Monthly Archives - December 2017

ALH at Umm el Rakam

13 DEC 1915: World War I and the Australian Light Horse fights at Umm el Rakam. The Light Horse was deployed against the Senussi, in Egypt's western desert. In response to the growing threat from a pro-Turkish Islamic Arab sect known as the Senussi, a composite British force — the "Western Frontier Force" — under the command of the British Indian Army officer Major General Alexander Wallace, was sent into the Libyan Desert to Mersa Matruh in late-November 1915. This...

Christmas Support for Troops

Deliveries of care packages from individuals in time for Christmas has now closed (last week), however you can still show your support - the most effective way for you to show your support is to send an e-mail message to the troops. These messages of support are circulated widely to Australian personnel. The RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund prepares care packages that are dispatched twice yearly to Defence personnel deployed on operations. These care packs contain various non-perishable items, a...

HMAS Australia Damaged

12 DEC 1917: Today, the battle cruiser HMAS Australia was damaged in a collision with the British battle cruiser HMS Repulse. On 22 April 1916 Australia collided with New Zealand in heavy fog and the damage kept her in dockyard hands until 9 June 1916. She thus missed the Battle of Jutland, her place as flagship of the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron being taken by New Zealand. On her return to service in June 1916, Australia continued North Sea patrols...

OP Fauna, Korea

11 DEC 1952: The Korean War and the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment begins Operation Fauna, its objective is to capture prisoners and destroy enemy defences. Operation Fauna was a major trench raid on Chinese positions near Hill 355 to snatch a prisoner. Although no prisoners were taken, Chinese dispositions near Hill 355 were seriously disrupted. At 2400 hrs 10th December 1952, 4 Platoon, “B” Company Headquarters, one section of the Assault Pioneers Platoon and 6 Platoon moved off...

Repulse and Prince of Wales Sunk

10 DEC 1941: World War II and HM Ships Repulse and Prince of Wales are sunk. The sinking of these powerful warships by Japanese torpedo bombers off Malaya came as a shock to those who had under-estimated Japan's military ability and had relied on the imagined impregnable Singapore naval base. The sinkings heralded the significance of air power in the Pacific war. HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse (Force Z under the command of Admiral Tom Phillips) were...

Australians at Gona

9 DEC 1942: World War II and Australians occupy Gona, New Guinea. The Japanese withdrawal from the Kokoda Trail enabled the allies to plan the encirclement of important Japanese positions in the Buna, Sanananda and Gona beachhead. Gona was the first of the three to fall to the allies after weeks of heavy fighting. On 19 November 1942, a patrol from the 2/33rd Battalion made the first contact at Gona. The 2/31st Battalion, which led the 25th Brigade, helped...

DMC Occupies Jerusalem

9 DEC 1917: World War I and Jerusalem is occupied by the Desert Mounted Corps. The capture of Jerusalem, a city significant for Christians, Jews and Muslems, was one of the triumphs for British empire forces in the Middle East in 1917. In the first Battle of Gaza, 26/27 March 1917, Sir Harry Chauvel was given command of the newly formed Imperial Mounted Division. After the second Battle of Gaza, 17/19 April 1917, he was given command of the...

Australia Declares War

8 DEC 1941: Australia is at war with Japan. Australia announces that it is at war with Japan. Some 17,000 Australians would die in the three-and-a-half-year war against Japan, 8,000 as prisoners of war. Just one hour after Japanese bombers struck at Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941, Prime Minister John Curtin of Australia declared that "from one hour ago, Australia has been at war with the Japanese Empire." War was formally declared at 11:15 A.M., December 9,...

Japan Invades Malaya, Thailand

8 DEC 1941: World War II and Japan invades Malaya and Thailand. This attack (which occurred virtually simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor) would lead within three months to the loss of Malaya and Singapore. The Japanese invasion of Thailand also occurred on this day. It was fought between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. Despite fierce fighting in southern Thailand, the resistance lasted only a matter of hours before ending in a ceasefire. The Japanese invasion plan involved...

Christmas is Coming!

We're flat chat with pre-Christmas orders - and yes - there's still time to grab yourself or your family a new set of medals, or frame for Christmas. If you're quick - but here's a quick note to update you on our Christmas closure period. Feel free to share and spread this info to your mates, if we can help them. Our final day for shipping express post orders will be Wednesday 20 December - we could not guarantee Australia Post's performance...

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