Some of the National Archives photographic collections depicting scenes of army life can be searched and viewed on PhotoSearch. You can also browse titles by subject. Over series of Navy records are held in our collection. A small selection of these is described below. The Naval Board, created in , was charged with administering all matters relating to the naval forces.
The main records created by the Naval Board are the Naval Board minute books. Also useful is the collection of ships' books and supplements , which are naval record books detailing the performance, engineering details and other aspects of particular RAN ships. Over series of Air Force records are held in our collection. The Air Board was established in to control and administer the Air Force according to the policies determined by the Air Council.
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Military Board The Military Board was created in and was responsible for the administration of all matters relating to the military forces. Larger memorials were also established in the centre of the state capital cities. These memorials have often been used to commemorate casualties of subsequent wars. Australia's defences were improved in the lead up to World War II, with new coastal defences and strategic airstrips being established.
Following the rapid Japanese victories in and the Australian Government and many Australians feared that the country faced invasion though the Japanese had no such plans , and these defences were further improved. As the war turned in the favour of the Allies a network of airfields and major Army bases was established in Queensland and the Northern Territory to support the Allied counter-offensive in the Pacific.
Many of these airfields were later developed into Australia's post-war network of airports, while others were abandoned; in some circumstances their remains can be visited, though are unlikely to be of much interest. In the years after World War II most of the airfields and virtually all of the coastal fortifications were abandoned by the military. The focus of the Australian military shifted more strongly to expeditionary warfare during the Cold War period, with the country being involved in the Korean War , Malaysian Emergency and Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War was the largest of these conflicts, and is commemorated through a number of museums and memorials.
The other conflicts have attracted far less attention. In recent decades Australian forces have served around the world as part of peacekeeping missions.
The modern Australian Defence Force operates from bases which are generally in or near major cities. Few of these facilities are open to the public, but some have small museums on their outskirts which can be visited. The Australian War Memorial, in Canberra , is Australia's main military history museum, and also serves as a memorial to the men and women killed during wars and peacekeeping deployments.
The Army does not have a central museum, but operates a network of specialised museums spread across Australia. There are also a large number of government and independently-run military history museums.
Most towns and the older suburbs of the large cities have a small war memorial which lists the names of the locals killed in war: these serve as the focal points of the ANZAC Day dawn services on 25 April each year; these are listed on the Monument Australia website. Some of the former coastal fortifications and barracks have been opened to the public.
This was the first significant campaign to involve large Australian and New Zealand forces. Ever since, the Anzac Day has been commemorated on 25 April in Australia and New Zealand a national holiday with dawn services the landing at Gallipoli took place at dawn at military memorials and parades. Commemorations are also held in many locations around the world with significant populations of Australians and New Zealanders.
Anzac biscuits, popular with soldiers on the battlefield as well as in Australia at that time are eaten, and some opt for a "gunfire breakfast"; black coffee with added rum. A huge number of books have been written on Australia's military history.
Chris Coulthard-Clark's book The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles provides useful summaries of the main battles Australian forces have been involved in, and includes the main engagements which were fought during the frontier wars. There are also many books and websites on individual historic sites within Australia. Local histories often discuss the region's experiences during the world wars, and many of the towns in northern Australia have been the subject of books on their experience of World War II.
While many of these works are self-published by amateur historians, the general quality is good. Virtually all military museums maintain a website.
While Australians are generally relaxed about their history and many acknowledge its more unsavoury aspects, some people may react badly to criticism of the military or individual soldiers especially suggestions that Australia did not pull its weight in a battle or war, or that soldiers displayed cowardice or committed atrocities. Strong criticism of the military on Anzac Day is widely regarded as being offensive.
The Australian military is an apolitical institution, and it is generally considered inappropriate to make political demonstrations at military-focused events or involving war memorials.
Iranian officials show off the U. Some were also subject to severe forced labour , including the Burma Railway , or forced long distance marches, such as on Sandakan. However, the first target for Australian action was close to home, seizing German colonial outposts in the south-west Pacific and New Guinea. In the background a Kittyhawk is about to land. In , a contingent of the army was again sent to the coronation , this time of Queen Elizabeth II. Australian men and boys have been conscripted into the army under four different schemes during its history. Minister for Defence.
It is illegal to take photographs of active Australian Defence Force bases and other "prohibited" areas.