80th Anniversary declaration of war on Germany
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the declaration of war on Germany. On 3 September 1939 Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced the beginning of Australia's involvement in the Second World War on every national and commercial radio station in Australia.
Almost a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time, as Japanese aircraft bombed towns in north-west Australia and Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney harbour.
On 7 May 1945 the German High Command authorised the signing of an unconditional surrender on all fronts: the war in Europe was over. The surrender was to take effect at midnight on 8–9 May 1945. On 14 August 1945 Japan accepted of the Allied demand for unconditional surrender. For Australia it meant that the Second World War was finally over.
Second World War, 1939–45
Learn more about Australia's involvement in the Second World War
Last Post Ceremony
Last Post Ceremony commemorating 80th Anniversary of Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany. The ceremony will remember Flight Lieutenant John William Allsop.
Prime Minister Robert G. Menzies: wartime broadcast
It was a controlled and sombre performance in which Prime Minister Robert Menzies asked an anxious nation to steel itself for a new war, the second within the memory of most of his listeners.