Carley float from HMAS Sydney on display in the Second World War galleries

The carley float from HMAS Sydney

Almost a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. This war affected Australians more directly than the First World War, and caused immense social change. Over 39,000 Australians died.

The Second World War Galleries show how Australians fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa; and against Japan in south-east Asia. It covers the experience of those on the home front, for it was during this war that the Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time.

This suite of galleries tell stories of endurance and courage, of grief and humour, and displays the achievements and the sacrifices of a people at war.

The main areas of the galleries are:

  • 1939: war is declared
  • 1940–41: victory and defeat
  • 1942: turning point
  • 1942–44: beginning of the end
  • 1943–44: New Guinea offensive
  • 1944–45: final campaigns

In these galleries visitors will be able to see a number of large technology objects that have not previously been on display at the Memorial, including:

The Desert Campaign display in the Second World War galleriesThe Desert Campaign display in the Second World War galleries featuring a 25 Pounder Field Gun and Supermarine Spitfire

Second World War galleries video, YouTube

The Dingo Scout car. REL23826

The Dingo Scout car. REL23826

Studebaker sedan. REL28192

Studebaker sedan. REL28192

LePkw Type 82 Kubelwagen. REL/12478.001

LePkw Type 82 Kubelwagen. REL/12478.001

Group portrait of some of the crew members aboard HMAS Sydney II. P00853.001

Group portrait of some of the crew members aboard HMAS Sydney II. P00853.001

Officers from the 2/14th Battalion at Uberi, Kokoda Trail. P00525.006

Officers from the 2/14th Battalion at Uberi, Kokoda Trail. P00525.006

Chevrolet lorry and Breda anti-aircraft gun in action at Tobruk, 1941. 020582

Chevrolet lorry and Breda anti-aircraft gun in action at Tobruk, 1941. 020582