Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War
“The decision to send an Australian infantry battalion to Vietnam is a grave one; these are inescapable obligations which fall on us because of our position, treaties and friendship. There was no alternative but to respond as we have.” - Robert Menzies
The Vietnam War was the longest major conflict in which Australia has been involved in. It lasted ten years 1962-1972 and involved some 60,000 personnel. The Vietnam War ultimately started and stemmed from the consequences of the cold war, and was fuelled by the simple idea and belief of America that communism was threatening to spread across South East Asia. The War in Vietnam was fought between the North, idealistic communists supported by China, Russia and its communist allies and the government of the South supported by America and anti communist countries. The North and the South supported by its countries both fought and upheld the fight in Vietnam.
As hostilities and conflict began to grow between the North and the South, America began sending military advisors and other non combat military personnel. But it wasn’t until 1964 when the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred that America started committing combat ground troops and aircraft, which began in early 1965. The war began to transpire and other countries supporting different ideologies began to join the fight, either supporting the North or the South. On April 29th 1965 Prime Minister Robert Menzies committed the first infantry battalion and supporting units to the Vietnam War. One of the main and coherent reasons that Prime Minister Robert Menzies sent Australian troops into to the Vietnam War, and to aid its allies was all down to the escalating threat of the Domino Theory. Robert Menzies believed that in view of the fact that North Vietnam came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect, eventually spreading to Australia. Many knew that it was...
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