Australia's Involvement in International Conflicts.

Essay by emmaeHigh School, 12th gradeA-, July 2003

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"Although the theatres of war were very distant from Australia, its membership of the British Empire ensured that there was strong (although not universal) public support for involvement in ... [World War I]. In 1914, Australia's Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, immediately promised Australian support for Britain 'to the last man and the last shilling'." (

In 1915 Australia fought alongside the Allies (the major allied forces were the British Empire, France, and the Russian Empire and later the US) against Germany, Turkey and Austria in World War I. At Russia's appeal, the Allies began a campaign against the Turkish coast, to distract Turkish forces from their assault on Russia. The Allied forces planned to take the Gallipoli Peninsula, and from there take control of the Dardanelles, which was vital in the Allies assault on Turkey (refer to Appendix 4). Unfortunately due to a navigational error, the attack on Turkey failed miserably.

However, many consider the Gallipoli campaign to be the beginning of true Australian nationhood (Bongiorno, Frank):

"The Gallipoli campaign was a defining moment for Australia as a new nation ... when Australia went to war in 1914, many white Australians believed that their Commonwealth had no history, that it was not yet a true nation, that its most glorious days still lay ahead of it ... In western culture, sacrificial death - blood sacrifice - was widely recognised as the foundation of nationhood, and Gallipoli seemed to fit the bill." (Bongiorno, Frank)

Australia's involvement in France in World War One began in March 1916, after the Allies' defeat at Gallipoli. Australian participation in France was instigated in trenches in "The Nursery", a part of the Western Front where fresh troops were given their first experience of trench warfare. From there Australian troops were sent to many places on...