[29] The 16th Infantry Brigade participated in the fighting on the Kokoda Track and at Buna. There were initially four infantry battalions per brigade but this was soon reduced to three. [35] The 17th Infantry Brigade fought in the Battle of Wau and the Salamaua campaign. Convoy US 2, which was transporting the 17th Brigade, was in the Indian Ocean and Convoy US 3 was off the Australian coast. [77], The 1st and 2nd Forestry Companies were formed in February 1940, and arrived in the UK during July that year. [61]. In early 1943, the battalion returned to Australia and later took part in campaigns against the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943–1944 and Borneo in 1945, before being disbanded in 1946. All personnel were provided with rail passes entitling them to free travel in England and Scotland. A non-commissioned officer in the First World War, during the Second World War he was commander of the 2/13th Battalion during Operation Crusader and the Siege of Tobruk. The Second Australian Imperial Force (Second, or 2nd, AIF) was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Raised in April 1940 in New South Wales, it formed part of the 20th Brigade, and was eventually allocated to the 9th Division. As there were more units in the Second AIF than the First, many units wore patches of a new design. [21], Units wore the shoulder patch of the corresponding unit of the First AIF, with a grey border to distinguish the unit from the Militia unit wearing the same patch. You have corrected this article This article has been corrected by You and other Voluntroves This article has been corrected by Voluntroves [27] The 19th Infantry Brigade was sent to Darwin, except for its 2/11th Infantry Battalion, which went to Western Australia. A large number of personnel were aged 20 on enlistment, and many former members of the First AIF joined up, a practice encouraged by some unit commanders, who liked to have some old hands around. [59] All unit commanding officers were advised on 28 August that Australforce was under orders to transfer to the Middle East, and were directed to have their units ready to depart within 24 hours by 15 September. [9] A small number of RAN warships operated from the UK at various times between 1940 and 1942, and hundreds of Australians who had been posted to the Royal Navy were based in the country. It served in North Africa in 1941–1942 as part of the 26th Brigade, which was assigned to the 7th Division, before being reassigned to the 9th Division. Australforce and the other mobile units in the UK were directed to stand down on 23 September, after the threat of invasion had passed. Many members of the contingent accepted offers made by British civilians to billet them in their homes, and others toured Europe. [28], The 6th Division, under Major General Iven Mackay fought in the Western Desert Campaign at Bardia, Tobruk and Benghazi. [56], General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander in the South West Pacific Area depended on the AIF as the spearhead of his land forces in 1942 and 1943. The Australian Army subsequently made an important contribution to the Allied campaigns in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa fighting the Germans, Italians and Vichy French during 1940 and 1941, and later in the jungles of the South West Pacific Area fighting the Japanese between late 1941 and 1945. This series comprises the War Diaries created by the units of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and Citizen Military Forces (CMF) during the Second World War. In the meantime, the AIF, like the Militia, made do with the weapons that the First AIF had brought back from the Great War. [26], From the first, women served with the AIF in the Australian Army Nursing Service. [citation needed], Most Second AIF personnel were demobilised by the end of 1946. A huge surge of enlistments—48,496 in June 1940—provided enough personnel to fill not only the recently formed 7th Division, but also to form the 8th and 9th Divisions as well, and the government ordered units to the United Kingdom to assist in its defence. Upon arrival at Eastbourne, the soldiers were provided with a meal, accommodation, a uniform and an advance on their pay, as well as a "welcome package" from the Red Cross. [51], Reorganising Australforce was an early priority for Wynter. Meanwhile, conscription was introduced in October 1939 to keep the Militia at strength as its members volunteered for the AIF. Some 35,000 women served in the Army, making up about 5% of the force. In the meantime, the AIF, like the Militia, made do with the weapons that the First AIF had brought back from the Great War. A shortage of first operational units and then logistic units caused the 6th Division, now under Major General Jack Stevens to be committed to the Aitape-Wewak campaign despite MacArthur's efforts. [23], Personnel were required to be between 20 and 35 years old on enlistment, although there were many cases of this being evaded.

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