Australia and war Essay

This essay has a total of 976 words and 5 pages.


australia and war




Should Australia involve itself in wars which do not directly affect its security?


Australia has involved itself in four wars where it has suffered substantial life loss and
casualty. Those wars included World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War and Vietnam. Did
Australia have to involve itself in these wars? Did the lives of these young Australians
have to be taken?


There is a high degree of complexity in this question. Should Australia, as a mature
nation, be taking part in moral issues around the world even though they are not happening
on our doorstep? Do we ignore the deaths in Bosnia, the starving millions in Biafra and
Ethiopia, the worldwide environmental issues raised by Greenpeace? What is the purpose of
developing alliances, both economic and military, with other countries? At stake, in all
of these issues, is our desire for a better world to live in.


In World War 1 (WW1), 1914-1918, Australian troops became involved in order to give
support to the "Mother Country". Great Britain only became involved after Germany did not
respect the neutrality of Belgium. In the first world war, Australian soldiers
participated in some of the bloodiest and most enduring battles known to man, and soon
developed a courageous name for themselves. Of the 330 000 Aussie soldiers who took part
in WW1, there were 211 500 casualties and over 60 000 deaths, a casualty rate much higher
than that of several other participants.


The Australian participation in WW2 was similar to that of WW1 in many ways. After the
British declared war on Germany on September 3rd 1939, an Australian declaration of war
was automatic. Aussie troops were soon sent to different parts of the world to help the
British and other allied countries. It was not until late 1941 that they were recalled in
order to defend the homefront. Darwin had been suddenly attacked by Japanese planes and
small enemy submarines had snuck into Sydney Harbour. Darwin was repeatedly bombed by
Japanese planes until July 1941, when along with American troops, the Aussies managed to
drive them out of the Solomon Islands and northeastern New Guinea and eliminate a strong
Japanese base at Rabaul. Without General MacArthur's troops, the enemy may very well have
invaded Australia. This illustrates the importance of alliances.


Over 926 000 Australians fought in WW2, three times as many as in WW1. Of those 33 000
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