| Australia and World
Australia History Timeline:
3. Reasons for Australian involvement in World War II
On 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Robert
Gordon Menzies announced that Australia was at war with Germany.
"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy
duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a
persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain
has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is
also at war."
After Great Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September
1939, Australia raised a volunteer force, the Second
Australian Imperial Force (AIF), and sent the 6th, 7th and
9th Divisions of the AIF overseas to support Britain.
Despite long-held fears that
Japan would enter the war on the side of the Germans, the
Australian government also sent Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF) aircrews and a number of Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
ships to fight for Britain.
a) Under the above heading, make a
(right click open in a new window) in your book
on reasons why
Australia felt she was "also at war" with Britain, and got involved in
the war. (Or you could build your
mind map with one of these
free mind-mapping tools.)
Reasons for Australian involvement in World War II,
in a circle in the middle of a new page to start your mind map.)
Google Image search 'mind maps' if you don't know
how to draw a mind map.
|(Add these points to your mind map: - Australia's political and
cultural ties to Britain - Australia's place in the British
Commonwealth and the number of British descendants in Australia;
Australia's location - distance and isolation from Britain,
surrounded by non-European countries; Australian reliance on the
aid of the British navy for protection; the wish to defeat
aggressive authoritarian powers and return freedom and democracy
to the people of Europe; and Australia's desire to show the
world that although a young nation, Australia can make a
significant contribution to the war effort, and can make a
significant contribution and have an input into arena world
affairs...; and ??)
4. Where Australians fought during the Second World War
||a) Print off
this blank map of the world and then colour and label
on it the places where Australians fought during WW II.
b) Put the above heading (point 4.) at the top of the map.
c) Add some point form notes from the following to the map as well.
The information below, will help you. Use an on-line atlas to find
Then paste the map in your folder/book.
Experiences of Australians serving in World War II
something like: 'fighting conditions Australians in
New Guinea' and 'fighting conditions
Australians in North Africa'.
Design a brief comparison
chart of the fighting conditions the Australian forces
experienced in these two
ii) Which theatre of war appeared to have had the worst fighting
conditions for the Australian troops?
Find and paste in your book/folder 2 maps, one showing where the
Australians fought in North Africa and one showing the Kokoda track.
ii) Label the maps
to show where significant battles were located.
Google image search these two areas of fighting and paste in your books
two small pictures that you think typify the nature of the warfare they
Make a mind map on the experiences of Australians
as prisoners of war - click at the top of this
OR recreate a POW diary
or journal, and include sketches or photographs. The diary or journal
should accurately recount the experiences of Australian prisoners of
The Impact of the war on Australian Civilians
a) In your book under the above heading, make a
few points or a quick mind map on
the impact on civilians of the
Darwin and the mini submarines in Sydney Harbour,
at the top of this site.
page of pictures,
OR instead of mind-mapping points from your research, role-play a
reporter standing in front of some bombed building in Darwin soon after
the bombing and report the recent events. (
use a 'green screen' made of green cardboard taped together) OR record a radio
broadcast from the morning after the Japanese submarine attack in Sydney
harbour. Include historical details of the events. As well you could
interview an eye-witness.
This page will suggest what software
you may be able to use.
Make a quick mind map on
the impact on civilians of the
internment of "enemy aliens", - see:
7. Wartime Government Controls
For Impact of war on the home
front ( government controls, rationing, censorship etc.) make points
in a general mind map on this
topic from the
paragraph below, and then see if you can find some interesting
additional information from the following sites :
b) For Government Controls make a few extra points (or a
quick separate mind map), from:
c) For Conscription: make a few notes or a simple mind map from the three
paragraphs below, and then see if you can find some
additional information from a web search of: WW2/Australia/conscription
The Scullin Labor
government 1929-32 abolished compulsory military
training so, on the outbreak of the Second World War
in September 1939, the conservative government led
by Robert Menzies, chose to reintroduce the measure.
All single men on turning 21 were required to
undertake three months training with the militia to
prepare them for home defence. Over the next two
years the military position greatly worsened. The
Japanese successes in the Pacific meant that
Australia faced a serious threat of invasion. The
Labor prime minister, John Curtin (an opponent of
conscription in the First World War) in February
1942 expanded the definition of 'home defence' to
cover the south-west Pacific.
There was again a public
debate of the conscription issue. The flavour of
this is given by selected material in the Library's
collection. The case against conscription was set
out by South Australian trade unionists. The case
for was put by the Australian War Services League
and in a pamphlet produced by the Adelaide
By contrast with the First
World War, an overall majority of Australians
supported Curtin's proposals; South Australia was
one of four states where a majority approved
conscription for this broadened 'home defence',
which was, of course, conscription for overseas
service in the areas where Australian forces were
Changing roles of Australian Women During World War II
this topic, make a few brief notes or a mind map from this site:
The Change in Australia's relationship
with Britain and the USA during the war.
For more information go to: