From 1962 to 1973, more than 60,000 Australians served in the Vietnam War. They were part of an allied force led by the United States. Australians fought alongside South Vietnamese Government troops against the Vietcong, a communist-led insurgent force supported by the North Vietnamese Army.
In 1964, the National Service Act introduced a scheme of selective conscription in Australia, designed to create an army of 40,000 full-time soldiers. Many of them were sent on active service to the war in Vietnam.
521 Australians died during the Vietnam War and around 3000 were wounded.
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- What factors led to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War?
- Why did the Australian Government introduce selective conscription in 1964?
- How did the introduction of conscription shape attitudes to the Vietnam War in Australia?