2/5th Battalion troops in action around Khalde, in Syria, July 1941
|Part of||6th Division|
|Engagements|| World War I |
World War II
|Headquarters unit colour patch|
The 17th Brigade was an infantry brigade in the Australian Army. First raised in 1912 as a Militia formation to provide training under the compulsory training scheme, the brigade was later re-raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Established in 1917 in the United Kingdom, it was broken up and disbanded without seeing action, and its personnel used as reinforcements for other formations. Reformed during World War II, it took part in fighting in Libya, Greece, Crete, Syria in 1941–1942. Following Japan's entry into the war, the Australian government pressed for the 6th Division's return, and the 17th Brigade was subsequently brought back from the Middle East, via Ceylon where they undertook defensive duties until July 1942. Following the brigade's return to Australia, it was deployed to New Guinea for two campaigns: the Salamaua–Lae campaign in 1943 and the Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1944–1945. After the war, the brigade was disbanded in January 1946. Today, its name is perpetuated by the 17th Sustainment Brigade, which was raised as a logistics formation in May 2006.
In 1912, when Australian introduced the compulsory training scheme, a total of 23 Militia brigades, mostly of four battalions, were planned for. These were assigned to six military districts around Australia. At this time, the 17th Brigade formed part of the 3rd Military District. The brigade's constituent units had training depots in various locations around Victoria, including Footscray, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Bendigo, and Echuca. The brigade's constituent battalions were sequentially numbered: 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th.
During World War I, the 17th Brigade was formed as part of the all volunteer First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in England, on the Salisbury Plain, as part of the 6th Division on 25 April 1917. The brigade consisted of four infantry battalions, and supported by a machine gun company and a light trench mortar battery. By September 1917, the brigade's strength was just over 3,000 men. Heavy casualties amongst Australian forces on the Western Front at Bullecourt and Messines throughout 1917 resulted in a manpower shortage amongst the five divisions of the AIF. As a result, plans to raise the 6th Division were shelved and its constituent formations were disbanded without seeing any action.The brigade's personnel were then used as reinforcements. The brigade's machine gun company was later re-designated as the 24th Machine Gun Company and eventually allocated to the 4th Machine Gun Battalion, going to serve as part of the 4th Division. Only 15 infantry brigades were raised as part of the Militia during the interwar years, so the 17th Brigade was not re-raised during this time.
Following the outbreak of World War II, the 17th Brigade was reformed as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF). Once again it formed part of the 6th Division. Its headquarters was raised at the Melbourne Showgrounds on 13 October 1939, and upon formation it consisted of four infantry battalions – 2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th and 2/8th – all of which were recruited from Victoria. Basic training was undertaken at Puckapunyal, after which the brigade embarked for overseas, under the command of Brigadier Stanley Savige. They arrived in the Middle East in April 1940 and by May were stationed in Palestine. That month, the 2/8th Infantry Battalion was transferred to the 19th Brigade, as the 2nd AIF adopted the triangular brigade structure that was standard in the British Army. Further training was carried out in Egypt, at Helway, in September, at which point the 17th Brigade received the remainder of its war equipment. Divisional exercises were undertaken around Ikingi Maryut in October and November, during which the 16th and 17th Brigades practised assault techniques, while the 19th Brigade assumed a defensive role. After this, the 6th Division was deployed to Libya in preparation for their commitment to the Western Desert Campaign.
In January 1941, the Australians went into action for the first time around Bardia. While the 16th Brigade led the assault, the 17th Brigade was assigned a supporting role. The 2/7th Infantry Battalion provided the division's reserve element, while the 2/6th carried out an advance to the south of the fortress to divert the defenders' attention. Following the initial phase of the operation, the 2/5th and 2/7th then pushed through the gap created by the 16th Brigade and advanced south-easterly against the Italian defences. The brigade struggled to make progress during this phase, though, and had to be reinforced by the 2/11th Infantry Battalion from the 19th Brigade.This was followed by the capture of Tobruk, during which the 17th Brigade was again allocated a secondary role, providing reinforcements to the assaulting brigades. In the aftermath, the Italians began to fall back towards Tripoli. The 17th Brigade was pushed forward in pursuit, with the 2/7th Infantry Battalion capturing Barce and then Marsa Brega before the 20th Brigade arrived to relieve them, as part of preparations to redeploy the 6th Division to Greece in response to promises to defend the country against an expected German invasion. The brigade subsequently concentrated around Amiriya, in Egypt.
The 6th Division deployed in stages, with the 16th deploying first, followed by the 19th. The 17th arrived in mid-April, disembarking at Piraeus along with the 2/11th Infantry Battalion, which had not deployed with the rest of the 19th Brigade. They arrived as the German invasion was in full swing and upon their arrival the troops were loaded into trucks and driven to the front line around Larissa with orders to form a blocking position.While the 2/6th and 2/7th Infantry Battalions established rearguard positions around Domokos, the brigade's headquarters formed an ad hoc formation consisting of the 2/5th and 2/11th Infantry Battalions and took up positions on the Grevena–Kalabaka road. As the German advance pushed the Allies back, the brigade was pushed south in a series of withdrawals until they were ordered to evacuate from Kalamata in late April.
While the majority of the brigade was evacuated back to Palestine, in the confusion the 2/7th was sent to Crete while several hundred men from the 2/5th and 2/6th were also landed after their troopship, the Costa Rica, was sunk en route to Alexandria.The 2/7th was attached to the 19th Brigade at this time, while the two smaller battalions formed a 17th Brigade Composite Battalion, which was assigned to Cremor Force. Cremor Force assumed defensive positions around the western end of the island, with the 17th Brigade Composite Battalion located around Suda Point, while the 2/7th defended Georgiopolis. On 20 May, the Germans launched an invasion of Crete, after which there was heavy fighting on the island as the British, Greek, New Zealand, and Australian defenders fought to repel the airborne assault. Despite inflicting heavy casualties, the Allies lost control of the airfield around Malame and were eventually pushed back towards Sfakia, from where only part of the garrison could be evacuated. During the fighting on Crete, the 2/7th's most significant action came during the Battle of 42nd Street, when they took part in a bayonet assault alongside the Maori Battalion, inflicting heavy casualties on a battalion of the 141st Gebirgsjager Regiment. After three days of rearguard fighting in the hills, plans were made to evacuate the 2/7th Battalion as the final combat unit to be withdrawn from the island, but heavy naval losses resulted in the attempt being cancelled. Although some personnel managed to make their own way back to Allied lines, or escaped later, over 400 personnel from the 2/7th were taken prisoner, while the 17th Brigade Composite Battalion lost 198 men captured. In addition, there were around 100 battle casualties in both units.
Meanwhile, the rest of the brigade concentrated in Palestine in May 1941 and was re-formed. The 2/5th Infantry Battalion was detached in June to take part in the Syria–Lebanon campaign, attached to the 7th Division. Later in the campaign, the 17th Brigade's headquarters was also committed to the fighting, assuming control of the 2/3rd and 2/5th Infantry Battalions, and the 2/2nd Pioneers during the Battle of Damour, and then the advance towards Beirut. An armistice ended the conflict in mid-July, after which the brigade was assigned to occupation duties, providing a garrison along the Turkish border around Latakia and then later around Tripoli, in Lebanon. In November, the brigade was reconstituted with its original units, and the following month Brigadier Murray Moten took over command of the brigade.In early in 1942 returned to Palestine. With Japan's entry into the war, the Australian government requested the return of the 6th and 7th Divisions to help meet the new threat. However, the 16th and 17th Brigades were diverted en route to Ceylon where they undertook defensive duties amidst concerns of a Japanese invasion. The 17th Brigade was stationed around Akuressa during this time, before completing the voyage back to Australia in July 1942.
After their return to Australia, a period of leave followed. After this, the brigade was re-constituted at Seymour, Victoria, in August 1942, before moving to Singleton, New South Wales a month later. The situation in New Guinea improved for the Allies as the Japanese advance towards Port Moresby along the Kokoda Track was halted following their defeat at the Battle of Milne Bay and following a reversal on Guadalcanal. The 17th Brigade was subsequently deployed to Milne Bay in October 1942, freeing up the 18th Brigade to be deployed to northern Papua, to taking part in the fighting in the Buna–Gona area. As the Japanese began to shift their attention towards the capture of Wau, in January 1943 the 17th Brigade was relieved by the 29th Brigade and was redeployed to Port Moresby by sea, from where it was flown to Wau to reinforce Kanga Force,with Moten assuming command of Kanga Force. The move was delayed by bad weather and was not completed until late January, and aircraft bringing in reinforcements arrived under fire. Fighting commenced east of Wau on 28 January, when elements of the 2/6th Infantry Battalion, which had established an outpost, came under attack. This was followed two days later by the main attack on the airfield, which was held by the 2/5th and 2/7th Infantry Battalions. Several days of heavy fighting followed, and Wau came under air attack on 6 February; however, by 9 February the Australians had cleared the Japanese from the area, forcing them to withdraw. In the following months, elements of the 17th Brigade took part in several actions around Mubo, Bobdubi, Lababia Ridge, Nassau Bay, and Mount Tambu. As the Australians advanced on Salamaua, the 2/7th was detached to support the 15th Infantry Brigade.
Following the capture of Salamaua, the 17th Brigade embarked from Nassau Bay and returned to Australia, concentrating at Wondecla, Queensland, where the 6th Division was reunited on the Atherton Tablelands. A long period of training followed for the 17th Brigade as the role of Australian troops in the Pacific was largely taken over by the US,leaving the 6th Division without a role for a considerable period. Finally, in late 1944, it was determined that Australian forces would relieve US troops around Aitape, in order to free them up for redeployment to the Philippines. US troops had secured an airfield at Aitape, and established a strong base there; Australian troops were expected to hold this base and then push patrols east along the coast towards Wewak, while limiting offensive actions so as not to result in the need for the commitment of large scale forces. The brigade began arriving at the US-held airfield at Aitape in November and while the 16th and 19th Brigades carried the advance along the coast, the 17th pushed up the Sepik River inland from the Torricelli Range, rotating each battalion between defensive and offensive actions. In January 1945, the 2/5th moved towards Perimbul and Balif, while the following month the remainder of the brigade advanced to Ami, linking up with the 2/5th around Maprik. The 2/7th took over the advance in February, while flanking units from Hay Force pushed the Japanese into their path. The 2/6th took over from the commandos at Ami in March and the 2/5th took over from the 2/7th in June. Around this time, the 2nd New Guinea Infantry Battalion was assigned to the 17th Brigade and undertook patrols between Hayfield and Gwalip, before the 2/7th took over. In July, they pushed towards Kiarivu, as the Australian advance moved into the mountain areas. The war ended shortly after this, in mid-August, by which time the brigade's four battalions were in action against the Japanese around Mount Irup.
Following the conclusion of hostilities, by mid-October the 17th Brigade concentrated around Dallman Harbour. The demobilisation process began shortly after the war ended, with drafts of personnel being returned to Australia based on priority.A series of cross postings also occurred at this time, with 17th Brigade units swapping personnel with units from the 8th Brigade. Meanwhile, personnel undertook parades and occupation duties, overseeing the surrender of Japanese personnel. There was a shortage of shipping at the time, so the process of demobilisation was slow. The troops were kept occupied with other activities including vocational education and training, and sports. From November, Moten relinquished command of the brigade, taking over the 6th Division, while a series of administrative commanders temporarily took over the brigade. Cross postings came to an end in December, and that month the main body of the brigade began moving to Australia, with troops from the 2/5th embarking upon the troopship Duntroon, and cadres from other units embarking upon the British aircraft carrier, Implaccable, departing Wewak on 14 December 1945. After arriving at Woolloomooloo, the brigade concentrated at Wallgrove, New South Wales, before a period of leave. In January 1946, at Puckapunyal, most of the brigade's personnel were demobilised while a small cadre remained to complete the administration necessary for the brigade to be disbanded.
In the post war era, the 17th Brigade was not re-raised. Its numerical designation is perpetuated, though, by a logistics formation, the 17th Sustainment Brigade, which was raised on 20 May 2006 as the 17th Combat Service Support Brigade.
During World War I, the brigade consisted of the following units:
During World War II, the brigade consisted of the following units:
The following officers commanded the brigade during World War I:
The following officers commanded the brigade during World War II:
The Second Australian Imperial Force was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Under the Defence Act (1903), neither the part-time Militia nor the full-time Permanent Military Force (PMF) could serve outside Australia or its territories unless they volunteered to do so. The Second AIF fought against Nazi Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. After the war, Australia's wartime military structures were demobilised and the 2nd AIF was disbanded, although a small cadre of its personnel became part of the Interim Army that was established in 1947, and from which the Australian Regular Army was formed in 1948.
The 6th Division was an infantry division of the Australian Army. It was raised briefly in 1917 during World War I, but was broken up to provide reinforcements before seeing action. It was not re-raised until the outbreak of World War II, when it was formed as a unit of the Second Australian Imperial Force. Throughout 1940–41 it served in the North African Campaign, the Greek campaign, on Crete and in Syria, fighting against the Germans, Italians and Vichy French. In 1942, the division left the Middle East and returned to Australia to meet the threat of Japan's entry into the war. Part of the division garrisoned Ceylon for a short period of time, before the division was committed to the New Guinea campaign. In New Guinea, its component brigades had a major role in the successful counter-offensive along the Kokoda Track, at Buna–Gona and around Salamaua–Lae in 1942–43. Throughout late 1943–44, the division was re-organised in Australia before being committed as a complete formation to one of the last Australian operations of the war around Aitape–Wewak in 1944–45.
The 2/6th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army that served during the Second World War. Raised in October 1939 as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force, the battalion formed part of the 6th Division and was among the first troops raised by Australia during the war. Departing Australia in early 1940, the 2/6th were deployed to the Middle East where in January 1941, it took part in the first action of the war by Australian ground forces, the Battle of Bardia, which was followed by further actions around Tobruk. Later, the 2/6th were dispatched to take part in the Battle of Greece, although their involvement in the campaign was short before they were evacuated. Some members of the battalion also subsequently fought on Crete with a composite 17th Brigade battalion, and afterwards the battalion had to be re-formed in Palestine before being sent to Syria in 1941–42, where they formed part of the Allied occupation force that was established there in the aftermath of the Syria–Lebanon campaign.
The 16th Brigade was an infantry brigade in the Australian Army. First raised in 1912 as a Militia formation to provide training under the compulsory training scheme, the brigade was later re-raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Its existence was short lived, as it was disbanded after about six months, before it could be committed to the fighting on the Western Front. Raised again in 1939 for service during World War II, the brigade was deployed to the Middle East in early 1940 and subsequently saw action in the Western Desert and in Greece in 1941. In 1942, it returned to Australia in response to Japan's entry into the war, and later the brigade played a prominent role in the Kokoda Track campaign and at Buna–Gona in Papua. Withdrawn to Australia in early 1943, the 16th Brigade was re-organised and received many replacements from disbanding formations, but it was not recommitted to combat operations until late in the war. In 1944–1945, the brigade was committed to the Aitape–Wewak campaign in New Guinea. After the war, the brigade was disbanded in 1946. Today, its name is perpetuated by the 16th Aviation Brigade which was raised on 2 April 2002.
The 2/1st Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Formed as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force at the start of World War II, the battalion was deployed to the Middle East in early 1940 and subsequently took part in the early fighting in the North African campaign, taking part in battles around Bardia and Tobruk before later being sent to Greece in early 1941. A lightning German advance quickly pushed the Allies back and forced them to evacuate after a very short campaign and the 2/1st was landed on Crete where they subsequently fought unsuccessfully to repel a German invasion in May. The majority of the battalion was captured on Crete, but the 2/1st was subsequently re-built from survivors in Palestine and returned to Australia in early 1942 following Japan's entry into the war. They then fought two campaigns against the Japanese in New Guinea, fighting in the Kokoda Track campaign during 1942–43 and the Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1944–45. Following the war, the 2/1st was disbanded.
The 2/3rd Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Raised for service during the Second World War as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force, it was formed in October 1939 in Sydney and was attached to the 16th Brigade, 6th Division, the first formation raised as part of the 2nd AIF during the war. Deploying to the Middle East in early 1940, it saw action in North Africa, Greece, Crete, and Syria in 1941–1942 before returning to Australia following Japan's entry into the war, and was one of only two Australian infantry battalions to fight against all the major Axis powers of the war: the Germans, Italians, Japanese and Vichy French.
The 2/4th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army that was raised for service during World War II, as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force. Deploying to the Middle East in early 1940, the battalion took part in the early fighting in North Africa in early 1941 along with the rest of the 6th Division, before being sent to Greece and then Crete, where it was heavily engaged and suffered heavy losses. Rebuilt in Palestine, the battalion undertook occupation duties in Syria.
The 2/5th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army that operated during World War II. It was raised at Melbourne, Victoria, on 18 October 1939 as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force, attached to the 17th Brigade of the 6th Division. The 2/5th was one of only two Australian infantry battalions to fight against all of the major Axis powers during the war, seeing action against the Germans and Italians in Egypt, Libya, Greece and Crete, and the Vichy French in Syria, before returning to Australia in 1942 to fight the Japanese following a period of garrison duties in Ceylon, where it formed part of an Australian force established to defend against a possible Japanese invasion.
The 2/7th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army raised for service during World War II. Formed as part of the 6th Division shortly after the outbreak of the war as part of the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force, the 2/7th Battalion's initial personnel were recruited primarily from the state of Victoria, although later reinforcements were drawn from most other Australian states. Basic training was completed in Australia, after which the battalion embarked for the Middle East as part of the first batch of Australian troops to deploy overseas. Further training was undertaken in Palestine before the battalion went into action against the Italians in January 1941. After participating in the successful capture of Bardia and Tobruk, it was committed to the disastrous Battles of Greece and Crete, where the battalion was essentially destroyed after the majority of its personnel were captured.
The 2/8th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army that served during World War II. Raised as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force at Melbourne, Victoria on 30 October 1939, the 2/8th was initially attached to the 17th Brigade, 6th Division. It was later transferred to the 19th Brigade and with this formation the battalion saw action in Egypt, Libya, Greece and Crete before returning to Australia. A period of garrison duty in Darwin followed in 1942–1943, after which the battalion concentrated with other 6th Division units on the Atherton Tablelands, remaining there throughout 1943–1944. In late 1944, the battalion was sent to New Guinea to fight the Japanese as part of the Aitape–Wewak campaign. The battalion was disbanded at Puckapunyal on 14 December 1945.
The 2/11th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army which saw service during World War II. Raised shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, the 2/11th was formed from Second Australian Imperial Force volunteers who were recruited mainly from the state of Western Australia. Assigned to the 6th Division, the 2/11th completed its training in Western Australia and New South Wales before deploying to the Middle East in 1940. Its first action came around Bardia in early January 1941, and this was followed by further actions in Libya, and then Greece and on Crete during which the 2/11th suffered heavy losses. After being re-formed, in late 1941 the battalion was deployed to Syria to undertake garrison duties there. In early 1942, it was brought back to Australia to help bolster the country's defences following Japanese advances in the Pacific, and it subsequently undertook defensive duties in Western Australia. The 2/11th did not see combat again until the final year of the war when it was committed to the Aitape–Wewak campaign. It was disbanded after the war in late 1945.
The 3rd Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Originally raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force for service during World War I, the battalion formed part of the 1st Brigade, attached to the 1st Division. It was formed shortly after the war broke out and was among the first Australian units to be sent overseas, arriving in Egypt in December 1914. In April 1915 the battalion participated in the Landing at Anzac Cove, coming ashore in the second and third waves. In December 1915 the 3rd Battalion was evacuated from the Gallipoli peninsula and withdrawn to Egypt again, where it took part in the defence of the Suez Canal before being sent to France to fight on the Western Front in March 1916. For the next two and a half years the unit would serve in the trenches in France and Belgium and would take part in many of the major battles fought during that time. In May 1919, following the end of the war, the battalion was disbanded and its personnel repatriated back to Australia.
The 4th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Originally raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, the battalion formed part of the 1st Brigade, attached to the 1st Division. During the war the battalion fought at Gallipoli and in the trenches on the Western Front, before being disbanded in 1919. In 1921, the battalion was re-raised as a militia unit and designated as the "4th Battalion ", adopting the designation of the Australian Rifles militia unit from which many of the battalion's recruits had come during the war. In 1930, the battalion was amalgamated with the 3rd Battalion and they remained linked until 1936, when they were delinked.
The 19th Brigade was a formation of the Australian Army that was raised as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force for service during World War II. It was briefly raised in 1912 as a Militia formation providing training as part of the compulsory training scheme. Later, during World War II, the brigade was established in April 1940 in Palestine as a triangular formation, the brigade was created by transferring one infantry battalion from three other brigades. It was subsequently assigned to the 6th Division. Throughout 1941, the brigade fought in North Africa, Greece and on Crete, before undertaking garrison duties in Syria, remaining there until January 1942. Following the Japanese entry into the war, the 19th Brigade was withdrawn to Australia and subsequently undertook garrison duties in Darwin. It did not see combat again until late in the war, when it was committed to the Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1944–1945. The brigade was disbanded in December 1945 in Puckapunyal.
The 20th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. First raised in 1912 as a Militia formation to provide training under the compulsory training scheme, the brigade was later re-raised on 7 May 1940 as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force for service during the World War II. The brigade was initially assigned to the 7th Division, but was later transferred to the 9th Division in early 1941. They subsequently took part in the Siege of Tobruk that year, and then the First and Second Battles of El Alamein in 1942. In early 1943, the brigade was returned to Australia to join the fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific. In late 1943, the brigade took part in the capture of Lae and then the Huon Peninsula campaign. Withdrawn to Australia in early 1944, its final campaign came during the Battle of North Borneo in the final months of the war. It was disbanded in February 1946.
The 2/1st Field Regiment was an Australian Army artillery regiment raised as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force during World War II. Formed in October 1939, the regiment was assigned to the 6th Division. Shortly after it was raised, the regiment was deployed to the Middle East, where it was briefly re-roled as an anti-aircraft regiment before returning to the field artillery role. In 1941, the regiment served in North Africa and in Greece, before being withdrawn back to Australian in early 1942, following Japan's entry into the war. In late 1942, and early 1943, the regiment took part in the defence of Port Moresby during the fighting along the Kokoda Track, before taking part in the Battle of Buna–Gona and the defence of Wau, remaining in New Guinea on garrison duties until August 1943. Withdrawn to Australia, a long period of training followed before the regiment took part in its final campaign of the war Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1945.
The 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion was a battalion of the Australian Army that was raised for service during World War II as part of the 6th Division. When it was formed on 14 December 1939, its component companies were spread across several Australian states, but it was later concentrated at Ingleburn, New South Wales, where it completed basic training in the early months of the war. In mid-1940, the battalion embarked for overseas, bound initially for the Middle East, but following the Fall of France it was diverted to the United Kingdom. Along with a larger contingent of Australians, it helped to bolster the island's garrison, undertaking defensive duties during a period when it was expected that the Germans might launch a cross-Channel invasion.
The 2/3rd Field Regiment was an Australian Army field artillery regiment that was raised for service during the Second World War. Formed in 1939 and assigned to the 6th Division, the regiment was deployed to the United Kingdom to defend against a possible invasion in 1940 before being sent to North Africa, where it briefly saw action prior to being sent to Greece and Crete in 1941. In 1942, the regiment returned to Australia, after which it did not see action again until late in the war when it was committed to the Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1944–45. Following the end of the war, the regiment returned to Australia and was disbanded in January 1946.
The 2/2nd Field Regiment was an Australian Army field artillery regiment that was raised for service during the Second World War. Assigned to the 6th Division, the regiment was formed from Second Australian Imperial Force volunteers. Raised in October 1939, the regiment undertook basic training in Australia before departing for the Middle East in mid-1940. Further training was undertaken in Egypt, before the regiment saw action in the Western Desert in early 1941, and in Greece and on Crete in the middle of the year. Later, they provided a defensive garrison on Ceylon in mid-1942 before returning to Australia. It did not see further action until the final phase of the war, when it was deployed to Aitape–Wewak, fighting against the Japanese, in 1944–1945. It was disbanded in January 1946, after returning to Australia for demobilisation.
The 2/1st Anti-Tank Regiment was an Australian Army anti-tank artillery regiment that was raised for service during the Second World War as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force. Formed in November 1939, it was sent to the United Kingdom in mid-1940, but was broken up and converted into infantry. In late 1940, the regiment was re-formed and deployed to the Middle East, joining the 6th Division. It took part in the Battle of Greece before being evacuated to Egypt. Later, the regiment took part in the Syria–Lebanon campaign. In early 1942, it was withdrawn back to Australia for service in the Pacific. En route the regiment was diverted to Ceylon for garrison duties. It served in New Guinea around Port Moresby and Milne Bay in 1942–1943 and then again in early 1945 during the Aitape–Wewak campaign, serving there until the end of the war.