Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that the National Archives' website and collection contain the names, images and voices of people who have died.
Some records include terms and views that are not appropriate today. They reflect the period in which they were created and are not the views of the National Archives.
Explore Australia’s role in war: what led to our involvement; the effect on individuals, communities and countries; and how new weapons and technologies contributed to the outcomes of war.
From 1914 to 1918, over 324,000 Australians served overseas in World War I, with two-thirds becoming casualties. Their experiences had long-lasting effects on them, their families and society.
Almost a million Australians served during World War II from 1939 to 1945. Australia’s proximity to the war in the Pacific forced us to question our relationships with the rest of the world.
To support our US allies, Australia sent almost 60,000 service personnel to South Vietnam from 1962 to 1975 to fight the spread of communism. Conscription forced many of these troops to serve.
The Cold War was a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1991. In Australia it was marked by political stand-offs, the space race, spy rings and defections.
Since World War I, the Australian military has developed, tested and used defence equipment and weapons. During the Cold War, Australia allowed nuclear weapons testing and launched a satellite.
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