Our fighting services have done much to make Australia a lucky country. They saved Australia from invasion in World War II. Our fighting services have also won us the respect and gratitude of many nations.
In Sudan, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War Australian contingents helped Britain. These pre-empire wars displayed our loyalty to Britain and the Commonwealth.
When World War I came Australia was soon helping Britain and her allies against Germany. Many Australian men were sent to Europe to fight Germany and her allies. Possibly the most important Australian Corps in World War 1 was the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - ANZAC. This group of brave men fought bravely at Gallipoli, but were defeated by the Turks. By no means were they disgraced, to the contrary, they won us respect and admiration from countries all over the world. They are remembered each year in nation-wide ceremonies on Anzac Day, April 25th. It is the only commemoration of defeat in battle in the world.
In World War II Australia again fought with the British against Germany and her Allies. Australian troops were sent to Europe as well as Africa. One of greater African battles was the Battle of Tobruk, where the Australians defending Tobruk became known by the Germans as the "Rats of Tobruk." They won the battle and returned to Australia as heroes. No sooner had they returned however than they were called off to fight the Japanese in New Guinea. Australian troops, together with Americans, saved Australia from invasion by the Japanese. This got no further than the bombing of Darwin and a few isolated incidents of submarines off the East Coast.
Both land and sea battles were fought. Among the sea battles was the Coral Sea Battle. The Kokoda Trail was one of the greatest land battles in New Guinea. The Japanese were finally driven back by the combined forces of America and Australia.
In more recent years however, Australians have helped in the fight against the spread of communism in South-East Asia. Firstly, in Korea, in the early 1950's and now in the Vietnam War, which still continues.
Yes, our fighting services have done much to make Australia a lucky country.
Leo Berzins 21