The Australian Army at War

7 RECORD OF SERVICE Since September, 1939, Australian soldiers have served in twenty- eight territories, including the following :—UNITED KINGDOM MALAYA PUPA A NORTH AFRICA CEYLON NEW GUINEA GREECE BURMA DUTCH NEW GUINEA CRETE CHIN ANEW BRITAIN CYPRUS JAVA NEW IRELAND SYRIA TIMOR SOLOMON ISLANDS PALESTINE AMBON NEW CALEDONIA ERITREA NAURU C-O EA N IS. TRAN SJO R DAN IA In addition, the Australian Army has garrisoned the Australian mainland against the now frustrated threat of Japanese invasion. The first duty assumed by the Australian Army on the outbreak of war in September, 1939, was the defence of coastal cities—the centres of the Commonwealth’s industrial activity—and the principal ports against the possibility of enemy raids. Voluntary enlistment of an expeditionary force for service any­ wherein the world followed immediately, the first formed units being sent to the Middle East and the United Kingdom. A corps of three divisions was established eventually in the Middle East, and the greater part of a fourth division was sent to Malaya to assist in the garrisoning of that peninsula. Simultaneously with the voluntary enlistment of these divisions and the necessary reinforcements for overseas service, compulsory call-up of men eligible for service on the Australian mainland and in adjacent territories was effected progressively. Ultimately, the only men aged between 18 and 40 years who were not serving with the Australian forces—sea, land or air—were :(a) Medically unfit (b) Engaged in war or other essential industry (c)or Persons whose enlistment would have caused hardship insubstan­tially excess of that normally occasioned by military service. Australian soldiers first became engaged inactive operations late in 1940, when one division participated in the first Western Desert offensive. These troops served iater in Greece and Crete.
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