2's voyage which entered the Dardanelles to disrupt Turkish sea communication on 25 April 1915, based on Lieutenant-Commander Henry Stoker's reports.

The 1915 Gallipoli campaign is still debated today. Why were Australians and New Zealanders fighting in Turkey? Did the Anzacs land in the right place? Read war correspondents and soldiers accounts. A selection of interactive timelines is also available to assist in quickly locating information and perspectives on significant dates. Read about the role of the nurses at Gallipoli in 1915 and the conditions in which they worked.

Many of the photographs, artworks and documents discovered in the archives of the State Library of NSW are published for the first time on this website. This site was established in 1999, named Best Australian Educational Website in the 2001 Australian Excellence in Educational Publishing Awards and has had new materials added regularly since then.

Go to The Gallipoli and the Anzacs web site.

Australia's War 1939-1942 Web Site

Australia's War 1939-1945 ...

Australians' involvement in World War Two

This site charts the course of Australians' involvement in World War Two. It contains a very large collection of photographs, documents, video and audio covering all aspects of Australian involvement, including famous engagements such as the Siege of Tobruk, El Alamein, the Coral Sea, Kokoda and Milne Bay.

It includes animations that detail the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour, and a simulated Coastwatcher radio. Australians in the war at sea, the air war in Europe and Australian Prisoners of War are detailed in depth.

This site provides a unique resource on the web for teachers, students and the general public alike to add further understanding to the service of Australians in World War Two.

Highlights of the site include hundreds of contemporary photographs and stories of Australians such as the nurses who survived the sinking of the Vyner Brooke, the sinking of the HMAS Sydney, the roles played by the Indigenous peoples of Australia in the war, Frank Hurley's war photography and documentary films, and little-known operations where Australians served including places like China, Russia, the Faroe Islands, Madagascar, Burma, the West Indies, Iraq, Kenya, the Azores and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Go to The Australia's War 1939-1945 web site.

Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 Web Site

Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918

An Australian journey across the First World War battlefields of France and Belgium ...

World War I, 1914-1918, was the 'Great War', the 'war to end all wars'. In that conflict, the most important battleground was the 'Western Front' in France and Belgium where great battles were fought with names that were once household words in Australia - Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele, Dernancourt and Villers-Bretonneux.

Of the more than 290,000 Australians who served in this theatre of war in the AIF, the Australian Imperial Force, 46,000 were either killed in action or died of their wounds. Dotted across the landscape of France and Belgium are hundreds of war cemeteries and memorials where these soldiers lie buried or where their names are listed among those thousands who have 'no known grave, the 'missing'.

This site takes you on a historical tour of 40 locations closely associated with the battle experience of the AIF or of more general interest. The complete site is also available in French and Dutch (for the locations in Belgium).

Go to The Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 web site.

Australia's involvement in the Korean War Web Site

Australia's involvement in the Korean War ...

The Korean War was fought from 1950 to 1953 between South Korea and North Korea. It was the first major war of a larger conflict, the Cold War. The Cold War was a political, economic and military contest between the two post war superpowers, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union). The Republic of Korea (south) was supported by the United States which persuaded the United Nations to side with South Korea. Australia was one of the 21 members of the United Nations which sent military forces to aid the south. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (north), was backed by China and the Soviet Union.

During the war over half a million military personnel and more than one million civilians died. Half of Korea’s industry and a third of all housing was destroyed. Some 17,000 Australians fought in Korea, 346 Australians died there.

This site provides information of Australia's involvement in the Korean War conflict and features detailed animated maps of major battles where Australians fought including the Kapyong, Maryang San and Han River. The site also features a detailed historical timeline of the war with over 200 entries, as well as video interviews with Korean War veterans.

Go to The Australia's involvement in the Korean War web site.

Australia and the Vietnam War Web Site

Australia and the Vietnam War ...

The Vietnam War was the longest conflict in which Australians have been involved; it lasted ten years, from 1962 to 1972, and involved some 60,000 personnel. Millions lost their lives, millions more were made refugees and the disaster that befell the region continues to reverberate today. For Australia the Vietnam War was the cause of the greatest social and political dissent since the conscription referenda of the First World War.

This site provides information of Australia's role in this conflict through photographs, documents, maps and video and includes details on the famous events at Long Tan, Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, Binh Ba and Operation Bribie.

Australia's national service scheme was introduced in 1964, and although it was not brought in to enable Australia's participation in the Vietnam War, large numbers of people believed this to have been the case. The site includes video and images covering the growing Australian home front opposition to the war, including conscription, the birthday ballot, the moratorium marches and the 'save Our Sons' movement.

Go to The Australia and the Vietnam War web site.

Australian involvement in South East Asian Conflicts Web Site

Australian involvement in South East Asian Conflicts ...

The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) and the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation (Konfrontasi) (1962-1966)

The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) and the Indonesian Confrontation (1963-1966) represent significant turning-points in both Australian military history, and the history of Australia's international relations. An understanding of these conflicts also helps explain why Australia became involved in the Vietnam War (1962-1972).

The Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation were disputes over the fate of former British colonial possessions in South-East Asia. They were end-of-empire conflicts; and they were the last occasions in which Australians fought alongside Commonwealth forces in what was basically a British cause.

Rarely seen video footage is included, such as Brigadier Frank Hassett, one of Australia's most well-known soldiers at the time, discussing aspects of Australian's involvement in the Malayan Emergency.

The site also details little-known operations such as "Claret". This was the codename for secret cross-border operations carried out by Commonwealth units into the Indonesian province of Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

Go to The Australian involvement in South East Asian Conflicts web site.

The Kokoda Track Web Site

The Kokoda Track ...

Exploring the site of the battle fought by Australians in World War II

In 1942, along a narrow track over the rugged mountains of Papua New Guinea, 625 Australians were killed and over 1000 wounded.

The four months fighting there, against a Japanese invasion force, was perhaps the most significant battle fought by Australians in World War II. This site will help you to understand about this extraordinary event: Why it occurred, who was involved and what it was like to face death in the jungled mountains along the Kokoda track.

This site includes detailed animations of the important engagements, based on the very latest authoritative research, including Kokoda, Deniki, Isurava, Eora, Efogi, Templeton's crossing, Ioribaiwa and Oivi-Gorari.

The post war revival of interest in the Kokoda track has given rise to new problems. Now over 2000 Australians walk the track each year and there is concern that this has a detrimental environmental effect. For the Koiari people, through whose land the track winds, there are issues of track ownership and remuneration.

Go to The The Kokoda Track web site.

Australia's War 1939-1942 Web Site

Operation CLICK: Anzac to Kokoda ...

A Classroom Resource

Operation CLICK: Anzac to Kokoda is a classroom resource which draws on and encourages the use of the websites Gallipoli and the Anzacs and Australia's War 1939-1945 in the classroom. The lessons and worksheets, written by experienced history teachers, can be used in many contexts.

In particular, the lessons and worksheets invite teachers to explore more effective ways of encouraging their students to incorporate ICT skills into their classroom learning activities that will encourage young Australians to learn more about Australia's wartime heritage through the stories and images provided on the two websites.

More than 80 individual lesson work sheets are included here, along with teacher notes on topics as diverse as fighting conditions, reflecting on the Anzac legend, the midget submarine attack on Sydney, the Kokoda track, the Australian home front support for the war effort, recruitment, courage in extreme situations, treatment of POWs, signals, ciphers and advertising.

Go to The Operation CLICK: Anzac to Kokoda web site.

Australians War at War Web Site

Australians At War ...

ABC TV Series on the effects of war on the lives of Australians

This site was designed to complement Australians at War, the eight-hour ABC TV series broadcast in 2001 to mark the centenary of Federation and dedicated to those Australians who served their nation over the past one hundred years.

It examines the effects of war on the lives of Australians and how Australia has been shaped by those experiences. Through animated documentaries, video, audio and activities you can re-live some of the greatest events in our history, as seen through the eyes of the men and women who were there.

This site is an educational resource as well as a growing legacy of the sacrifices made by ordinary Australians at times when their nation needed them.

Go to The Australians At War web site.

Australians At War Film Archive Web Site

Australians At War Film Archive ...

2000 Australian stories: our wartime heritage

The Australians at War Film Archive is an Australian Government initiative, commissioned through the Department of Veterans' Affairs and designed to film and record the stories of over two thousand war veterans as a permanent asset for posterity. It is an unmatched historical collection, a resource for all Australians interested in our wartime heritage.

The interviews were conducted in every state and territory of Australia. The interviews encompass individuals representing every conflict in which Australia has been involved from World War I up to and including the present day. There are interviews with veterans from all the Services, the homefront, peace operations and currently serving members of the Australian Defence Force.

The Archive is a repository of memories, a collection of experiences, and as such, it does not claim to be an accurate historical record. Rather, it is the stories of particular times in Australia's past, told by the people who were there.

Go to The Australians At War Film Archive web site.

The Nominal Roll of Australian World War Two Veterans Web Site

The Nominal Roll of Australian World War Two Veterans ..

Search the database of service details

The World War Two Nominal Roll honours and commemorates the men and women who served in Australia's defence forces and the Merchant Navy during the period 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945. It contains information from the service records of some one million individuals.

The number of individuals collected for the Nominal Roll include some 50,600 members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), 846,000 from the Australian Army, and 221,500 members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as well as approximately 3,700 merchant mariners.

Service record details may be searched by name, service number, honours, place (of birth, of enlistment, or residential locality at enlistment). A certificate of service may be printed from individual service records.

Australians who served with other Commonwealth or Allied Forces are not included in this Nominal Roll. Respective overseas countries may hold the World War Two service records for those Australians. In addition, those who served in the Australian Women's Land Army, the Australian Red Cross and philanthropic organisations, are not included in this Roll.

Go to The Nominal Roll of Australian World War Two Veterans web site.

The Nominal Roll of Australian Vietnam War Veterans Web Site

The Nominal Roll of Australian Vietnam War Veterans ...

Search the database of service details

The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans honours and commemorates approximately 61,000 men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Vietnam, or in the waters adjacent to Vietnam, during the conflict between 23 May 1962 and 29 April 1975.

The Nominal Roll contains selected Service details of approximately 13,600 members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), 41,800 members of the Australian Army, and 4,900 members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

This website also contains the names of more than 1,600 Australian civilians who were awarded or were eligible to receive the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal (VLSM). Australian civilian VLSM recipients includes medical personnel, Merchant Navy personnel, entertainers, war correspondents, Qantas aircrew and employees of various government departments.

Australians who enlisted with other Commonwealth or Allied Forces are not included in this Nominal Roll. Respective overseas countries hold the Vietnam Service records for those Australians.

Go to The Nominal Roll of Australian Vietnam War Veterans web site.

The Nominal Roll of Australian Korean War Veterans Web Site

The Nominal Roll of Australian Korean War Veterans ...

Search the database of service details

The Nominal Roll of Australian Veterans of the Korean War honours and commemorates approximately 18,000 men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Korea, or in the waters adjacent to Korea, during the conflict and after the ceasefire, between 27 June 1950 and 19 April 1956.

A small number of Australian civilians are also included on the nominal roll. They consist of canteen staff who served on RAN ships deployed to Korean waters during the conflict, and members of philanthropic organisations, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, who provided various forms of support to Australian service personnel in Korea.

Australians who enlisted with other Commonwealth or Allied Forces are not included in this Nominal Roll. Respective overseas countries hold the Vietnam Service records for those Australians.

Go to The Nominal Roll of Australian Korean War Veterans web site.