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Answered 2008-08-18 13:39:14

When the Second World War began in 1939, it began in Europe. As part of the British Commonwealth, Australian & New Zealand forces were sent to the European Theater to fight the Germans, and then in 1940 the Italians also. Australia & New Zealand sent ground troops, pilots, and naval vessels. The naval vessels were often deployed throughout the world (North Atlantic, South Atlantic, & Indian Oceans) chasing German surface raiders. Most Australian & New Zealand ground forces would be in combat in the North African campaign against the Italians & German Afrikakorps to successfully defend Egypt and the Suez Canal (1940-1942). They also participated in the unsuccessful attempt to defend Greece & Crete from the German invasion in 1941. When the Japanese began the war against the United States & the British Empire in the Pacific in December 1941, then some Australian & New Zealand forces would be shifted to the Pacific. Australian forces were used in the unsuccessful defense of Singapore and other places in South East Asia, including the Dutch East Indies. As the Japanese forces came closer to Australia, more Australian forces were used to defend Australia itself. Australian forces, later assisted by some US forces, were instrumental in the defeat of the Japanese in New Guinea. Australian forces were also used ito retake territory from the Japanese in the Solomon Islands and the Dutch East Indies. This is not a complete list of places, however as you can see the Australian were involved in combat throughtout the world against the Germans, Italians, and Japanese.

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