Australia and World War II

AAMWS Australian Army Medical Women’s Service
AANS Australian Army Nursing Service
AIF second Australian Imperial Force, a voluntary Australian army recruited for overseas service during World War II
allies nations that were on the same side in World War II. Australia was an ally of Britain and the United States in World War II.
AMF Australian Military Forces, consisting of volunteers and conscripts enlisted for the defence of Australia
Anglo-Celticof British or Irish background
anti-Semitism hatred of Jews
appeasement The name given to the foreign policy followed by the British and French governments in the 1930s towards the European dictators. Appeasement was based on the belief that Hitler in particular had limited demands and that by giving in to his demands another war could be avoided.
austerity the idea that people had to live simply, avoid wastage or excess and go without luxury items for the sake of the war effort.
AWAS Australian Women’s Army Service
axis alliance of two or more nations to coordinate foreign and military policies and action; for example: Germany, Italy and Japan
blitzkrieg means ‘lightning war’ and refers to the use of aircraft and tanks to remove opposition before the German soldiers’ advance
censorship the suppression or attempted suppression of something regarded as objectionable
Chancellor a word which means ‘prime minister’.
Communism a political system where the government controls the nation’s wealth and where private ownership is very limited
demilitarised a word meaning ‘no military forces’. The area of the Rhineland on the French–German border was to be a demilitarised zone, an area in which Germany was forbidden to place military forces.
Dutch East Indies the name for modern Indonesia during the period when it was a Dutch colony
fascism extreme right wing ideology that developed in many countries following World War I. A fascist system is one in which power is strongly centralised and the government controls all the affairs of the nation. Fascism promotes aggressive nationalism and opposes socialism, communism and parliamentary democracy
Fuzzy Wuzzy an affectionate term used by the Australian troops for the indigenous inhabitants of New Guinea who provided help to the allied soldiers in the war against the Japanese.
Geneva Convention an international agreement on the conduct of war, especially on the role of the Red Cross and the treatment of prisoner of war
genocide the deliberate destruction of a race of people
Gestapo Nazi secret state police
Holocaust the systematic attempt by the Nazis to destroy the Jewish race during World War II
kamikaze means ‘divine wind’ and refers to Japanese suicide pilots
lebensraum German term for living space
League of Nations a world organisation set up after World War I which aimed to preserve world peace. The United States was never a member of the League of Nations.
Luftwaffe German air force
militia The name given to the volunteer part-time soldiers in Australia at the outbreak of the war in 1939. During the war, conscription was introduced to increase the size of the militia and these soldiers later fought in combat outside Australia.
Nazi The word ‘Nazi’ comes from the German words for the National Socialist German Workers Party, the name of the political party led by Adolf Hitler and which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.
POW prisoner of war
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force
RAN Royal Australian Navy
rationing a system devised to ensure the fair distribution of essential commodities
in wartime.
reparations payments that Germany was required to make after World War I for the
cost of the war.
reserved occupations jobs in Australia during World War II that were regarded as essential for the nation. People in reserved occupations did not serve in the armed forces. The police force was an example of a reserved occupation
Sanctions penalties or bans imposed on a country to try to make it change its behaviour or policy
Treaty of Versailles the peace treaty that ended World War I and forced Germany to accept the blame for starting the war
WRANS Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service