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1 Secondary Schools Education Resource

2 Australians at War Secondary Schools Education Resource Produced for Beyond Productions Pty Ltd by Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs

3 Commonwealth of Australia 2002 ISBN Written by Robert Lewis and Tim Gurry of Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd for Beyond Productions Pty Ltd on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Designed by Polar Design Pty Ltd, Melbourne. Printed by Impact Printing Pty Ltd, Melbourne. Teachers are permitted to copy all materials in this book as needed for classroom use. All efforts have been made to find copyright ownership of materials used in this publication. Any contraventions are accidental. For any copyright matters please contact the Commemorations Branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs, PO Box 21, Woden ACT 2606.

4 Contents TEACHERS GUIDE The project 6 Contents of the education resource 6 Key learning outcomes 7 Curriculum applications 7 Recommended resources 8 UNIT 1 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR VIDEO GUIDE To the teacher 10 Student Activity 1 Watching the video 12 Student Activity 2 Reflecting on ideas 13 Resource Pages War and conflicts fact sheets 15 UNIT 2 EXPERIENCES OF WAR To the teacher 30 Student Activity 1 Asking questions of veterans 34 Student Activity 2 Investigating World War I 36 Student Activity 3 Analysing representations of the landing at Gallipoli 36 Student Activity 4 Investigating World War II 37 Student Activity 5 Investigating the Vietnam War 37 Resource Pages People s stories 38 UNIT 3 IMAGES OF WAR To the teacher 62 Student Activity 1 What are representations of history? 64 Student Activity 2 Analysing the Gallipoli landing sequence of Australians at War 66 Student Activity 3 Comparing the drawings of Will Dyson and Bruce Bairnsfather in World War I 67 Student Activity 4 Analysing the photographs of Frank Hurley in World War I 70 Student Activity 5 Comparing different representations of the same event in World War II 72 Student Activity 6 Representing the Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam War 74 Student Activity 7 Comparing war artists representations of East Timor 77

5 UNIT 4 WAR AND A LOCAL COMMUNITY To the teacher 82 Student Activity 1 Creating a mind map 84 Student Activity 2 Matching captions to illustrations 85 Resource Pages Visual evidence. Perth during World War II 86 Student Activity 3 Summarising information about the home front at war 91 Resource Pages Written evidence. Perth during World War II 92 Student Activity 4 Drawing conclusions 98 UNIT 5 WAR AND IDENTITY To the teacher 100 Student Activity 1 Brainstorm 102 Resource Pages The Anzac image 103 Resource Pages Testing the Anzac image 108 UNIT 6 REMEMBERING AND COMMEMORATING To the teacher 114 Student Activity 1 What does Anzac Day tell us about being Australian? 116 Student Activity 2 Investigating an Anzac Day 117 Student Activity 3 Finding out more about Anzac Day 118 Student Activity 4 Is Anzac Day an inclusive day? 118 Student Activity 5 Investigating a local memorial 119 Student Activity 6 Investigating your local memorial 120 Student Activity 7 Why do we have an Unknown Australian Soldier? 121 Student Activity 8 Investigating a museum display 124 Resource Pages Creating a museum display 125 Student Activity 9 Creating your representation of the Australian experience of the Vietnam War AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

6 Teachers Guide AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 5

7 THE PROJECT Australians at War is the television documentary series commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs in co-operation with the Australian War Memorial, and produced by Beyond Productions in association with Mullion Creek Productions, to commemorate 100 years of Australia s wartime heritage. This education resource is part of the project. It provides materials and approaches to help teachers explore some of the themes in the series, in their classrooms. There is also an associated website that contains more than 200 stories of people s experiences of war and conflict over the past 100 years. CONTENTS OF THE EDUCATION RESOURCE The education resource consists of two elements: a video, and a 128-page resource book of teaching suggestions and reproducible classroom materials. Video This 36-minute production draws heavily on episode 8 of the Australians at War series. There is also an additional segment from episode 2 of the series, showing a reconstruction of the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April Students will find this valuable in their study of Anzac Day. Worksheets to help students gather information and ideas from the video are included in the resource book. Secondary schools have also been provided separately with a full set of the Australians at War series so that teachers and students can undertake extension work if desired. Resource Book The book of teaching suggestions and reproducible classroom materials is divided into six units. These cover a number of major themes established in the video series Australians at War, and provide a resource for investigating those themes in some depth. The book also contains reproducible worksheets to help students analyse the video component of the education resource, and a set of context pages for each major war and conflict in which Australians have been involved over the last 100 years. The six units in the book are: Video Guide posing questions about the video, to help students identify and think about the key themes raised Experiences of War presenting the stories of a number of people from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. These stories provide a starting point for exploring the variety of ways in which Australians have experienced wars and other conflicts over the last century Images of War providing a series of visual representations of war. This enables students to analyse how artists, photographers and film-makers have created images that influence the way we respond to our wartime history and heritage War and a Local Community a collection of evidence of the reaction of one community, Perth, WA, to the experience of World War II. This provides a model for students to explore their own community s experience of that war War and Identity focusing on the way in which the Anzac legend was shaped in the very influential Anzac Book, materials for which were gathered at Gallipoli Remembering and Commemorating providing ways of exploring how we commemorate and remember wars and conflicts in local communities through memorials, ceremonies and museums This grid shows which wars and conflicts the various units draw most heavily upon and will help teachers choose which elements they will focus on in their own classrooms. CONFLICT VIDEO EXPERIENCES IMAGES WAR AND A LOCAL WAR AND REMEMBERING AND GUIDE OF WAR OF WAR COMMUNITY IDENTITY COMMEMORATING BOER WAR X X WORLD WAR I X X X X X WORLD WAR II X X X X X KOREAN WAR X X MALAYA AND INDONESIA X X VIETNAM X X X X EAST TIMOR AND PEACEKEEPING X X X 6 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

8 KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES The aim of the resource is to provide teachers with a variety of documents and suggested approaches for studying aspects of Australians wartime experiences. Such a study will help students to: know more about Australia s involvement in a number of wars and conflicts over the last 100 years understand and empathise with some of the experiences of war and conflicts on individual people be aware of the existence of a variety of sources about war and conflicts including stories, memorials, letters, photographs, paintings and film apply ideas and knowledge about the general Australian experience of wartime to individuals and their own local communities engage with people about their experiences of war and conflict develop an awareness and understanding of some significant ceremonies associated with our wartime heritage develop an awareness of the relevance of the past to the present and the future reflect on the significance of Australia s wartime involvement in the formation of identity and heritage CURRICULUM APPLICATIONS The Australians at War education resource provides teacher-friendly materials that can be used in the classroom. Teachers may use these in the format in which they are presented in this resource, or they may choose to adapt and modify them to suit their own needs and circumstances. The approaches suggested to teachers reflect an inquiry approach to learning. This involves finding it out by working it out. The resource presents sufficient evidence for students to develop tentative answers to the inquiry questions, but there is also scope and encouragement for them to take their investigations further. The emphases and materials in the resource have been influenced by the major History / Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE) / Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) curriculum documents for Years 9 10 in each State and Territory. A summary of the relevant content and outcomes that the resource covers is shown in the table below. The education resource will be able to be used both at higher and lower year levels than those suggested, but it has been specifically constructed to suit the language level and classroom needs of Years 9 and 10. AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY STUDIES OF SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: TIME, CHANGE AND CONTINUITY, YEARS 7 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Australia in the 20th century Investigate events with a change of focus Identity Use of a range of resources Political, social and economic Evaluate resources and others responses changes Prepare written reports and short essays Heritage and tradition Summarise, organise, analyse, explain NEW SOUTH WALES STAGE 5 HISTORY, YEARS 7 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Australian History Recount major historical events in chronological order Australian social and political life Sequence major historical events to show understanding of continuity, change and causation to 1914 Recount world events in which Australia has been involved Australia and World War I and II Explain impact of international events on Australia s history and evaluate Australia s Major influences on Australian contribution to world affairs identity Recognise myths relating to Australian identity Nature of heritage Understand changing perceptions of Australian identity Political, social, economic and Describe and identify heritage issues cultural experiences of women Identify, use and analyse sources in the past 200 years Identify and explain changes in the experiences of women in Australia in the 20th century NORTHERN TERRITORY STUDIES OF SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: TIME, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE, YEARS 7 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Core values of contemporary Identify ways people s actions are framed by their historical context Australians Analyse evidence to determine reasons for formation of, and changes in, beliefs and actions Causes and consequences Provide historical background to a contemporary event of historical events Rank the causes of an event by probable significance Variation in importance of Explain why interpretations of issues can change over time causes and effects AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 7

9 QUEENSLAND STUDIES OF SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: TIME, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE, YEARS 8 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Modern Australia Use evidence to identify development of ideas Represent situations before and after rapid change Locate and systematically record information in historical sources Analyse change and continuity Develop arguments Identify values SOUTH AUSTRALIA SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: TIME, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE, YEARS 8 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Aspects of change Critically compare representations of people, events, ideas and issues in Australia since 1900 (including time) Analyse, contextualise and evaluate different sources and concepts relevant to different groups Describe and explain lasting and changing aspects of societies including reasons and ways to influence the future TASMANIA STUDIES OF SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: HISTORY, YEARS 9 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Australia at war Respond critically to primary and secondary source material VICTORIA STUDIES OF SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: HISTORY, YEARS 7 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Australia in the 20th century Analyse significant issues, people and events in Australia in the 20th century Relationship of a contemporary Explain how a selected contemporary issue relates to Australia s evolving identity issue to Australia s identity Use evidence from a range of sources to justify an argument WESTERN AUSTRALIA SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT: TIME, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE, YEARS 7 10 Content / context Outcomes (skills, knowledge, concepts, values) Australian social, political Understand change over time and economic life Understand change and continuity Australia s identity Understand revolutionary and evolutionary change Understand the impact of heritage and beliefs on perspectives Compare contrasting views on an issue RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Australians at War website A special website has been developed as part of the Australians at War project. This site contains stories of ordinary Australians and their war experiences, covering all major conflicts of the last 100 years. There are also 42 feature stories that have been built in an animated documentary style using Flash technology. These stories cover six key themes: Mates, Courage under fire, Worn with pride, Getting through it, Aussie know-how and Thoughts of home. The site also features educational material and activities that teachers can download, a section that helps users trace their family military history, a Question and Answer style quiz that tests the user s factual knowledge about information on the site, and a series of symbology interactive exercises. Gallipoli website The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently developed a special Gallipoli website. This site focuses on the story of Gallipoli. Students can explore visual images of Gallipoli then and now, access primary source documents from soldiers and nurses, and visit battlefield and war graves sites. Department of Veterans Affairs website Australian War Memorial website ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland website 8 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

10 Australians at War Unit 1 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR VIDEO GUIDE AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 9

11 TO THE TEACHER Overview The Australians at War education resource includes a 36-minute video that draws heavily on episode 8 of the Australians at War series. The video is an ideal introduction to a study of the Australian experience of war over the last century. It provides a wealth of thought-provoking images and ideas that can serve as starting points to be explored further through other evidence. Students may need help in establishing the context of each war, and the Fact Sheets included in this unit can be used to help students with this. The video also contains a sequence on the landing at Gallipoli from episode 2 of the television series. Classroom activities associated with this are explained in the To the teacher section of Unit 3, Images of War. Themes The worksheets in this unit focus on five themes that are raised in the video, and which can be pursued further through the materials in the remaining units in the resource: Experiences of War (Unit 2) Images of War (Unit 3) War and a Local Community (Unit 4) War and Identity (Unit 5) Remembering and Commemorating (Unit 6) The student worksheets ask questions that are designed to help students identify key ideas and information for exploring each theme. The print units in the book provide further information and classroom strategies for exploring each of the themes further. Key learning outcomes A study of this unit will help students: develop an overview of Australia s involvement in wars and conflicts over the last 100 years hypothesise about a series of key ideas related to the Australian experience of war Suggested classroom activities Activity 1 Have students watch the video. Individually or as a group, students complete the video worksheets and discuss their answers to the questions. Students might have the set of Resource Page fact sheets to help them understand the context of the different wars and conflicts. This will provide starting points for exploring one or more of the themes of particular wars and conflicts in more detail. Activity 2 Students can now discuss the Reflecting on ideas questions. This will help them think broadly about the five key themes identified, and encourage them to explore the ideas more fully through the print materials supplied in the book. 10 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

12 Australians at War Unit 1 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR VIDEO GUIDE Student Activity Pages AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 11

13 W atching the video UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Student Activity 1 Look at the video in this education resource. It draws extensively on episode 8 of the documentary series Australians at War. This episode is titled Faith enough for all of us. As a group or class, discuss your answers to the following questions. The Anzac spirit 1 The video starts with the ceremony at Gallipoli on 25 April Why is that date special to Australians? 2 Australian Prime Minister Hughes, speaking on Anzac Day in 1916, said that, as a result of the landing at Gallipoli, Australians had put on the toga of manhood. What do you think he meant by that? 3 The Anzac legend is described as not a celebration, but a commemoration. What is the difference between the two ideas? 4 The narrator claims that the Anzac spirit continues into modern life. In what ways can it be seen today? War artists 5 We have very full records of Australian involvement in wars. Why have we sent war artists? What can they tell us that other forms of recording events cannot? 6 The painting of Ivor Hele and the film of Damien Parer of a burial in New Guinea in World War II are presented in the video for comparison. How does this comparison help us to understand the role of war artists in recording the Australian experience of war? 7 The artists are referred to as storytellers. Explain what this role involves. Commemorating 8 What do memorials in Australia tell us about war and its impact on Australians? 9 How does the existence of war cemeteries overseas help explain the impact and significance of war memorials in Australia? Peacekeeping 10 How is peacekeeping part of the Anzac tradition? 11 How is it similar to, and how is it different from, the experience of combat that started the tradition? Remembering 12 How do memorials help Australians remember war? 13 The stories of participants presented in the video are sometimes light-hearted, sometimes serious. What do these stories tell us about the Australian experience of war? The Anzac spirit today 14 The narrator says that the central meaning of Anzac Day is the question: what have we made from the peace that has been won in conflicts? What does this mean? 15 The video claims that history defines identity. What does Australia s Anzac history contribute to our national identity today? 16 The video claims that Gallipoli is with us still, but it needs to be re-interpreted to remain relevant. What does Gallipoli mean to the young woman, Justine, interviewed near the end of the video? 17 The video stresses the significance of Anzac Day for Australians. What would you say is the significance of Anzac Day for you today? 12 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

14 R eflecting on ideas UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Student Activity 2A The video in this resource focuses on a number of themes. As a group or class discuss your responses to the questions below. You can explore each of the themes further by using the resources provided in this book as a starting point. Theme: Experiences of War 1 One of the key elements of an understanding of war and its impact on people and society is an awareness of the reality of what happens in war. Select an image or segment where the nature of war is presented. Discuss what ideas or messages about the nature of war are presented in that image or segment. To explore this theme further, see: Print Unit 2 Experiences of War Australians at War video series all episodes are relevant Australians at War website Theme: Images of War 2 Everything we know about war comes from representations of it that is, versions of the experience presented by individuals. These representations may be personal stories, official histories, paintings, photographs, film, letters and diaries, statues and memorials. All of them are images that people have created according to their own ideas, experiences and values, and which are then presented to an audience. The video shows a wide variety of images of war. One main source of representations is paintings by war artists. Discuss the nature of the messages about war presented in the art of Will Dyson (World War I), Ivor Hele (World War II), and George Gittoes (Rwanda Peacekeeping). 3 Select one image and discuss its meaning and impact on you. 4 What are the strengths and weaknesses of art as a way of gaining knowledge and understanding about the Australian war experience? 5 In several places we see two contrasting representations of the same aspect of a conflict by different people. One example is the burial service for Australian soldiers in New Guinea in World War II; another is the paintings of Wendy Sharpe and Rick Amor in East Timor in Discuss the similarities and differences in the way these different artists represent the same event or situation. 6 The video itself is a representation of war. The film-makers have selected and constructed every image you see and every word and sound you hear in that video. Select a segment and discuss it as a representation of history, focusing on these questions: What particular message is being presented to you in that segment? How has it been constructed? How effective is it? In doing this you need to take note of the narration, the images selected and the sequence in which they have been edited, the music, and any sound effects. To explore this theme further, see: Print Unit 3 Images of War Australians at War video series all episodes are relevant Australians at War website Theme: War and a Local Community 7 The video claims that Australia ended the 20th century the way it started it involved in foreign conflict. List the conflicts that are referred to in this video. 8 Discuss the ways in which you can see both similarities and differences, and change and continuity, in Australia s wartime involvement at the end of the century compared with the start. AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 13

15 R eflecting on ideas UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Student Activity 2B 9 The narration says that the Anzac spirit will only remain relevant in the future if the Gallipoli tradition can be re-interpreted. Where do you see evidence of this re-interpretation (or finding a place for the tradition in modern life) occurring in the video? 10 At different times (such as during the Vietnam War) some Australians have rejected the notion that the Anzac spirit that we trace back to Gallipoli is central to Australian identity. At other times, some Australians have rejected it on the ground that they thought it was non-inclusive (for example of women). What does the Anzac spirit mean to you today? 11 What does it mean to your community? 12 Do you think it is likely to change over time? To explore this theme further, see: Print Unit 4 War and a Local Community Australians at War video series episodes 3 World War I, 5 World War II, 7 Vietnam Australians at War website Theme: War and Identity 13 The video stresses the significance of war for Australian identity how we see ourselves. Gallipoli is shown as significant to that identity. What does the video claim is the significance of Gallipoli to the Australian identity? 14 The military campaign at Gallipoli was unsuccessful. Why has Gallipoli come to be so important to Australians sense of who we are? To explore this theme further, see: Print Unit 5 War and Identity Australians at War video series episode 2 Gallipoli Australians at War website Visit Gallipoli Theme: Remembering and Commemorating 15 Discuss the meanings of remembering and commemorating. 16 One of the main ways Australians have remembered and commemorated war is through memorials. What image of war do Australian war memorials give? 17 Why have war memorials been so important to the families of Australians who have died overseas? 18 What is the significance of the Unknown Australian Soldier? 19 One common phrase on memorials is Lest We Forget. What does this phrase mean? Why should we remember? What should we remember? 20 A phrase used in the video in discussing the nature of modern understanding of war is memories turning into history. What do you think this phrase means? 21 There is the possibility that memorials might glorify war, or create an idealised image of the servicemen and women in which their reality and humanity are lost. Look at these elements of the video: the images of the memorials the eulogy for the Unknown Australian Soldier the opening scene at Gallipoli the narrative Do you think this is happening in this video representation? To explore this theme further, see: Print Unit 6 Remembering and Commemorating Australians at War website 14 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

16 S outh African (or Boer) War UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Resource Page 1A War and Conflicts Fact Sheet Where Southern Africa When Why From the early 1800s the British had established colonies in southern Africa, alongside the independent republics of Dutch-Afrikaaner ( Boer ) settlers. The discovery of gold and diamonds in the Boer republics increased British desires to take control of the whole area. In 1899, expecting a British invasion, the Boers attacked the British territories of Natal and Cape Colony. The war was presented to colonial Australians as one to safeguard the rights of British citizens who were being denied civil rights in the Boer republics. Outline of The conflict in South Africa went through three phases. the conflict Phase 1 British tactics in the early phase of the war (October December 1899) were to launch frontal attacks on concealed Boer positions, but these proved ineffective and led to heavy defeats. Using smokeless powder, the Boers were able to snipe at British infantry from up to two kilometres away before withdrawing to avoid confrontation. Conditions for both soldiers and horses were harsh. Without time to acclimatise to the severe environment, the horses fared badly, and many died not only in battle but of disease; others succumbed to exhaustion on the long treks across the plains (veld). Phase 2 In the second phase of the war (December 1899 September 1900) the British armies captured the major South African towns. This created problems because of over-extended supply lines and inadequate food. Looting was widespread. Disease and epidemics also took a heavy toll. Water contaminated by corpses and human waste infected the army during a period of rest in Bloemfontein after its capture in early 1900, causing 1000 deaths, mostly from typhoid. Phase 3 In the third phase of the war, after September 1900 when the war had become mainly a guerrilla conflict, troops were deployed in sweeping the countryside and enforcing the British policy of cutting the Boer guerrillas off from the support of their farms and families. This meant the destruction of Boer farms, the confiscation of AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 15

17 S outh African (or Boer) War Australian involvement Statistics UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Resource Page 1B War and Conflicts Fact Sheet horses, cattle and wagons and the rounding up of the inhabitants, usually women and children. These civilian captives were taken to concentration camps where, weakened by malnutrition, thousands died of contagious diseases. The Boers were eventually worn down and signed a document of surrender in May At the outbreak of war Australia was still a collection of six separate colonies, each of which had its own military forces. Each colony sent troops. The first troops from Australia arrived in South Africa in December Each of the colonies ultimately sent between four and six contingents, which arrived in four different waves. A further three contingents were raised by the new Commonwealth after Federation in 1901, but they did not embark until Most arrived too late for any action, and some were still at sea when the war ended on 31 May Some Australian troops were involved in the first phase, though most were only involved in the last two phases of the war. By mid-1901 the war for the Australians was characterised by long rides, often at night, followed by an attack on a Boer farmhouse or encampment (laager) at dawn. The skirmishes were often minor, involving small Boer forces quickly overwhelmed by superior numbers. There were occasional fights between the Australians and larger Boer forces, but encounters with Boer commandos were rare. The experience of the NSW Mounted Rifles in the last five months of 1901 was said to be typical: they trekked 2920 kilometres and were involved in 13 skirmishes for the loss of five dead and 19 wounded. They reported killing 27 Boers, wounding 15 and capturing 196. The men spent long periods in the saddle with few opportunities to bathe or change their clothes; lice were a constant problem. Conditions on the veld ranged from relentless heat during the day to freezing cold at night. Nearly Australians fought in the Boer War, with colonial, Australian, British or South African units (often known as Mounted Rifles, Bushmen or Imperial Bushmen ) in South Africa. There was also an unknown number of Australians already working on South Africa s goldfields who served in local units, and a small number of Australians are known to have fought on the Boer side. Casualty figures show 251 died in action or from wounds sustained in battle, while 267 died from disease. A further 43 men were reported missing. Six Australians received the highest award for gallantry, the Victoria Cross (VC), in South Africa and many others received other decorations. Based on information from the Australian War Memorial website 16 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

18 W orld War I (or Great War) UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Resource Page 2A War and Conflicts Fact Sheet Where Parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean oceans. When (Peace Treaty signed in 1919) Why World War I was a conflict between competing Great Power alliances. Britain, France and Russia were in an alliance, as were Germany and Austria-Hungary. The alliance system bound countries to act together if the security of any one was threatened. When the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by Serbian separatists, this system of alliances was brought into action as governments started threatening each other and supporting their allies. Germany, facing a war on two fronts, invaded Belgium to try and defeat the French quickly so that they could concentrate on the more difficult task of fighting Russia. This invasion of Belgium brought in Britain, which was determined to stop German naval and commercial expansionism. Outline of World War I was fought on three major fronts : the Western Front (northern France and Belgium), the Eastern the conflict Front (between Russia and Germany), and the supply lines of the Atlantic Ocean. There was also conflict in German colonies in the Pacific and in Africa, between Italy and Austria, in the Middle East and in the eastern area of Turkey. Australian Most of the men accepted into the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in August 1914 were sent first to Egypt, not involvement to Europe as they had expected. They were to attack Germany s ally, Turkey. After four and a half months of training near Cairo, the Australians departed by ship for the Gallipoli Peninsula, together with troops from nations including New Zealand, Britain and France. The Australians landed on 25 April 1915 at what became known as Anzac Cove, and they established a tenuous foothold on the steep slopes above the beach. During the early days of the campaign, the Allies tried to break through the Turkish AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 17

19 W orld War I (or Great War) Statistics UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Resource Page 2B War and Conflicts Fact Sheet lines and the Turks tried to drive the Allied troops off the peninsula. All attempts by both sides were unsuccessful, and the ensuing stalemate continued for the remainder of On December the troops were withdrawn. After Gallipoli, most of the soldiers and nurses in the AIF were sent to the Western Front. When they arrived in France, the war on the Western Front had long settled into a stalemate, with the opposing armies facing each other from trench systems that extended across Belgium and north-east France from the English Channel to the Swiss border. The development of machine-guns and artillery favoured defence over attack. Throughout 1916 and 1917 the Australians and other Allied forces repeatedly attempted attacks preceded by massive artillery bombardments intended to cut barbed wire and destroy enemy defences. After these bombardments, waves of attacking infantry emerged from the trenches into no man s land and advanced towards the enemy s positions. The surviving Germans, protected by deep and heavily reinforced bunkers, were usually able to repel the attackers with machine-gun fire and artillery support from the rear. These attacks often resulted in only limited territorial gains which were followed in turn by German counter-attacks. Although this style of warfare favoured the defenders, both sides sustained heavy losses. Major engagements involving the Australian forces included Fromelles on the Somme (July 1916, where they suffered 5533 casualties in 24 hours), Bullecourt, Messines and the four-month long campaign around Ypres (or Ieper), known as the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, and Hamel, Amiens, Mont St Quentin, Péronne and the Hindenberg Line in Unlike their counterparts in France and Belgium, the Australians who remained in the Middle East fought a mobile war against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in conditions completely different from the mud and stagnation of the Western Front. The Light Horsemen and their mounts had to survive extreme heat, harsh terrain and water shortages. Nevertheless, casualties were comparatively light, with 1394 Australians killed or wounded in three years of war. This campaign began in 1916 with Australian troops participating in the defence of the Suez Canal and the Allied reconquest of the Sinai peninsula. In the following year Australian and other allied troops advanced into Palestine and captured Gaza and Jerusalem; by 1918 they had occupied Lebanon and Syria. On 30 October 1918, Turkey surrendered. Australians also served at sea. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN), under the command of the British Navy, made a significant contribution early in the war when HMAS Sydney destroyed the German raider Emden near Cocos Island in November World War I was the first armed conflict in which aircraft were used; about 3000 Australian airmen served in the Middle East and France with the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), mainly in observation capacities or providing infantry support. Australian women volunteered for service in auxiliary roles as cooks, nurses, drivers, interpreters, munitions workers and farm workers. While the government welcomed the service of nurses, it generally rejected offers from women in other professions to serve overseas. Australian nurses served in Egypt, France, Greece and India, often in trying conditions or close to the front, where they were exposed to shelling and aerial bombardment. For Australia, as for many nations, World War I remains the most costly conflict ever in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, men enlisted, of whom over were killed and were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. Based on information from the Australian War Memorial website 18 AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

20 W orld War II UNIT 1 Australians at War Video Guide Resource Page 3A War and Conflicts Fact Sheet Where Europe, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Mediterranean area When Why Germany had resented the loss of territories and wealth after its defeat in Under its Nazi government it seized back lost territory during the 1930s. Its invasion of Poland to grab land and resources pushed Britain and France into a situation where its expansion had to be stopped. Outline of The war began with the German invasion of Poland in September The Allies declared war against the conflict Germany, but little then happened. In 1940, however, the Germans overran most of western Europe with their Blitzkreig ( Lightning War ), and began bombing Britain as a prelude to its invasion. The war also extended to an eastern front when Germany invaded Russia in June In December 1941 Japan entered the war, and invaded most of Asia and much of the Pacific area. This brought the United States of America into the war. In May 1945 Germany surrendered, and in August the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing about Japan s surrender. Australian The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) participated in operations against Italy after its entry into the war in June involvement A small number of Australians flew in the Battle of Britain in August and September of the same year, but the Australian Army was not engaged in combat until 1941, when the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions joined Allied operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Following early successes against Italian forces, the Australians and other Allied forces suffered defeat at the hands of the Germans in Greece, Crete and North Africa. In June and July 1941 Australians participated in the successful Allied invasion of Syria, a mandate of France and ally of the Vichy (pro-german) government. Up to Australians held out against repeated German attacks in the Libyan port of Tobruk, where they were besieged between April and August After being relieved at Tobruk, the 6th and 7th Divisions departed from the Mediterranean theatre for the war against Japan. The 9th Division remained to play an important role in the Allied victory at El Alamein in October 1942 before it, too, left for the Pacific. (By the end of 1942 the only Australians remaining in the Mediterranean theatre were airmen serving either with No. 3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) or in the Royal Air Force.) Japan entered the war in December 1941 and swiftly achieved a series of victories which resulted in the occupation of most of South-East Asia and large areas of the Pacific by the end of March Singapore fell in February, with the loss by death or capture of an entire Australian division. After the bombing of Darwin that same month, all RAN ships in the Mediterranean theatre, as well as the 6th and 7th Divisions, returned to defend Australia. AUSTRALIANS AT WAR 19

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