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See the fact file below for more information on the Australia in WWII or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Australia in WWII worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
WORLD WAR II
- The First World War had been called the ‘war to end all wars’, but by the 1930s, war and security tension throughout the world was becoming increasingly dangerous.
- World War II broke out when Germany’s Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, which drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany.
- The following year, it invaded Norway and occupied Denmark, then swept through Belgium and the Netherlands. Later, France was occupied.
- Hitler now turned his attention to the empire of Britain, which initially had the defensive advantage of being separated from the Continent by the English Channel.
- In order to gain control of his target country, Hitler implemented the Blitzkrieg attack, forcing Britain to the brink of destruction.
- Soon, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini joined forces with Hitler, thus forming the infamous Axis Powers.
- Meanwhile, the war also expanded in the Pacific as Japan attacked many Asian countries such as Philippines, China, Vietnam, and other neighboring countries.
- However, the turning point came when United States joined the war after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.
- From 1943 to 1945, the Allied forces began to retaliate. British and American forces had defeated the Italians and Germans by 1943, resulting in Mussolini’s defeat by July.
- In Europe, the Allies invaded Europe (called D-Day) in 1944, landing 156,000 soldiers. They made their way to Germany in 1945, thus ending Hitler’s atrocities and the war.
- In the Pacific, the final act of ending the war was the bombing of two Japanese cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in 1945. On August 15, the Japanese government issued a formal surrender, thus ending World War II.
AUSTRALIAN ROLE IN THE WAR
- After Great Britain declared war on Germany, Australia raised a volunteer force, the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF), and sent three divisions overseas to support Britain.
- The Australian government also sent Royal Australian Air Force, aircrews, and Royal Australian Navy ships.
- During the earlier years of the war (1939-1941), Australian soldiers, sailors, and airmen fought the Germans, Italians, and Vichy French in Europe, Egypt, Libya, Syria, the Lebanon, Greece, Crete, and the Mediterranean.
- In June 1940, the Royal Australian Navy took part in operations against Italy.
- They also flew in the Battle of Britain in August and September.
- The Australian Army was finally engaged in combat 1941, when the 6th, 7th, and 9th Divisions took part in the operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
- However, they also suffered defeat with the Allies by the Germans in Greece, Crete, and North Africa.
- In June and July 1941, Australians fought for successful Allied invasion of Syria and defense against the German forces’ repeated attack between April and August.
- While the heat of war was ongoing in Europe, Australia realized it had to defend itself from another axis power, Japan, threatening their mainland.
- The 6th and 7th Divisions of AIF soon departed for the war against Japan. Meanwhile, the 9th Division remained to support the Allied victory at El Alamein in October 1942 before it also left for the Pacific war.
- In 1942, Australian and Allied forces began to secure victory at the Kokoda Track campaign (July 22), the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4–8, 1942), and Battle Milne Bay, New Guinea (August to September).
- In 1943, Australian and Allied forces steadily advanced against the Japanese forces. The battles at New Guinea cemented Australia’s military dominance, especially on capturing the Huon Peninsula and the Finisterre Range campaign.
- Other victorious campaigns Australia supported included the North Western Area Campaign, and Asian campaigns in the Philippines and Borneo as well as the Solomon Islands.
- Australian forces played a minor role in the Japan campaign in the final months of the war and were prepared to participate in the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
- By the end of the war, Australian POWs were liberated and and repatriated and Australian sailors and servicemen and women began returning home.
- Almost 1 million Australians served in World War II: about 40,000 of them died and many thousands more were wounded or injured.
Australia in WWII Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Australia in WWII across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Australia in WWII worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Australia in WWII. On September 3, 1939, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced that Australia was at war with Germany. This was after Britain declared the same against Germany.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Australia in WWII Facts
- WWII Alliances
- Island Nation
- WWII in Europe
- WWII in the Pacific
- WWII Photo Vault
- Effects of War
- Military Power
- Post-war World
- We Want Peace
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Link will appear as Australia in WWII Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 4, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.