Once the female has mated, she can store sperm and use it over a period of up to two years to lay several batches of eggs. She spends much time producing up to ten round egg sacs 1cm diameter , which are white, weathering to brown over time. Each egg sac contains approximately eggs and only one to three weeks need to pass before more eggs can be laid. These sacs are suspended within the web. Sometimes small ichneumonid wasps parasitise them, puncturing each sac with tiny holes. The young spiderlings hatch in two to four weeks. Spiderlings are cannibalistic and will eat unhatched eggs and other spiderlings.
The spiderlings disperse by ballooning to another suitable nest site on long silk threads that are caught by air currents. Females mature on average in about four months. The smaller male matures on average in about 90 days. Females may live for two to three years, whereas males only live for about six or seven months. Male Redback Spiders do not produce a web, but may be found on the fringe of a female's web, especially during the summer mating season. The male has to make overtures to the female to discover whether she is ready to mate, which can prove fatal if she mistakes him for prey.
It has been found that in order to occupy the female's attention during mating, the male spider offers her his abdomen by standing on his head and 'somersaulting' his abdomen towards her mouthparts. The female begins to squirt digestive juices onto the male's abdomen while the first palp is inserted. If he is not too weak, he will manage to withdraw, and then insert the second palp.
She will continue to 'digest' his abdomen. Most males do not survive this process, which seems to be unique to Latrodectus hasselti. Redback bites occur frequently, particularly over the summer months. More than cases receive antivenom each year, with several milder envenomations probably going unreported. Only the female bite is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and have caused deaths. However, since Redback Spiders rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web, and because of their small jaws many bites are ineffective.
The venom acts directly on the nerves, resulting in release and subsequent depletion of neurotransmitters. Common early symptoms are pain which can become severe , sweating always including local sweating at bite site , muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting. Antivenom is available. No deaths have occurred since its introduction. Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain. Collect the spider for positive identification. Seek medical attention. It was once thought that the Redback Spider, Latrodectus hasselti , was a sub species of the Black Widow Spider but it is now known to be a distinct species.
Recent research on the DNA sequences of all recognized Latrodectus species indicates that the Redback is a distinct species, most closely related to the New Zealand Katipo, and probably an Australian native. Redbacks have most likely become much more common since European settlers started providing them with lots of the kinds of places they like to make webs in. Introduction Redback Spiders are found throughout Australia and are common in disturbed and urban areas.
Identification Redback spiders Latrodectus hasselti belong to the Family Theridiidae, which is found worldwide. Habitat Webs consist of a tangled, funnel-like upper retreat area from which vertical, sticky catching threads run to ground attachments. After several key airfields were lost the Allies evacuated the island's garrison. The Allied defeat during the Greek Campaign indirectly contributed to a change of government in Australia.
Prime Minister Menzies' leadership weakened during the lengthy period he spent in Britain during early , and the high Australian losses in the Greek Campaign led many members of his United Australia Party UAP to conclude that he was not capable of leading the Australian war effort. Fadden's government collapsed on 3 October, and an Australian Labor Party government under the leadership of John Curtin took power. The Australian force entered Lebanon on 8 June and advanced along the coast road and Litani River valley. The loss of Beirut and a British breakthrough in Syria led the Vichy commander to seek an armistice and the campaign ended on 13 July Following the outbreak of war in the Pacific most elements of the Corps, including the 6th and 7th Divisions, returned to Australia in early to counter the perceived Japanese threat to Australia.
In June , four Australian N-class destroyers were transferred to the Mediterranean from the Indian Ocean to participate in Operation Vigorous , which was an attempt to supply the besieged island of Malta from Egypt. This operation ended in failure, and Nestor had to be scuttled on 16 June after being bombed the previous day. After this operation, the three surviving destroyers returned to the Indian Ocean. In mid, the Axis forces defeated the Commonwealth force in Libya and advanced into north-west Egypt. The lead elements of the Division arrived at El Alamein on 6 July and the Division was assigned the most northerly section of the Commonwealth defensive line.
Following this battle the division remained at the northern end of the El Alamein line and launched diversionary attacks during the Battle of Alam el Halfa in early September. After a lengthy period of preparation, the Eighth Army launched its major offensive on 23 October. The 9th Division suffered a high number of casualties during this battle and did not take part in the pursuit of the retreating Axis forces. Although the Second Battle of El Alamein marked the end of a major Australian role in the Mediterranean, several RAAF units and hundreds of Australians attached to Commonwealth forces remained in the area until the end of the war.
Australia played a small role in the Italian Campaign. The corvettes also escorted convoys in the western Mediterranean before returning to the Eastern Fleet.
The two Australian fighter bomber squadrons provided close air support to the Allied armies and attacked German supply lines until the end of the war. This special duties squadron dropped men and supplies to guerrillas in Yugoslavia and attempted to supply the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising in The RAAF, including thousands of Australians posted to British units, made a significant contribution to the strategic bombing of Germany and efforts to safeguard Allied shipping in the Atlantic.
The other services made smaller contributions, with two Army brigades being briefly based in Britain in late and several of the RAN's warships serving in the Atlantic. Australians participated in the defence of Britain throughout the war. An Australian Army forestry group served in Britain between and It was joined by No. These men were not concentrated in Australian units, and were instead often posted to the Commonwealth squadron with the greatest need for personnel where they became part of a multi-national bomber crew.
Five Australian heavy bomber squadrons No. Australians took part in all of Bomber Command's major offensives and suffered heavy losses during raids on German cities and targets in France. Hundreds of Australians participated in the liberation of Western Europe during and In the view of Paul Hasluck , Australia fought two wars between and one against Germany and Italy as part of the British Commonwealth and Empire and the other against Japan in alliance with the United States and Britain.
Due to the emphasis placed on cooperation with Britain, relatively few Australian military units were stationed in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region after Measures were taken to improve Australia's defences as war with Japan loomed in , but these proved inadequate. In December the Australian Army in the Pacific comprised the 8th Division, most of which was stationed in Malaya, and eight partially trained and equipped divisions in Australia, including the 1st Armoured Division.
United States Military units also arrived in Australia in great numbers before being deployed to New Guinea. The Allies moved onto the offensive in late , with the pace of advance accelerating in From the Australian military was mainly relegated to subsidiary roles, but continued to conduct large-scale operations until the end of the war. From the s Australia's defence planning was dominated by the so-called ' Singapore strategy '.
This strategy involved the construction and defence of a major naval base at Singapore from which a large British fleet would respond to Japanese aggression in the region. To this end, a high proportion of Australian forces in Asia were concentrated in Malaya during and as the threat from Japan increased.
Australian units participated in the unsuccessful Commonwealth attempts to defeat the Japanese landings, with RAAF aircraft attacking the beachheads and Vampire accompanying the British battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse during their failed attempt to attack the Japanese invasion fleet. The 8th Division and its attached Indian Army units were assigned responsibility for the defence of Johor in the south of Malaya and did not see action until mid-January when Japanese spearheads first reached the state. The division's first engagement was the Battle of Muar , in which the Japanese Twenty-Fifth Army was able to outflank the Commonwealth positions due to Bennett misdeploying the forces under his command so that the weak Indian 45th Brigade was assigned the crucial coastal sector and the stronger Australian brigades were deployed in less threatened areas.
While the Commonwealth forces in Johore achieved a number of local victories, they were unable to do more than slow the Japanese advance and suffered heavy casualties. After being outmanoeuvred by the Japanese, the remaining Commonwealth units withdrew to Singapore on the night of 30—31 January. Following the withdrawal to Singapore the 8th Division was deployed to defend the island's north-west coast. Due to the casualties suffered in Johore most of the division's units were at half-strength. The commander of the Singapore fortress, Lieutenant General Arthur Ernest Percival , believed that the Japanese would land on the north-east coast of the island and deployed the near full-strength British 18th Division to defend this sector.
The Japanese landing on 8 February took part in the Australian sector, however, and the 8th Division was forced from its positions after just two days of heavy fighting. The division was also unable to turn back the Japanese landing at Kranji and withdrew to the centre of the island. These escapees included Major General Bennett, who was found by two post-war inquiries to have been unjustified in leaving his command. While Australia's contribution to the pre-war plans to defend South East Asia from Japanese aggression was focused on the defence of Malaya and Singapore, small Australian forces were also deployed to defend several islands to the north of Australia.
The role of these forces was to defend strategic airfields which could be used to launch attacks on the Australian mainland. While Lark Force was regarded as inadequate by the Australian military,  it was not possible to reinforce it before the Japanese South Seas Force landed at Rabaul on 23 January The outnumbered Australian force was swiftly defeated and most of the survivors surrendered in the weeks after the battle. Reinforced battalions from the 23rd Brigade were sent to Koepang in West Timor ' Sparrow Force ' and the island of Ambon 'Gull Force' to defend these strategic locations from Japanese attack.
At the time Darwin was an important base for Allied warships and a staging point for shipping supplies and reinforcements into the NEI. The Japanese attack was successful, and resulted in the deaths of military personnel and civilians, many of whom were non-Australian Allied seamen, and heavy damage to RAAF Base Darwin and the town's port facilities.
The sloop Yarra was also sunk off the south coast of Java when she was attacked by three Japanese cruisers while escorting a convoy on 4 March. Other Australian warships, including the light cruiser Hobart and several corvettes successfully escaped from NEI waters. An army force made up of elements from the 7th Division also formed part of the ABDACOM land forces on Java but saw little action before it surrendered at Bandung on 12 March after the Dutch forces on the island began to capitulate. The Australian Army's 16th and 17th Brigades formed part of the island's garrison at the time of the raid but did not see action.
After the fall of Singapore the Australian Government and many Australians feared that Japan would invade the Australian mainland. Additionally, the Army, although large, contained many inexperienced units and lacked mobility. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill attempted to divert the 6th and 7th Divisions to Burma while they were en route to Australia, but Curtin refused to authorise this movement.
As a compromise two brigades of the 6th Division disembarked at Ceylon and formed part of the island's garrison until they returned to Australia in August The perceived threat of invasion led to a major expansion of the Australian military. By mid the Army had a strength of ten infantry divisions, three armoured divisions and hundreds of other units. Most of these personnel were integrated into existing formations, but a small number of racially segregated units such as the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion were formed.
A number of small units made up of Indigenous Australians were also established to patrol northern Australia and harass any Japanese forces which landed there; the members of these units did not receive pay or awards for their service until Despite Australian fears, the Japanese never intended to invade the Australian mainland. While an invasion was considered by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters in February , it was judged to be beyond the Japanese military's capabilities and no planning or other preparations were undertaken. The collapse of British power in the Pacific also led Australia to reorient its foreign and military policy towards the United States.
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Curtin stated in December "that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom. All of the Australian military's combat units in this area were placed under MacArthur's command, and MacArthur replaced the Australian Chiefs of Staff as the Australian Government's main source of military advice until the end of the war.
Nevertheless, the partnership between Curtin and MacArthur proved beneficial for Australia between and as MacArthur was able to communicate Australian requests for assistance to the US Government.
Large numbers of United States military personnel were based in Australia during the first years of the Pacific War. Many US military bases were constructed in northern Australia during and , and Australia remained an important source of supplies to US forces in the Pacific until the end of the war. Though relations between Australians and Americans were generally good, there was some conflict between US and Australian soldiers, such as the Battle of Brisbane ,  and the Australian Government only reluctantly accepted the presence of African American troops.
Japanese forces first landed on the mainland of New Guinea on 8 March when they invaded Lae and Salamaua to secure bases for the defence of the important base they were developing at Rabaul. After the Battle of the Coral Sea frustrated the Japanese plan to capture Port Morseby via an amphibious landing, the Japanese attempted to capture the town by landing the South Seas Force at Buna on the north coast of Papua and advancing overland using the Kokoda Track to cross the rugged Owen Stanley Range. This force was successful in delaying the South Seas Force but was unable to halt it.
Australian forces also defeated an attempt to capture the strategic Milne Bay area in August This was the first notable Japanese land defeat and raised Allied morale across the Pacific Theatre. Australian and US forces attacked the Japanese bridgehead in Papua in late November but did not capture it until January The Allied force comprised the exhausted 7th Division and the inexperienced and ill-trained US 32nd Infantry Division and was short of artillery and supplies.
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Due to a lack of supporting weapons and MacArthur and Blamey's insistence on a rapid advance the Allied tactics during the battle were centred around infantry assaults on the Japanese fortifications. These resulted in heavy casualties and the area was not secured until 22 January In response, Australian soldiers aggressively sought to kill their Japanese opponents for the remainder of the war. The Australians generally did not attempt to capture Japanese personnel, and some prisoners of war were murdered.
Following the defeats in Papua and Guadalcanal the Japanese withdrew to a defensive perimeter in the Territory of New Guinea. In order to secure their important bases at Lae and Salamaua they attempted to capture Wau in January Reinforcements were flown into the town and defeated the Japanese force in its outskirts following heavy fighting. The Japanese force began to withdraw towards the coast on 4 February. Following their defeat at Wau the Japanese attempted to reinforce Lae in preparation for an expected Allied offensive in the area.
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The Papuan campaign led to a significant reform in the composition of the Australian Army. In late and early Curtin overcame opposition within the Labor Party to extending the geographic boundaries in which conscripts could serve to include most of the South West Pacific and the necessary legislation was passed in January The Japanese efforts to secure New Guinea included a prolonged submarine offensive against the Allied lines of communication between the United States and Australia and Australia and New Guinea.
These were not the first Axis naval attacks on Australia; during and five German surface raiders operated in Australian waters at various times. Following the defeat of the Japanese surface fleet the IJN deployed submarines to disrupt Allied supply lines by attacking shipping off the Australian east coast. This campaign began with an unsuccessful midget submarine raid on Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May Following this attack, Japanese submarines operated along the Australian east coast until August , sinking eight merchant ships. It sank two ships in Australian waters before returning to Batavia.
Considerable Australian and other Allied military resources were devoted to protecting shipping and ports from Axis submarines and warships. Australian forces played a key role throughout this offensive, which was designated Operation Cartwheel. In particular, General Blamey oversaw a highly successful series of operations around the north-east tip of New Guinea which "was the high point of Australia's experience of operational level command" during the war.
After the successful defence of Wau the 3rd Division began advancing towards Salamaua in April This advance was mounted to divert attention from Lae, which was one of the main objectives of Operation Cartwheel, and proceeded slowly. The town was eventually captured on 11 September In early September Australian-led forces mounted a pincer movement to capture Lae. On 4 September 9 Division made an amphibious landing to the east of the town and began advancing to the west. Once the airborne forces secured Nadzab Airfield the 7th Division was flown in and began advancing to the east in a race with the 9th Division to capture Lae.
This race was won by the 7th Division, which captured the town on 15 September. The Japanese forces at Salamaua and Lae suffered heavy losses during this campaign, but were able to escape to the north. After the fall of Lae the 9th Division was given the task of capturing the Huon Peninsula. The 20th Brigade landed near the strategic harbour of Finschhafen on 22 September and secured the area. The Japanese responded by dispatching the 20th Division overland to the area and the remainder of the 9th Division was gradually brought in to reinforce the 20th Brigade against the expected counter-attack.
The Japanese mounted a strong attack in mid-October which was defeated by the 9th Division after heavy fighting. During the second half of November the 9th Division captured the hills inland of Finschhafen from well dug in Japanese forces.
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Following its defeat the 20th Division retreated along the coast with the 9th Division and 4th Brigade in pursuit. These documents led to a code breaking breakthrough which enabled MacArthur to accelerate the Allied advance by bypassing Japanese defences. While the 9th Division secured the coastal region of the Huon Peninsula the 7th Division drove the Japanese from the inland Finisterre Range.
The company defeated a larger Japanese force at Kaiapit and secured an airstrip which was used to fly the Division's 21st and 25th Brigades in. Through aggressive patrolling the Australians forced the Japanese out of positions in extremely rugged terrain and in January the division began its attack on the key Shaggy Ridge position.
Following this success the Japanese withdrew from the Finisterre Range and Australian troops linked up with American patrols from Saidor on 21 April and secured Madang on 24 April. The attack on Darwin in February marked the start of a prolonged aerial campaign over northern Australia and the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies. Following the first attack on Darwin the Allies rapidly deployed fighter squadrons and reinforced the Army's Northern Territory Force to protect the town from a feared invasion.
These raids were opposed by US, Australian and British fighters and suffered increasingly heavy casualties as Darwin's defences were improved. While the Japanese raids on northern Australia ceased in late , the Allied air offensive continued until the end of the war. During late Allied aircraft conducted attacks on Timor in support of the Australian guerrillas operating there.
These attacks continued until the end of the war, with the US heavy bombers being replaced by Australian B Liberator -equipped squadrons in late The Australian military's role in the South-West Pacific decreased during In the latter half of the Australian Government decided, with MacArthur's agreement, that the size of the military would be reduced to release manpower for war-related industries which were important to supplying Britain and the US forces in the Pacific. Australia's main role in the Allied war effort from this point forward was supplying the other Allied countries with food, materials and manufactured goods needed for the defeat of Japan.
The size of the RAAF was set at 53 squadrons and the RAN was limited to the ships which were in service or planned to be built at the time. These troops had seen action alongside Australian units throughout the New Guinea campaign.
Australian warships and the fighter, bomber and airfield construction squadrons of No. The losses incurred whilst performing these relatively unimportant roles led to a decline in morale, and contributed to the ' Morotai Mutiny ' in April Four Australian warships and the assault transports Kanimbla , Manoora and Westralia —along with a number of smaller warships and support ships—took part in the US landing at Leyte on 20 October Australian sources state that Australia became the first Allied ship to be struck by a kamikaze when she was attacked during this operation on 21 October, though this claim was disputed by US historian Samuel Eliot Morison.
The Australian naval force took part in the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf in January ; during this operation Australia was struck by a further five Kamikazes which killed 44 of her crew and forced her to withdraw for major repairs. While the US units had largely conducted a static defence of their positions, their Australian replacements mounted offensive operations designed to destroy the remaining Japanese forces in these areas.
The Australian Government authorised these operations for primarily political reasons. It was believed that keeping the Army involved in the war would give Australia greater influence in any post-war peace conferences and that liberating Australian territories would enhance Australia's influence in its region.
By April the Japanese had been confined to their fortified positions in the Gazelle Peninsula by the Australian force's aggressive patrolling. After the war it was found that the Japanese force was 93, strong, which was much higher than the 38, which Allied intelligence had estimated remained on New Britain. The main focus was against the Japanese base at Buin in the south, and the offensives in the north and centre of the island were largely suspended from May While Australian operations on Bougainville continued until the end of the war, large Japanese forces remained at Buin and in the north of the island.
The 6th Division was assigned responsibility for completing the destruction of the Japanese Eighteenth Army , which was the last large Japanese force remaining in the Australian portion of New Guinea. The 17th Brigade advanced through the inland Torricelli Mountains while the remainder of the division moved along the coast. Although the Eighteenth Army had suffered heavy casualties from previous fighting and disease, it mounted a strong resistance and inflicted significant casualties.
The 6th Division's advance was also hampered by supply difficulties and bad weather. The Australians secured the coastal area by early May, with Wewak being captured on 10 May after a small force was landed to the east of the town. By the end of the war the Eighteenth Army had been forced into what it had designated its 'last stand' area which was under attack from the 6th Division. The goals of this campaign were to capture Borneo's oilfields and Brunei Bay to support the US-led invasion of Japan and British-led liberation of Malaya which were planned to take place later in The campaign opened on 1 May when the 26th Brigade Group landed on the small island of Tarakan off the east coast of Borneo.
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The goal of this operation was to secure the island's airstrip as a base to support the planned landings at Brunei and Balikpapan. While it had been expected that it would take only a few weeks to secure Tarakan and re-open the airstrip, intensive fighting on the island lasted until 19 June and the airstrip was not opened until 28 June.
As a result, the operation is generally considered to have not been worthwhile. The second phase of the Borneo Campaign began on 10 June when the 9th Division conducted simultaneous assaults on the north-west on the island of Labuan and the coast of Brunei. While Brunei was quickly secured, the Japanese garrison on Labuan held out for over a week. After the Brunei Bay region was secured the 24th Brigade was landed in North Borneo and the 20th Brigade advanced along the western coast of Borneo south from Brunei. Both brigades rapidly advanced against weak Japanese resistance, and most of north-west Borneo was liberated by the end of the war.
The third and final stage of the Borneo Campaign was the capture of Balikpapan on the central east coast of the island. This operation had been opposed by General Blamey, who believed that it was unnecessary, but went ahead on the orders of Macarthur. After a day preliminary air and naval bombardment the 7th Division landed near the town on 1 July. Balikpapan and its surrounds were secured after some heavy fighting on 21 July but mopping up continued until the end of the war. Australia's leadership changed again during the Borneo Campaign.
Curtin died on 5 July and Forde was sworn in as Prime Minister. Forde did not have the support of his party, however, and was replaced by Chifley after a leadership ballot was held on 13 July. Australia developed large intelligence services during the war. Prior the outbreak of war the Australian military possessed almost no intelligence gathering facilities and was reliant on information passed on by the British intelligence services.
Several small signals intelligence units were established in and , which had some success intercepting and deciphering Japanese transmissions before the outbreak of the Pacific War. MacArthur began organising large scale intelligence services shortly after his arrival in Australia. Central Bureau broke a number of Japanese codes and the intelligence gained from these decryptions and radio direction finding greatly assisted Allied forces in the SWPA. Australian special forces played a significant role in the Pacific War.
Following the outbreak of war commando companies were deployed to Timor, the Solomon and Bismarck islands and New Caledonia. Australia also formed small-scale raiding and reconnaissance forces, most of which were grouped together as the Allied Intelligence Bureau.
Z Special Unit conducted raids far behind the front line, including a successful raid on Singapore in September AIB missions in Timor and Dutch New Guinea were also hampered by being placed under the command of unpopular Dutch colonial administrators. Australia played a minor role in the Japan campaign in the last months of the war and was preparing to participate in the invasion of Japan at the time the war ended.
Several Australian warships operated with the British Pacific Fleet BPF during the Battle of Okinawa and Australian destroyers later escorted British aircraft carriers and battleships during attacks on targets in the Japanese home islands. Australia's participation in the planned invasion of Japan would have involved elements of all three services fighting as part of Commonwealth forces.
Australian forces accepted the surrender of their Japanese opponents at ceremonies conducted at Morotai, several locations in Borneo, Timor, Wewak, Rabaul, Bougainville and Nauru. In addition to the major deployments, Australian military units and service men and women served in other theatres of the war, typically as part of British-led Commonwealth forces.
Australia played a minor role in the British-led campaigns against Vichy French colonial possessions in Africa. In late September , the heavy cruiser Australia took part in the unsuccessful British and Free French attempt to capture Dakar in which she sank a Vichy French destroyer. The Australian Government was not informed of the cruiser's involvement in this operation prior to the battle and complained to the British Government. Australian warships served in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf through much of the war. The majority of the deaths in captivity were due to malnutrition and disease.
As the war neared its end the Germans moved many prisoners towards the interior of the country to prevent them from being liberated by the advancing Allied armies. These movements were often made through forced marches in harsh weather and resulted in many deaths. Like the other Allied personnel captured by the Japanese, most of the thousands of Australians captured in the first months of during the conquest of Malaya and Singapore, the NEI and New Britain were held in harsh conditions.
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Australians were held in camps across the Asia-Pacific region and many endured long voyages in grossly overcrowded ships. While most of the Australian POWs who died in Japanese captivity were the victim of deliberate malnutrition and disease, hundreds were deliberately killed by their guards. These prisoners were housed in purpose-built camps and were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
During the war the Australian Government greatly expanded its powers in order to better direct the war effort, and Australia's industrial and human resources were focused on supporting the Allied armed forces. The expansion of the government's powers began on 9 September when the National Security Act became law.
This act enabled the government to introduce industrial conscription, and both men and women were ordered into essential industries. Rationing was first introduced in and was greatly expanded during The Government also strongly encouraged austerity and war bonds as a means of reducing demand for scarce resources. Government policies to develop war-related industries were successful in increasing the sophistication of Australia's industrial sector and self-sufficiency in most categories of weapons.
In the decades leading up to the war successive Australian governments had provided subsidies, tariffs and other incentives encourage the development of military-related manufacturing sectors such as the production of aircraft, automobiles, electronics and chemicals. The massive expansion of the military led to a critical shortage of male workers and increased female participation in the labour force.
The number of Australian women in paid employment increased from , in to , in Thousands more served with the civilian Australian Women's Land Army or undertook voluntary war work. Manpower shortages became an increasingly significant economic issue towards the end of the war, and the Australian military was reduced in size from to free up personnel for war industries and the civilian economy.
Industrial conscription and the drive to increase productivity led to an increasing degree of industrial unrest over time. Many workers were required to work long hours in poor conditions and were not able to change their employment due to the manpower laws. Poor work conditions were exacerbated by the Government's austerity measures reducing workers' standards of living. As a result, strikes and other forms of protest disrupted Australian production, especially from onwards.
These protests attracted considerable criticism from other civilians and members of the military. The war greatly increased the size and importance of the Australian manufacturing sector and stimulated the development of more technologically advanced industries. As part of this trend many workers acquired relatively high skill levels and female labour force participation rates greatly increased. Many women were forced out of traditionally male-dominated industries after the war, however.
Of these, 9, were killed in the war against Germany and Italy and 17, in the war against Japan. Prisoners of war held by the Japanese made up nearly half of Australia's deaths in the Pacific. In the months after the war, Australian authorities were responsible for administering all of Borneo and the NEI east of Lombok until the British and Dutch colonial governments were re-established. While British and Indian forces in the west of the NEI became caught up in the Indonesian National Revolution , the Australians were able to avoid clashes with local nationalists.
The Australian military was rapidly demobilised after the Japanese surrender. Demobilisation planning had begun at the end of with the final scheme being approved by the Government in March General demobilisation started on 1 October and was completed in February The process generally ran smoothly, though there were protests over delays at Morotai and Bougainville. Personnel were provided with training while they waited to be demobilised and the government provided post-demobilisation assistance with employment, loans, education and other benefits.
Economically, the war accelerated the development of Australia's manufacturing industry and led to a large fall in unemployment. The war also resulted in a greater maturity in Australia's approach to international affairs, as demonstrated by the development of a more independent foreign policy and the encouragement of mass immigration after the war. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Battle of Malaya and Battle of Singapore.
Main article: Axis naval activity in Australian waters. Main article: North Western Area Campaign. See "Australian War Casualties". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 15 March Retrieved 4 April Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 19 February Australia's War — Government of Australia. Retrieved 12 December Retrieved 15 March RAAF Museum. Archived from the original on 24 August