Monthly Archives - December 2017

El Arish Captured

21 DEC 1916: The Light Horse captures El Arish, abandoned by the Turks. Originally intended as an outpost for the defence of the Suez Canal, El Arish became one of the first steps in the Allied advance on Palestine - in the lead-up to the Battle of Magdhaba. At dawn on 20 December 1916, the 1st Brigade of the ANZAC Mounted Division (less the 2nd Brigade) reached the Mediterranean coast on the far side of El Arish and suddenly...

Conscription Defeated, Again

20 DEC 1917: In World War I today, the Second conscription referendum was held in Australia. With the AIF further weakened by the losses of 1917, PM W.M. (Billy) Hughes again asked Australians to vote for conscription for overseas service. The proposal was again defeated. At the outbreak of the First World War, the number of people volunteering to enlist for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was so high that recruitment officers were forced to turn people away. However, as...

Last Troops Leave Gallipoli

20 DEC 1915: In World War I today, the last Australian troops are evacuated from Gallipoli. The evacuation of the peninsula, largely planned by Brigadier General C.B.B. White, was a triumph of careful planning and bold execution. More than 8,700 Australians lost their lives over the eight month campaign, with more than 2,000 on the first day alone. On 7 December 1915, the British Cabinet agreed to the evacuation of Anzac Cove and Cape Suvla. However, local planning for the...

HMAS Sydney in Korea

19 DEC 1951: today in the Korean campaign, HMAS Sydney completes a tour of operations off Korea's west coast. Aircraft from Sydney left no operable railway lines in its area of operations, significantly disrupting enemy supply routes. Sydney commenced operations on 5 October 1951 under command of Captain D. H. Harries. On 11 October she flew a record 89 sorties, an effort bringing praise from American and British authorities, USS New Jersey stating that Sydney’s gunnery spotting was ‘the...

Arty Hill Captured

18 DEC 1944: It's the Pacific Campaign, OP Cherry Blossom and 'Arty' Hill, Bougainville, is captured. 'Arty Hill', as it was known, was captured by the Queensland 9th Battalion - the Moreton Regiment - and was a major Japanese position on the Numa Numa Trail leading across Bougainville. The Australians suffered just one defeat during the Bougainville campaign, at the Porton Plantation in the island’s northern sector. An amphibious landing on the night of 8–9 June 1945 went awry: the...

HMAS Perth Under Fire

HMAS Perth comes under fire off Dong Hoi, VietNam. During the mid-1960s, the United States government pressured Australia to increase the resources it was committing to the Vietnam War; one of the requests was for a combat vessel to help the USN meet the demand for naval gunfire support operations. The idea of deploying a RAN combat ship to the Vietnam War was initially hampered by the number of ships available, particularly with commitments to the Far East Strategic Reserve...

The Battle of The Bulge

16 DEC 1944: World War II and the Germans launch their final offensive of the Second World War in the west in the Ardennes Forest, in Belgium. The offensive, known as the battle of the Bulge, was defeated by British and American ground and air forces. The Battle of the Bulge, fought over the winter months of 1944 – 1945, was the last major Nazi offensive against the Allies in World War Two. The battle was a last ditch attempt...

Beware The Amateur

Just when you think you've seen it all, here's #233. We had a request to remount a set of medals today that had been 'expertly' put together by another backyarder, this time in Darwin. Unlike the usual bad practices of using superglue and hot glue guns to tack back riband and medals (which in this case had been done with loads of hot glue), this miscreant 'expert' had also saved himself the expense of adding purpose-built fixings - by hot-glueing...

First G-G Arrives

15 DEC 1900: Australia's first Governor General arrives. HMS Royal Arthur, bringing the first Governor General of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoun, arrives in Sydney. John Adrian Louis Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC, also known as Viscount Aithrie before 1873 and as The 7th Earl of Hopetoun between 1873 and 1902, was a Scottish aristocrat, politician and colonial administrator. He is best known for his brief and controversial tenure as the first Governor-General of Australia....

Japan Invades Malaya

14 DEC 1941: Japanese forces land at Penang, Malaya. Penang's military importance lay in the island's port facilities and its stocks of ammunition and stores. When the allies were unable to stop the Japanese advance on the mainland it became clear that the island would have to be evacuated. Penang is now a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by...

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