What were some of the experiences of people from your country as a result of their involvement in the war?

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Australia
During WWII, the most important and difficult place the Australians fought was at the Kokoda Track, in New Guinea. It was there that the Australians endured some of the most difficult fighting of the war. Lack of food, poor living standards, challenging conditions, and devastating injuries were what many Australian soldiers had to deal with on the Kokoda Track. Although these were all key experiences of our soldiers, the injuries and conditions of the track were the most significant. In nearly all accounts of the Kokoda track in WWII, it is highlighted that the injuries of bullets, machine guns etc. were hard to treat especially in the jungle environment. It is also talked about that the mud, rain and steep slopes in combination with lack of training caused some horriffc experiences for the soldiers. Following the Battle of Midway, the Japanese were forced to land on the northern coast of New Guinea, 200km off their intended landing location of Port Moresby. What separated them from Port Moresby was rugged land with dense tropical jungle, high mountain passes and many fast flowing rivers and streams. This was known as the Owen Stanley range.

This is a website that shows the terrain the soldiers had to deal with at Kokoda
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/about-the-kokoda-track/kokoda-topography.php
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KOKODA is an Australian made film which was made in 2006. The movie attempts to illustrate the experiences of Australian troops fighting Japanese forces during the 1942 Kokoda Track campaign in New Guinea. The following link will take you to a short Kokoda (2006) trailer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6_DKFPZxdQ

Australia at El Alamien - WWII
In addition to the Battle of Kokoda, Australian Soldiers also fought in North Africa during WW11. Three battles took place at El Alamien, however Australia was only involved in 2 of these. The battle consisted of German and Italian troops against British, Australian, New Zealand, South African and Indian troops.

The first battle of El Alamien took place from July 1-27, 1942 on the northern coast of Egypt, and consisted of the Axis Forces (Italian and German forces) led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, against the Allied forces (which included Britsih, Australian, New Zealand, South African, and Indian troops.)The battle aimed to stop an advance of the Axis Forces into Egypt, however a secon battle of El Alamien would be required also to drive the Axis Forces out of Egypt for good.

The battle featured many significant events. These include the retreat from Gazala, Battle of Mers Matruh, Ruin Ridge, and El Mrier. The experiences of the Australian Troops at El Alamien were varied. There were many times when Australia and their allies were in good form, however there were many times when Australia were struggling, surrounded and loosing men. For example, a horrific experience that the Australians encountered at the Battle of El Alamien was at a place called ‘Ruin Ridge.’ On the night of July 26 1942 the 2/28th Battalion were attacked at place called Ruin Ridge. 65 men were killed and 400 were captured, in which was a final attempt to break through the Axis position at Alamien.

The Battle of Singapore and the aftermath
Another experience of the Australians was at the Battle of Singapore (8-15 February, 1942). Although the British had the main role in this battle, Australia had sent our 8th division to fight on Australia’s behalf. Japans main aim was to take control of Singapore but there was evidence to show that they did not peacefully take control of SIngapore. This is shown in the account of the Alexandra Hospital Massacre on the 14th of February. They were willing to surrender but instead they massacred 321 people including patients and doctors. The most horrifying thing about the massacre was that people were killed while being operated on. After this horrible massacre the forces at Singapore decided to surrender under these conditions;
  • The unconditional surrender of all military forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) in Singapore.
  • Hostilities to cease at 20:30 that evening.
  • All troops to remain in position until further orders.
  • All weapons, military equipment, ships, planes and secret documents to be handed over intact.
  • To prevent looting, etc., during the temporary withdrawal of all armed forces in Singapore, a force of 1,000 British armed men to take over until relieved by the Japanese.

The actual fighting was not as signifiant in history because the treatment of the soldiers who were held as prisoner’s was much worse. The soldiers are commonly referred to as POW’s (Prisoners of War). These POW’s went through extreme hunger, sickness and physical labour.


USA

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During World War II the United States had a large variety of experiences. Most of them, sadly, were not good ones. Here in the United States we experienced hard times, these included everything
from raises in tax prices to the rationing of everyday items. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was forced to raise taxes and borrow heavily to help pay for this expensive war. During the year 1942 the United States were put onto a rationing system, meaning that people were only guaranteed the minimum amounts of necessities. These necessities ranged from rubber tires and gasoline, to coffee and sugar, and many other everyday items. Thankfully the need for military equipment and soldiers resulted in an increase in jobs which brought the US out of the great depression. Everyone at home chipped in to the effort while the soldiers fought the Axis soldiers away from home.



American citizens were more involved in the war effort than ever before. Women and men not qualifed to serve in the military all joined the workforce to make supplies and weapons desperately needed during the war. If you couldn't serve as a soldier it was considered very patriotic to join the many other workers. It was the first time women were truly involved in factory work. Citizens tightened their belts by going on a ration system and one of the most important parts American citizens played is in buying war bonds. Almost all citizens bought war bonds and it was considered the most patriotic way to invest your money. American citizens were essentially loaning money to their country to support the war effort. Above and beyond all of this people were more excited to volunteer for the war effort than ever before

The attack on Pearl Harbor gave many Americans memories and experiences that I am sure many of them wouldn't mind forgetting. It was a massacre. The Japanese sent over 300 planes carried by six different aircraft carriers to attack Pearl Harbor. America did a terrible job at Pearl Harbor. The people on the radar first thought the massive amounts of blips on the radar screen was a malfunction. All of our aircraft were on the ground and in hangars. We practically invited the Japanese to come in and attack us. My Grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor and he was part of the crew that repaired and moved away the wreckage. He said it was terrible and one of the saddest sights he had ever seen and I'm sure that was pretty much everyone else's view of it.
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World War 2 accelerated the rate of change in America both technologicaly and social. By advancing in communication technology, people became more connected. The economy also improved by way of consumer demand. Many babies were born after WW2 called baby boomers.