Australia Korea War







Australia Korea War



Korea War Australia

June 25, 1950 heralded the invasion of North Korea into the borders of South Korea after a 35 year occupation of Japan during World War II.

That same instance, the United Nations Council created a resolution, a resolution that mandated the cessation of all conflict from North Korea within the borders of its South counterpart. It also called for allies of the UN nations to provide ample support in the coming conflict and in stemming the spread of communism.

Led by Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, the Liberal government of Australia, instantly answered the UN resolution by offering and sending military assistance and personnel into the Korean War. An estimated 17,000 Australians served in the conflict of the Korean War that lasted 3 years from 1950 to 1953.
Australia without delay supplied the No. 77 Squadron RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) and the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) in the Korean War. Both of these regiments were stationed in Japan under the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). The Royal Australian Regiment of the 3rd Batallion (3RAR) was assigned as Australia's contribution as a core land force regiment to the UN allied presence in the Korean War.



The 3 RAR underwent an intensive training period and reinforcement in Japan. The battalion touched down in South Korea in late month of September 1950.

A part of the central invasion force under the command of then UN Supreme Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, the 3 RAR were positioned north and was involved in its first major war conflict near Pyongyang. During the course of the Korean War, the UN military advance greatly concerned the Chinese.


Australia Korea War

Chinese border of the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and China, and broaden their campaign well into China.

Military analyst in the West, including the general of the UN military advance, General Douglas MacArthur, saw the need in spreading the war to China.


The Chinese military council was worried that the UN military forces would not stop at the

Strategically, it would be necessary to deploy within China as enemy supply depots were located well within the borders in China. To cripple the enemy, MacArthur deemed it necessary to render those supply depots inoperable.


With the rising tension, Chinese military forces attacked the Kapyong Valley. The assault pushed allied troops into a retreat. With the heavy assault, the South Korean 6th Division broke, and the line of defense collapsed Allied ground troops retreated under protective covering fire from Australian infantry who maintained their section of the defense.


Australian Korea War

The Australian regiment of the 3rd Battalion and Canadian troops were ordered to halt this Chinese advance. The mission was to block the two approaches to Kapyong. In only a few hours, they managed to prepare defensive positions which was a major turning point in Australia’s involvement in the Korean War. From 1951 to the end of the war, 3 RAR held trenches along the UN defense. During this time, Australia determined the need to increase military force, the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment was sent in as well. As the Korean War continued, several of the other allied nations grew less willing to add more ground troops into the war.


Australia on the other hand increased its military strength in the Korea War. U.S. President Eisenhower opened negotiations with Korea to end the conflict. In line with this, the UN accepted India’s proposal for a Korean weapons stand down or armistice. On 27 July 1953 a cease-fire was reached.

After the war ended, Australians remained in Korea for four years as military observers. Australia gained political and security benefits, the most important being the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. Out of 17,000 Australians who served in Korea War, casualties numbered more than 1,500, of whom 339 were killed.



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