Resentment to empire troops WW2

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by brettarider, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. My dad was telling me about an incident which happened to my granddad during WW2. He got home leave after serving in the Ivory coast as a blocking force against the Vichy French colonies down south. Part of his uniform was a slouch hat similar to the ones worn by the Australian army. When him and his mate arrived home they were heckled in the street being called Aussie Basstards and other insults due to them still wearing the slouch hats and being mistaken for Australian troops .
    As this was mid war and everyone knew the bitter fighting going on in the far east at the time why this type of resentment going on?

    Was it a case of resentment of the Australians being pulled out of the Western desert to fight in the east?
  2. Because the English are naturally racist, and proud of it! :)
  3. The Aussies were pulled out of the desert to mainly sit on their arses at home due to a strange mix of politics in the Pacific they did play an important role on New Guinea but the rest of the war saw the majority inactive so as you say mid war this could be the reason

  4. Youreally should get your facts right before yuo start slagging people off. The Aussies were withdrawn from N> Africa on the orders of Churchill to be sent to the Far East. While they were in transit to Singapore their home country came under threat from the Japanese moving down the Solomons toward Australia . The fighting they were involved in in New Guinea was among th emost fierce in any theatre during the war. (Try reading Kokoda).
    I find it amazing that based on one incident not only are the Aussies insulted but some strange idea of an anti Australian attitude in the general public is imagined.
  5. I suppose that given wartime censorship, lack of information and misinformation its an easy mistake to make. After all, this is the country that went on to elect Liabour in 2005.
  6. The timeline here is nonsense.

    The Japanese attack and its success caused 'concern' in Canberra. The Australian govt demanded that their forces in the middle east be returned to Australia. Churchhill opposed this but the bottom line was they were Australian. The compromise was that one division (9) would remain in ME until the campaign was successful (they started returning to Australia at end 1942 after Alamein). The other two divisions headed East in early 1942, Churchill wanted them to be deployed to Burma (along with 7 Armd Bde) but the Australian govt again refused, the compromise was that one of these divisions stayed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for a few months.

    Australian forces in the SW Pacific were a mix of AIF (ie those that had been in ME) and militia (ie TA). The early fighting in New Guinea (ie Kokoda) was by militia. Although AIF divisions individually served in the SW Pacific, they only came together again in 1945 for the invasion of Borneo. Some AIF elements were involved in fairly heavy fighting in 1942, but in 1943-4 is was in essence mopping up. This was not entirely an Australian choice, the under-utilisation of the AIF in SWP was basically down to Macarthur.
  7. The Australians in New Guinea gave the Japanese their first real kicking of the war other than the Russians seeing them off in no uncertain fashion at Khalkhin-Gol in 1939.
  8. Sorry if that caused offence not meant to at all. I know that Kokoda was some of the most fierce fighting imaginable. It is the role of Australian troops after Australia is rendered safe that I was getting at. As Petardier says from 1943-1944 Aussies troops were used mainly for mopping up ops of dubious value often against garrisons which posed a negligible threat to US supply lines.
  9. Commonwealth troops (Canadian, Australian, South African and New Zealand) were paid quite a bit more than British soldiers, though not as much as the Americans. Maybe that had something to do with it.