The military history of Australia during World War II began with
Australia declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939. By the end of
the war, almost a million Australians had served in the armed forces,
primarily in the European theatre, North African campaign, and the South
West Pacific theatre. In addition, Australia came under direct attack
for the first time in its history. Casualties from enemy action during
the war were 27,073 killed and 23,477 wounded. While most Australian
forces were withdrawn from the Mediterranean following the outbreak of
war in the Pacific, they continued to take part in the air offensive
against Germany. Australian forces played a key role in the Pacific War,
making up the majority of Allied strength in the South West Pacific
throughout much of the fighting there. The military continued offensive
operations against the Japanese until the war ended. The war contributed
to major changes in the nation's economy, military and foreign policy.
It accelerated the process of industrialisation, led to the development
of a larger peacetime military and began the process with which
Australia shifted the focus of its foreign policy from Britain to the
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Ming Dynasty of China fell when the Chongzhen Emperor
committed suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng.
The guillotine (example pictured) was first used to carry out
capital punishment in France, with crowds marvelling at the machine's
speed and precision.
German troops retreated from northern Finland, bringing the
Lapland War to a close.
"Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids" by molecular biologists
James Watson and Francis Crick was first published in the scientific
journal Nature, describing the discovery of the double helix structure
Violeta Chamorro took office as the President of Nicaragua, the
first woman elected in her own right as a head of state in the Americas.
A commuter train came off its tracks in Amagasaki, Hyōgo,
Japan, and rammed into an apartment building, killing the driver and 106
passengers and injuring 555 others in the Amagasaki rail crash.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
paint the town red:
To party or celebrate in a rowdy, wild manner, especially in a public
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Man is one name belonging to every nation upon earth. In them all
is one soul though many tongues. Every country has its own language, yet
the subjects of which the untutored soul speaks are the same everywhere.