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Encyclopedia > 5th Division (Australia)

The 5th Division was a Militia unit of the Australian Army. During World War II the division was mobilised for the defence of North Queensland in 1942, when it was believed that the area was a prime site for an invasion by Japanese forces. Following the federation of Australia in 1901, the six colonial militias were merged to form a national reserve army. ... The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ... Combatants Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total... This article is about the peninsula located in the Australian state of Queensland; it should not be confused with either Yorke Peninsula, in South Australia, or Cape York, Greenland. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ...


Most of the division was concentrated in the Townsville area, although the 11th Brigade Group was detached for the defence of Cairns and Mareeba. Townsville in 2004. ... Central Cairns from Mount Whitfield looking southeast. ... Mareeba is a town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. ...


In 1943-45, the division took part in the New Guinea campaign. The New Guinea campaign was one of the major military campaigns of World War II. Fighting in the Australian mandated Territory of New Guinea (the north-eastern part of the island of New Guinea and surrounding islands) and Dutch New Guinea, between Allied and Japanese forces, commenced with the Japanese...

Contents

History

1921-42

1942

The division was formed in 1942 at Marist Brothers College, Ashgrove, Brisbane. (A plaque in the college commemorates its formation there. ) Ashgrove is an inner suburb Brisbane, Australia located 5km west of the Brisbane CBD. Ashgrove is a leafy residential suburb, characterised by its hilly terrain and the abundance of small apartment blocks. ... Brisbane (pronounced ) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Queensland, and is the third largest city in Australia, with a metropolitan population of 1. ...


An advanced party of 25 officers and 55 ordinary ranks from the divisional headquarters arrived in Townsville on 30 April 1942, along with an advanced party of 40 members of the 29th Infantry Brigade. They travelled by train and were initially accommodated at the Townsville Showgrounds Staging Camp. April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ...


The infantry and field regiments were distributed widely around the Townsville area including, Aitkenvale, Antill Plains, Castle Hill, Jimmy's Lookout, Belgian Gardens and Mount Louisa. Castle Hill is a huge pink granite monolith standing in the heart of the north Queensland city of Townsville. ...


The Headquarters for the 5th Australian Division were located at Aitkenvale in Townsville in May 1942. In December 1942, the Headquarters was located in a reinforced concrete bunker at Roseneath. 5 Div Signals were also located at Roseneath. Roseneath is the name of several places: Roseneath is a town and port in Dumbartonshire, Scotland Roseneath, Victoria is in Australia Roseneath, Queensland is also in Australia Roseneath, Ontario is in Canada Roseneath, North Carolina is a township in the United States Roseneath, Wellington is a suburb of Wellington, New... WW2 map showing locations of bunkers The Signals, 5th Australian Division, Australian Army began as a Signals Office at a house at 12 Wills St. ...


Maj Gen Edward Milford was appointed Commanding Officer of the 5th Division in mid-1942, under Lt Gen James Durrant, Commander in Chief Northern Command (Queensland). Durrant promoted the evacuation of non-essential civilians and a scorched earth policy in the event of invasion, to the local town and shire councils and the Chamber of Commerce. They began plans for the demolition of airfields and other vital defence facilities in north Queensland such as the Townsville Harbour facilities and road a rail bridges. A scorched earth policy is a military tactic which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. ...


If communications with Northern Command were severed, the 5th Australian Division commander was to assume command of all Allied forces services (except bomber aircraft). For this purpose an Operations Room was set up at HQ 5 Div.


In the event of an invasion, the 5th Division would have had the following responsibilities:

  • attack any enemy force landing between Rollingstone and the Bohle River and/or advancing from the north.
  • creating a holding force in the Clevedon-Woodstock Hill area with the task of opposing an enemy landing in Bowling Green Bay, and halting any advance towards Townsville
  • the blocking of roads connecting the coast and inland from Ingham (through Mount Fox) and from Moongobulla (through Mount Spec)
  • demolitions in the Ingham area and, if necessary, the destruction of the Mount Spec and Mount Fox roads.
  • the manning of beach defence guns for the defence of beaches between Bohle River and Rollingstone, and between Houghton River and Chunda Bay.

Ingham is a town in North Queensland, Australia. ... Mount Fox, Queensland, Australia, is a 560,000 year old pyroclastic cone. ... Paluma Range is a national park in Queensland (Australia), 1188 km northwest of Brisbane. ...

1943-45

On August 23, 1943, the division, under Maj. Gen. Edward Milford moved to the north coast of New Guinea, to take over the Salamaua campaign in its dying stages. The division occupied Salamaua on September 11. Combatants Australia United States Empire of Japan Commanders Douglas MacArthur Hatazô Adachi Strength ~30,000 ~10,000 Casualties  ?  ? The Salamaua-Lae campaign was a series of actions in the New Guinea campaign of World War II. Australian and United States forces sought to capture two major Japanese bases, one in... Salamaua is a small town situated on the northeastern coastline of Papua New Guinea. ...


References

Peter Dunn's website



Australian Army Divisions in World War II
Militia

1st Division | 2nd Division | 3rd Division | 4th Division | 5th Division | 10th Division (Mk I) | 11th Division
12th Division | 2nd Armoured Division | 3rd Armoured Division
Australian Imperial Force
6th Division | 7th Division | 8th Division | 9th Division | 10th Division (Mk II) | 1st Armoured Division This is a list of Australian Army divisions during World War II. Australian 1st Armoured Division Australian 2nd Armoured Division (a. ... Following the federation of Australia in 1901, the six colonial militias were merged to form a national reserve army. ... This article concerns the Australian 3rd Division which has existed as a reserve unit at various times since 1921; for information regarding the World War I unit by the same name, see Australian 3rd Division (World War I). ... The Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) was the name given to the volunteer units of the Australian Army in World War II. The 2nd AIF was formed, from 1939 onwards, to fight overseas: most army units were Militia (reserve) units and under Australian law at the time, Militia troops... My God, I wish we had [the] 9th Australian Division with us this morning. ...


 
 

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