April

Date Year Title Event
1 April 1921 First AIF disbanded During the four years of the First World War the First AIF gained a reputation for military prowess that remains very much in the consciousness of Australians to the present day.
2 April 1917 Private J.C. Jensen, VC Private J.C. Jensen, 50th Battalion, AIF, originally from Loegstoer, Denmark, wins the Victoria Cross at Noreuil, France
3 April 1885 Tamai Tamai was the largest and most significant engagement in which the 770-man New South Wales contingent to the Sudan were involved. In comparison with the British units involved in the battle, Australian involvement was minimal.
4 April 1918 First action at Villers-Bretonneux Villers-Bretonneux, overlooking the Somme and within artillery range of Amiens, was a principal objective when the German Spring Offensive was in its dying stages in early April. They were repulsed by the 9th Brigade from the 3rd Australian Division and some British units.
5 April 1951 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, involved in Operation Rugged, Korea Operation Rugged involved United Nations forces crossing the 38th Parallel and occupying strong defensive positions formed by a line of hills codenamed the Kansas Line and including Hills Salmon, Cod and Sardine, 45 kilometres north of Seoul.
6 April 1942 US 41st Division arrives in Australia Between December 1941 and August 1945 some one million Americans were stationed in Australia.
6 April 1952 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, arrives in Korea The battalion remained in Korea until September 1953.
7 April 1916 Australians reach the Western Front First Australian units of the 2nd Division arrived on Western Front and were introduced to fighting on the Western Front in what was called the 'nursery sector' in the relatively quiet area around Armentieres, France.
7 April 1918 Lieutenant P.V. Storkey, VC Lieutenant P.V. Storkey, 19th Battalion, AIF, originally from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, wins the Victoria Cross at Bois de Hangard.
7 April 1967 Major P.J. Badcoe, VC Major P.J. Badcoe, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, originally from Adelaide, SA, was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for a series of actions in South Vietnam between February and April 1967.
8 April 1917 Captain J.E. Newland, VC Captain J.E. Newland, 12th Battalion, AIF, originally from Geelong, Victoria, wins the Victoria Cross for actions on 8 April and 15 April 1917 at Lagnicourt.
8 April 1917 Sergeant J.W. Whittle, VC Sergeant J.W. Whittle, 2nd Battalion, originally from Huon Island, Tasmania, wins the Victoria Cross for actions at Boursies and Lagnicourt on 8 April and 15 April 1917.
8 April 1918 Repatriation Department established Once soldiers were demobilised all tasks aimed at their rehabilitation and return to civilian life became the responsibility of the Repatriation Department.
9 April 1917 Private T.J.B. Kenny, VC Private T.J.B. Kenny, 2nd Battalion, AIF, originally from Paddington, New South Wales, wins the Victoria Cross at Hermies, France.
9 April 1942 HMAS Vampire sunk The destroyer HMAS Vampire and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes were sunk by Japanese bombers off Colombo in the Bay of Bengal.
9 April 1968 HMAS Sydney arrived at Vung Tau The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, disembarked and the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, embarked. Sydney made 24 voyages to Vietnam during the war.
10 April 1941 6th Division engage the Germans in Greece The Greek campaign, involving forces from Greece, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, resulted in heavy losses to the 6th Australian Division and ultimately an evacuation of Allied forces from beaches in southern Greece.
10 April 1941 Siege of Tobruk, Libya, begins Tobruk was surrounded on three sides by the German Afrika Korps in April and remained besieged, but able to be re-supplied by sea, until December. Most Australians, however, left Tobruk between August and October.
11 April 1917 First battle of Bullecourt, Western Front The 4th Australian Division and 62nd British Division attempted to penetrate the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt where they were unsuccessfully supported by tanks. Over 1,000 Australians became prisoners of war, the largest number in a single action in the First World War. 3,000 became casualties.
11 April 1951 General MacArthur dismissed from command in Korea MacArthur was dismissed from his command in Korea for the perception in Washington that he was too intemperate and likely to escalate the war.
11 April 1970 HMAS Vendetta returns to Sydney HMAS Vendetta was the only one of three Australian Daring class destroyers to serve on the gunline in Vietnamese waters. The ship served one tour.
12 April 1918 Battle of Hazebrouck, Western Front Hazebrouck, a crucial rail centre, 30 kilometres west of Armentieres, was threatened by the German offensive on the Lys. The 1st Australian Division repelled several heavy German attacks.
12 April 1941 ANZAC Corps reformed in Greece by General Blamey Australian and New Zealand troops fought alongside soldiers from Greece and Britain in the ill-fated Greek campaign. Blamey, however, conducted a skillful evacuation of the ANZAC Corps from southern Greece at the end of the campaign.
13 April 1916 Jifjaffa A squadron of the 9th Light Horse Regiment captured this Turkish outpost in the Sinai, about 60 kilometres from the Suez. The encounter, the first engagement for the Light Horse in the Sinai, demonstrated their potential for fighting in the Middle East.
13 April 1941 Corporal J.H. Edmondson, VC Corporal J.H. Edmondson, 2/17th Battalion,AIF, originally from Wagga Wagga, NSW, wins the Victoria Cross at Tobruk. It was a posthumous award.
13 April 1983 Dedication of the Rats of Tobruk memorial The memorial, on ANZAC Parade, was dedicated by the Governor-General of Australia, the Right Hon Sir Ninian Stephen. The memorial commemorates the Australian and Allied servicemen who died during the siege of Tobruk in 1941.
14 April 1941 Second attack against Tobruk by Afrika Korps fails The besieged town of Tobruk held out against German attacks until December 1941 when the siege was lifted.
15 April 1917 Lieutenant C. Pope, VC Lieutenant C. Pope, 11th Battalion, AIF, originally from London, wins the Victoria Cross at Louverval, France. It was a posthumous award.
17 April 1917 Second battle of Gaza A second attack on the Turkish coastal stronghold at Gaza. Reinforced and prepared for an attack, the Turks repulsed General Sir Archibald Murray's assault, inflicting over 6,000 casualties on the attackers.
18 April 1941 Tempe (or Pinios) Gorge, Greece The 2/2nd and 2/3rd Battalions, AIF, and New Zealand's 21st Battalion stemmed a German advance in a rearguard action that enabled the main Allied force in Greece to establish a new defensive line across the Thermopylae peninsula.
18 April 1942 General Thomas Blamey appointed to command Allied land forces in the South-West Pacific Area  
18 April 1943 Admiral Yamamoto, Imperial Japanese Navy, killed American Intelligence decoded signals that provided the timetable for Yamamoto's flight. His aircraft was intercepted and shot down near Bougainville by American Lightnings from Guadalcanal. Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, was the architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
19 April 1968 Dedication of the Desert Mounted Corps memorial The memorial, on ANZAC Parade, was dedicated by Prime Minister John Gorton. The memorial is based on the original unveiled at Port Said, Egypt, by former Prime Minister William Morris Hughes in 1932. It was destroyed during the Suez Crisis of 1956.
20 April 1915 First half-flight, Australian Flying Corps, sailed for the Baghdad expedition This was the first use of Australian aircraft and aircrew in war.
20 April 1941 ANZAC Corps withdraw to Thermopylae Line, Greece The Greek campaign ended in disaster for the Allies. Unable to hold out against numerically stronger and better organised German forces, the Allies were forced to evacuate their troops from Greece in late April 1941.
21 April 1917 Foundation of the Imperial War Graves Commission The Imperial War Graves Commission was later renamed the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is responsible for erecting and maintaining war memorials and cemeteries.
22 April 1941 Evacuation of Greece begins The evacuation marked the end of the ill-conceived Greek campaign which lasted only three weeks.
23 April 1918 Ostend and Zeebruge, Belgium, raided Eleven volunteers from HMAS Australia took part in a raid that aimed to prevent the Germans using these Belgian ports as a bases for their submarines.
23 April 1951 Battle of Kapyong, Korea The most well-known Australian action of the Korean War, Kapyong involved the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). The fighting at Kapyong blunted the Chinese advance on Seoul during the 1951 Spring Offensive and prevented a Communist breakthrough on the United Nations central front. 3RAR was awarded a United States Presidential citation for their part in the battle.
24-25 April 1918 Second battle of Villers-Bretonneux, Western Front When the Germans captured the town that had been the centre of fighting just three weeks previously, Australian and British troops drove them out in a daring night attack at a cost of 1,469 casualties.
24-25 April 1918 Lieutenant C.W.K. Sadlier, VC Lieutenant C.W.K. Sadlier, 51st Battalion, AIF, originally from Camberwell, Vic., wins the Victoria Cross at Villers Bretonneux.
25 April 1901 Naval contingent return to Sydney from China Sailors from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria were sent to China to assist in quelling an anti-western rebellion by Chinese secret societies. Although it arrived too late to see any significant fighting, the Australian colonial force suffered six fatalities, none from combat.
25 April 1915 Landings at Gallipoli British, French, Australian and New Zealand troops were involved in a series of coordinated landings. Although the Gallipoli campaign was a military failure, the anniversary of the landing has become a national day of commemoration in Australia.
25 April 1916 First commemoration of ANZAC Day The first anniversary of the Gallipoli landings was widely observed in Australia. Large crowds attended church services and public ceremonies . The day was also commemorated by Australian and New Zealand servicemen in Egypt and London.
26 April 1944 Alexishafen occupied Alexishafen, New Guinea, was occupied by Australian troops.
26 April 1953 Ceasefire talks resume in Panmunjong. Warring sides try to bring an end to the fighting in Korea.
28 April 1952 Australia ratifies peace treaty with Japan and official ending of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) From the end of 1948 Australia had taken on the largest role in BCOF. When the state of occupation ended the Commonwealth organisation in Japan was redesignated British Commonwealth Forces Korea and continued supplying and administering Commonwealth forces then fighting in Korea.
29 April 1915 HMA Submarine AE2 sunk in the Sea of Marmara AE2 was the first submarine to penetrate the Dardanelles. For five days the AE2 carried out orders to disrupt Turkish shipping. When her torpedoes were exhausted and she was attacked by Turkish gunboats the submarine was scuttled and her crew captured.
29 April 1965 Prime Minister Menzies announces the commitment of an infantry battalion to Vietnam Australia's involvement in Vietnam was a gradual process. By April 1965 there were 100 members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam in Vietnam. The commitment of a battalion represented a major step in Australia's involvement and precipitated further increases in the number of Australians serving in Vietnam until reductions began in 1970.
30 April 1941 Last evacuation ship leaves Greece Australian and New Zealand troops fought alongside soldiers from Greece and Britain in the ill-fated Greek campaign. General Blamey conducted a skillful evacuation of the ANZAC Corps from southern Greece at the end of the campaign.