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World War II in Australia

On September 3, 1939 Australia declared war on Germany and entered the war in Europe to aid its Allies in the United Kingdom.

In 1940 and 1941, Australian troops saw action in the Middle East and North Africa. In January 1941, Australian troops helped capture Bardia and Tobruk in Libya.

Soon the war would come closer to home. On December 8, 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Australia declared war on Japan.

The Japanese offensive in New Guinea was the most direct threat Australia faced. Fortunately, the Americans staved off a naval attack on Australia at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.

The Japanese Army then attempted to reach Port Moresby, New Guinea, by land. This led to the bloody battles at Gona and Buna.

By the end of the war, Australia had lost about 30,000 men and women.


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