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Updated by seclib on May 29, 2018
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War in the Pacific


State Library of Victoria : Ergo.Unlike World War I, the Second World War was waged much closer to home. This time, they were facing an enemy in their own Pacific neighbourhood, aiming to invade the mainland. Civilians had to prepare for the invasion, and they faced years of hardships and shortages.

Australia's War 1939-1945

A major educational site containing text, documents, graphics, video and audio about Australians in World War 2 including battles and campaigns such as the fall of Singapore, Tobruk, Kokoda, POWs and the homefront.

World War Two Collection - Digital Library

These materials focus on the World War II era from 1939 to 1945, and the immediate postwar period of the late 1940s.

Life During World War II in Photographs

Photographs in private albums form an important record of life at home and the front during World War II.

Cowra breakout | The Australian War Memorial

By August 1944 there were 2,223 Japanese prisoners of war in Australia, including 544 merchant seamen. Of these 1,104 were housed in Camp B of No. 12 Prisoner of War Compound near Cowra, in the central west of New South Wales. They were guarded by the 22nd Garrison Battalion.

Brisbane Line | The Australian War Memorial

The “Brisbane line” was an alleged plan to abandon Northern Australia in the event of a Japanese invasion. The allegation was made during an election campaign in October 1942 when Edward Ward, the Minister for Labour and National Services accused the previous government of planning this strategy.

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop | The Anzac Portal

The men would do anything for him and are proud to be with him. I am sure it is his presence which holds this body of men from moral decay in bitter circumstances which they can only meet with emotion rather than reason. … This selflessness, this smile, command more from the men than an army of officers each waving a Manual of Military Law.

Website at

Second World War nurses. When the Second World War broke out, nurses again volunteered, motivated by a sense of duty and a desire to “do their bit”. Eventually, some 5,000 Australian nurses served in a variety of locations, including the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Britain, Asia, the Pacific, and Australia.

Lieutenant Colonel Vivan Bullwinkel

Vivian Bullwinkel, sole survivor of the 1942 Banka Island massacre, was born on 18 December 1915 at Kapunda, South Australia.

The Thai–Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass | The Anzac Portal

The [Thai–Burma] railway … was the common and dominant experience of Australian POWs … [it] distorted or ended the lives of over half of the Australian prisoners of the Japanese …

The National Archives Learning Curve | World War II | Asia | Singapore

From the UK National Archives, primary documents and information about the fall of Singapore, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima and Japan and the atomic bomb.