World War II

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How did World War II impact Australia? List the long-term and short-term effects.

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As a member of the British Commonwealth, Australia entered World War II when Britain declared war on Germany. The Prime Minister of Australia, Robert Gordon Menzies, made the announcement on September 3, 1939. In total, almost 1 million Australians served during the war in Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and throughout the Pacific region. Precise statistics vary across research sites, but approximately 39,000 were killed, and 30,000 were taken prisoner.

Within the country of Australia, the war in Europe seemed remote, but when Japan entered the war in December 1941, invasion loomed as a very real threat. The first attack on the mainland occurred in the northern city of Darwin, which was bombed by Japanese warplanes on February 19, 1942. In that attack, approximately 200 civilians were killed. Other attacks of northern Australian cities followed.

Because Britain was unable to send troops to aid in Australia's defense, the United States assumed responsibility for the protection of the...

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