6th DivisionThe 6th Division was the first division formed for the Second AIF in the Second World War. It was so designated because there were already five divisions in the Australian Military Forces when the decision was made in September 1939 to raise a 'special force' for overseas service. The division was originally composed of the 16th, 17th and 18th Brigades, but the diversion of the 18th Brigade to the United Kingdom in June 1940, meant that the 19th became its third infantry brigade. Between early 1942 and late 1943 the composition of the 6th Division varied considerably due to the changing operational situation. During this time the 14th, 21st, 25th and 30th Brigades also came under the division's command for varying periods.
As a formation, the 6th Division fought in the campaigns in Libya, Greece, and the Aitape-Wewak region of New Guinea. Its individual brigades also fought on Crete, in Lebanon, along the Kokoda Trail and at the Japanese beachheads in Papua, and in the Wau-Salamaua region of New Guinea. It was commanded, in succession by Major Generals Thomas Blamey (13 October 1939 - 3 April 1940), Iven Mackay (4 April 1940 - 13 August 1941), Edmund Herring (14 August 1941 - 30 April 1942), George Vasey (14 September 1942 - 14 March 1943), Jack Stevens (15 March 1943 - 26 July 1945), and Horace Robertson (26 July 1945 - 30 November 1945).