The 19th Brigade was formed in April 1940 as a result of a reorganisation of the Second AIF that saw its infantry brigades reduced from four to three battalions. The excess battalion from each of the three AIF brigades was used to form the 19th. Thus, the 2/4th Battalion joined the brigade from the 16th Brigade and the 2/8th from the 17th. Shipping arrangements, however, saw the 2/11th, and not the 2/12th, join from the 18th Brigade. As a formation, the 19th Brigade fought in Libya, Greece, Crete, and in the Aitape-Wewak campaign in New Guinea.