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Australia WW2 Timeline

Authored By Dan Alex | Last Updated: 5/19/2014

Australia provided some much needed manpower and resolve during actions in both the Pacific and in European Theaters of War during World War 2.

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There are a total of 35 WW2 Australian Timeline Events. Entries are listed below by date of occurrence ascending and are gathered from the overall SwwH site database as they relate to their particular series events.


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1941
Thursday
April 10th - April 16th

Three divisions of British, Australian and New Zealand troops at the Aliakmon Line in the Vermion Mountains are defeated.

1941
Saturday
April 12th

Vermion Line Allied troops are now redeployed to defensive positions around Mount Olympus.

1941
Saturday
April 26th

Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.

1941
Sunday
April 27th - April 30th

Operation Demon is activated, covering the evacuation of some 51,000 Allied troops from southern Greece via the Royal Navy.

1941
Wednesday
April 30th

Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.

1941
Monday
May 19th

In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.

1941
Monday
May 19th

Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.

1941
Tuesday
May 20th

Allied flak teams destroy as many as 50% of the invading German transport planes in the first few hours of the operation.

1941
Tuesday
May 20th

In-air losses for the second wave of German paratroopers is nearly equal to the first thanks to the stellar Allied flak defenses on Crete.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

German Army troops making their way to Crete via the sea are intercepted and pummeled by elements of the Royal Navy. Just 60 of these German soldiers live to see another day.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.

1941
Wednesday
May 28th

The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.

1941
Wednesday
May 28th

Heraklion in the north and Sphakia in the south of Crete will serve as major evacuation junctions for the Allies.

1941
Friday
May 30th

The brave defense of Rethymnon by Australian soldiers finally falters under intense pressure from the German Army.

1942
Thursday
February 19th

The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japan invades New Guinea.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japanese forces, numbering two battalions strong, land at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.

1942
Tuesday
July 21st

Japanese Major General Horii and his 18th Army land near Buna.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

Major General Horii and his 18th Army march towards Port Moresby.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Japanese Navy completes an amphibious landing at Milne Bay to establish a beachhead and open a second front on New Guinea.

1942
Wednesday
August 26th

The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.

1942
Saturday
August 29th

A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.

1942
Sunday
August 30th

American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.

1942
Friday
September 4th

With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

Australian forces continue their march from the west against Japanese-held areas.

1942
Wednesday
December 9th

The Australian Army liberates the village of Gona from the hold of the Japanese Amry.

1942
Monday
December 14th

Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.

1943
Sunday
January 31st

The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.

1943
Sunday
January 31st

Sananada is officially in Allied hands.