Australia in WWII
By Bethannie Lappin
This is the most direct way over the mountains.
This is the submarine that attack the Sydney Harbour in WWII.
The ambulance would slowly climb the 'Golden stairs' on the Kokoda trail.
Forced to repel a Japanese invasion force, which landed at Gona on the north coast of Papua on 21 July 1942, the Australians fought in appalling conditions over the next four months. The Japanese objective was to capture Port Moresby, the main Australian base in New Guinea, by an overland strike across the Owen Stanley Range. The most direct way across these rugged mountains was by a jungle pathway known as the Kokoda Track.
In July 1942 Australia had just two Militia brigades in Port Moresby, the administrative centre of Papua. In that month the Japanese landed troops at Buna and Gona on the Papuan north coast and in the following month they landed another force at Milne Bay.
The barrier between the Japanese forces in the north and Port Moresby on the south coast was the Owen Stanley Range - a steep, rugged series of mountains crossed only by a few foot tracks, the most important of which was the Kokoda [Track]. At the end of June, one thousand Militiamen, ‘Maroubra’ force, had been ordered to hold Kokoda and its airfield against any possible Japanese attack - but this proved an impossible task.
The men preparing to start war.
This tank was one of the tanks use doing WWII.
These are some of the men relaxing and playing cards.
The Tai-Burma railway
As more men and women volunteered and were drafted for military service abroad, the government was faced with a dire shortage of labour for all industries. Australia was faced with a shortage of resources and human labour.
At the outbreak of war, there were few structures in place to control the Australian workforce and direct its production energies. Some jobs, such as engineers and munitions producers, had been reserved. People who were occupied in these professions and trades were not allowed to enlist. This was, however, the extent of the government's control over the economy.
The involvement of Australian women in each war is closely connected to their role in society at different times, and the nature of each war.
On the home front, women dealt with the consequences of war – managing children and family responsibilities alone, shortages of resources, as well as their fears for the future, and the grief and trauma of losing loved ones. Many women were also actively involved as nurses and in other active service duties, and contributed more actively to war efforts through military service. Other Australian women were also closely connected with war through male relatives and friends away on military service. In World War II, women were actively recruited into jobs that had always been the preserve of men; they worked in factories and shipyards, as members of the Women's Land Army and as Official War Artists.
Women's lives changed in many ways during World War II. As with most wars, many women found their roles and opportunities -- and responsibilities -- expanded. Husbands went to war or went to work in factories in other parts of the country, and the wives had to pick up their husbands' responsibilities. With fewer men in the workforce, women filled more traditionally-male jobs. In the military, women were excluded from combat duty, so women were called on to fill some jobs that men had performed, to free men for combat duty. Some of those jobs took women near or into combat zones, and sometimes combat came to civilian areas, so some women died.