2nd Australian Imperial Force


5th Division AIF

Members of the 9th Division parade at Gaza Airport in late 1942.


Australia raised two A.I.F.'s in response to both World Wars; the 1st A.I.F. in 1914 and the 2nd A.I.F. in 1939.


On the outset of World War II, there was controversy over whether Australia should concentrate on forming an expeditionary force for overseas service to fight Germany in Europe or a home defence force to fight Japan. Prime Minister Robert Menzies decided to do both, although the experience of the Great War indicated that Australia did not have the resources to do either. [1]


A.I.F.'s had to be formed to provide troops for foreign service as the Commonwealth Military Forces (formed at Australian federation) could not be deployed overseas.



[1]Long, Gavin (1952). "To Benghazi" (PDF). Australia in the War of 1939-1945. pp. 3339. Australian War Memorial.

Neil Wooldridge 2010-2015