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.
- a unique Chevrolet lorry and Breda anti-aircraft gun combination used by Australians during the siege of Tobruk
- a captured German Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun still in its original desert camouflage
- a rare vehicle the Carro Veloce L.3/33 Series II Italian tankette
- the iconic German Kübelwagen will also return to display
- an exciting display on HMAS Sydney
- an audiovisual presentation on the Kokoda campaign
The Second World War Galleries are located on the Ground Level of the Memorial