Conscription in Australia
Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service known as national service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood. Australia only has provision for conscription during times of war. In 1909, the federal government of the prime minister, Alfred Deakin, introduced legislation for a form of conscription for boys from 12 to 14 years of age and for youths from 18 to 20 years of age for the purposes of home defence; the legislation did not allow soldiers to be conscripted for overseas service. This legislation was passed through the combined support of the Protectionist Party and the Australian Labor Party. Following a visit and a report on Australia's defence readiness by Field Marshal Kitchener, the Australian Labor Party government instituted a system of compulsory military training for all males aged between 12 and 26 from 1 January 1911. John Barrett, in his study of boyhood conscription, Falling In, noted: In 1911 there were 350,000 boys of an age to register for compulsory training up to the end of 1915.
Since'universal' was a misnomer, about half that number were exempted from training, or never registered, reducing the group to 175,000. There was extensive opposition to boyhood conscription resulting in, by July 1915, some 34,000 prosecutions and 7,000 detentions of trainees, employers or other persons required to register. Under Labor prime minister Billy Hughes, full conscription for overseas service was attempted during WWI through two plebiscites; the first plebiscite was held on 28 October 1916 and narrowly rejected conscription with a margin of 49% for and 51% against. The plebiscite of 28 October 1916 asked Australians: Are you in favour of the Government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service, for the term of this War, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth? A second plebiscite was defeated by a greater margin; the question put to Australians was: Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Commonwealth Forces overseas?
After the failure of the first plebiscite, Billy Hughes left the Australian Labor Party parliamentary caucus, taking with him most of the parliamentary party's talent. He promptly crossed the floor with about half of the parliamentary party, creating a new National Labor Party and surviving as prime minister by forming a conservative Nationalist government dependent for support on the Commonwealth Liberal Party; the remainder of the Labor Party, under their new leader Frank Tudor expelled Hughes and all who had followed him. Following the split, Labor stayed out of office for ten years. After the first plebiscite the government used the War Precautions Act and the Unlawful Associations Act to arrest and prosecute anti-conscriptionists such as Tom Barker, editor of Direct Action and many other members of the Industrial Workers of the World and E. H. Coombe of the Daily Herald; the young John Curtin, at the time a member of the Victorian Socialist Party, was arrested. Anti-conscriptionist publications, were seized by government censors in police raids.
Other notable opponents to Conscription included the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Daniel Mannix, the Queensland Labor Premier Thomas Ryan, Vida Goldstein and the Women's Peace Army. Most trade unions opposed conscription; the County Cork born Archbishop Mannix stated that Ireland had been more wronged by Great Britain than Belgium had been by Germany. Many people thought positively of conscription as a sign of loyalty to Britain and thought that it would support those men who were fighting. However, trade unions feared that their members might be replaced by cheaper foreign or female labour and opposed conscription; some groups argued that the whole war was immoral, it was unjust to force people to fight. South Africa and India were the only other participating countries not to introduce conscription during the First World War; the conscription issue divided Australia with large meetings held both for and against. The women's vote was seen as important, with large women's meetings and campaign information from both sides aimed at women voters.
The campaigning for the first plebiscite was launched by Hughes at a huge overflow meeting at the Sydney Town Hall where he outlined the Government's proposals. This was followed by a huge pro-conscription meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall on 21 September. Anti-conscriptionists in Melbourne, were able to mobilise large crowds with a meeting filling the Exhibition Building on 20 September 1916. An anti-conscription stop work meeting called by five trade unions held on the Yarra Bank mid-week on 4 October attracted 15,000 people, it was passed on 21 September 1916 and mandatory registration and enrolment commenced while the first plebiscite campaign was underway. By 5 October The Age reported that of 11607 men examined, 4581 were found fit 40 percent; the Age noted, in the article "Influence of the IWW", that "the great bulk of the opposition to conscription is centred in Victoria". Many meetings in inner Melbourne and Sydney were disrupted by anti-conscriptionists with speakers being howled down from the audience in what The Age described as "disgraceful exhibition" and "disorderl
The 1918 Spring Offensive, or Kaiserschlacht known as the Ludendorff Offensive, was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, beginning on 21 March 1918, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. The Germans had realised that their only remaining chance of victory was to defeat the Allies before the overwhelming human and matériel resources of the United States could be deployed, they had the temporary advantage in numbers afforded by the nearly 50 divisions, freed by the Russian withdrawal from the war by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. There were four German offensives, codenamed Michael, Gneisenau, Blücher-Yorck. Michael was the main attack, intended to break through the Allied lines, outflank the British forces and defeat the British Army. Once, achieved, it was hoped that the French would seek armistice terms; the other offensives were subsidiary to Michael and were designed to divert Allied forces from the main offensive effort on the Somme.
No clear objective was established before the start of the offensives and once the operations were underway, the targets of the attacks were changed according to the battlefield situation. The Allies concentrated their main forces in the essential areas, leaving strategically worthless ground, devastated by years of conflict defended; the Germans were unable to move reinforcements fast enough to maintain their advance. The fast-moving stormtroopers leading the attack could not carry enough food and ammunition to sustain themselves for long, all the German offensives petered out for lack of supplies. By late April 1918, the danger of a German breakthrough had passed; the German Army had suffered heavy casualties and now occupied ground of dubious value, which would prove impossible to hold with such depleted units. In August 1918, the Allies began a counteroffensive with the support of 1–2 million fresh American troops and using improved artillery techniques and operational methods; this Hundred Days Offensive resulted in the Germans retreating or being driven from all of the ground that they had taken in the Spring Offensive, the collapse of the Hindenburg Line, the capitulation of the German Empire that November.
The German High Command—in particular General Erich Ludendorff, the Chief Quartermaster General at Oberste Heeresleitung, the supreme army headquarters—has been criticised by military historians for the failure to formulate sound and clear strategy. Ludendorff conceded that Germany could no longer win a war of attrition, yet he was not ready to give up the German gains in the West and East and was one of the main obstacles to the German government's attempts to reach a settlement with the Western Allies. Although Ludendorff was unsure whether the Americans would enter the war in strength, at a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the German armies on the Western Front on 11 November 1917, he decided to launch an offensive; the German government and Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, nominally the Chief of the General Staff, were not party to the planning process. It was decided to launch Operation Michael near Saint-Quentin, at the hinge between the French and British armies, strike north to Arras.
The main reason for the choice was tactical expediency. The ground on this sector of the front would dry out much sooner after the winter and spring rains and would therefore be easier to advance across, it was a line of least resistance as the British and French armies were weak in the sector. The intention was not to reach the English Channel coast, but to break through the Allied lines and roll up the flank of the British army from the south, pushing it back against the Channel Ports or destroying it if the British chose to stand and fight. Further operations such as Operation Georgette and Operation Mars were designed to strike further north to seize the remaining Allied ports in Belgium and France while diverting Allied forces from Michael. However, these remained weaker operations, subordinate to Michael; the constant changing of operational targets once the offensive was underway gave the impression the German command had no coherent strategic goal. Any capture of an important strategic objective, such as the Channel ports, or the vital railway junction of Amiens would have occurred more by chance than by design.
The German army had concentrated many of its best troops into stormtrooper units, trained in infiltration tactics to infiltrate and bypass enemy front line units, leaving these strong points to be "mopped-up" by follow-up troops. The stormtrooper tactic was to attack and disrupt enemy headquarters, artillery units and supply depots in the rear areas, as well as to occupy territory rapidly; each major formation "creamed off" fittest soldiers into storm units. This process gave the German army an initial advantage in the attack, but meant that the best formations would suffer disproportionately heavy casualties, while the quality of the remaining formations declined as they were stripped of their best personnel to provide the storm troops; the Germans failed to arm their forces with a mobile exploitation force, such as cavalry, to exploit gains quickly. This tactical error meant. Notwithstanding the effectiveness of the stormtroopers, the following German infantry made attacks in large traditional waves and suffered heavy casualties.
To enable the initial breakthrough, Lieutenant Colonel Georg Bru
Battle of Pozières
The Battle of Pozières took place in France around the village of Pozières, during the Battle of the Somme. The costly fighting ended with the British in possession of the plateau north and east of the village, in a position to menace the German bastion of Thiepval from the rear; the Australian official historian Charles Bean wrote that Pozières ridge "is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth." The village of Pozières, on the Albert–Bapaume road, lies atop a ridge in the centre of what was the British sector of the Somme battlefield. Close by the village is the highest point on the battlefield. Pozières was an important German defensive position. G. lines. This German second line extended from beyond Mouquet Farm in the north, ran behind Pozières to the east south towards the Bazentin ridge and the villages of Bazentin le Petit and Longueval. On 14 July, during the Battle of Bazentin Ridge, this southern section of the German second line was captured by the British Fourth Army of Lieutenant General Sir Henry Rawlinson.
The possibility of "rolling up" the German second line by turning north now presented itself if Pozières could be captured. The British Commander-in-Chief, General Sir Douglas Haig, lacked the ammunition to execute another broad-front attack after 14 July. Believing that Pozières and Thiepval would become untenable for the Germans as the British continued their eastward momentum, Haig ordered Rawlinson to concentrate on the centre between High Wood and Delville Wood as well as the villages of Guillemont and Ginchy; the plan was to maintain the pressure and take Pozières by a "steady, step-by-step advance". Between 13 and 17 July, the Fourth Army made four small attacks against Pozières with no success and high casualties. In this period the village was reduced to rubble. On two occasions the attacking infantry got into the trench that looped around the south and western edge of the village, known as "Pozières trench" but both times were driven out. Attempts to get east of the village by advancing up the O.
G. Lines failed. Rawlinson planned to deliver another attack on a broad front on 18 July involving six divisions between the Albert–Bapaume road in the north and Guillemont in the south. Haig decided to transfer responsibility for Pozières to the Reserve Army of Lieutenant General Hubert Gough, holding the line north of the road since shortly after the opening of the offensive on 1 July; the attack was postponed until the night of 22–23 July. To Gough's army were attached the three Australian divisions of I Anzac Corps, which had begun moving from the Armentières sector; the Australian 1st Division reached Albert on 18 July and despite the postponement of the offensive, who had a reputation as a "thruster", told the division's commander, Major General Harold Walker, "I want you to go in and attack Pozières tomorrow night". Walker, an experienced English officer who had led the division since Gallipoli, would have none of it and insisted he would attack only after adequate preparation; the attack on Pozières once more fell in line with the Fourth Army's attack on the night of 22–23 July.
The plan called for the Australian 1st Division to attack Pozières from the south, advancing in three stages half an hour apart, while north of the Albert–Bapaume road, the 48th Division, would attack the German trenches west of the village. The village and surrounding area was defended by elements of the 117th Division. Early on 22 July the Australian 9th Battalion attempted to improve its position by advancing up the O. G. Lines towards the road but was repulsed; the preparation for the attack involved a thorough bombardment of the village and the O. G. Lines lasting several days; the bombardment included tear gas. The infantry were scheduled to attack at 12:30 a.m. on 23 July, with the Australian 1st and 3rd Brigades. The infantry crept into no man's land, close behind the bombardment and when it lifted the German trenches were rushed; the first stage took the Pozières trench. The second stage saw the Australians advance to the edge of the village, amongst what remained of the back gardens of the houses lining the Albert–Bapaume road.
The third stage brought the line to the Albert–Bapaume road. The few survivors from the German garrison retreated to the northern edge of the village or into the O. G. Lines to the east, it was intended that the O. G. Lines would be captured as far as the road but here the Australians failed due to strong resistance from the German defenders in deep dugouts and machine gun nests and due to the confusion of a night attack on featureless terrain; the weeks of bombardment had reduced the ridge to a field of craters and it was impossible to distinguish where a trench line had run. The failure to take the O. G. Lines made the eastern end of Pozières vulnerable and so the Australians formed a flank short of their objectives. On the western edge of the village, the Australians captured a German bunker known as "Gibraltar". During 23 July, some Australians went prospecting across the road, captured a number of Germans and with minimal effort occupied more of the village; that night the 8th Battalion of the Australian 2nd Brigade, in reserve, moved up and secured the rest of the village.
The attack of the 48th Division on the German trenches west of Pozières achieved some success but the main attack by the Fourth Army between Pozières and Guillemont was a costly failure. Success on the Somme came at a cost which at times seemed to surpass
Western Front (World War I)
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium gaining military control of important industrial regions in France; the tide of the advance was turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918. Between 1915 and 1917 there were several offensives along this front; the attacks employed massive artillery massed infantry advances. Entrenchments, machine gun emplacements, barbed wire and artillery inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks and no significant advances were made. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, with a combined 700,000 casualties, the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with more than a million casualties, the Battle of Passchendaele, in 1917, with 487,000 casualties.
To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried new military technology, including poison gas and tanks. The adoption of better tactics and the cumulative weakening of the armies in the west led to the return of mobility in 1918; the German Spring Offensive of 1918 was made possible by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended the war of the Central Powers against Russia and Romania on the Eastern Front. Using short, intense "hurricane" bombardments and infiltration tactics, the German armies moved nearly 100 kilometres to the west, the deepest advance by either side since 1914, but the result was indecisive; the inexorable advance of the Allied armies during the second half of 1918 caused a sudden collapse of the German armies and persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable. The German government surrendered in the Armistice of 11 November 1918, the terms of peace were settled by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. At the outbreak of the First World War, the German Army, with seven field armies in the west and one in the east, executed a modified version of the Schlieffen Plan, moving through neutral Belgium to attack France, turning southwards to encircle the French Army and trap it on the German border.
The Western Front was the place where the most powerful military forces in Europe, the German and French armies and where the war was decided. Belgian neutrality had been guaranteed by Britain under the Treaty of London, 1839. Armies under German generals Alexander von Kluck and Karl von Bülow attacked Belgium on 4 August 1914. Luxembourg had been occupied without opposition on 2 August; the first battle in Belgium was the Siege of Liège. Liège was well surprised the German Army under Bülow with its level of resistance. German heavy artillery was able to demolish the main forts within a few days. Following the fall of Liège, most of the Belgian field army retreated to Antwerp, leaving the garrison of Namur isolated, with the Belgian capital, falling to the Germans on 20 August. Although the German army bypassed Antwerp, it remained a threat to their flank. Another siege followed at Namur; the French deployed five armies on the frontier. The French Plan XVII was intended to bring about the capture of Alsace-Lorraine.
On 7 August, the VII Corps attacked Alsace to capture Colmar. The main offensive was launched on 14 August with the First and Second Armies attacking toward Sarrebourg-Morhange in Lorraine. In keeping with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans withdrew while inflicting severe losses upon the French; the French Third and Fourth Armies advanced toward the Saar River and attempted to capture Saarburg, attacking Briey and Neufchateau but were repulsed. The French VII Corps captured Mulhouse after a brief engagement on 7 August but German reserve forces engaged them in the Battle of Mulhouse and forced a French retreat; the German Army swept through Belgium, razing villages. The application of "collective responsibility" against a civilian population further galvanised the allies. Newspapers condemned the German invasion, violence against civilians and destruction of property, which became known as the "Rape of Belgium". After marching through Belgium and the Ardennes, the Germans advanced into northern France in late August, where they met the French Army, under Joseph Joffre, the divisions of the British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French.
A series of engagements known as the Battle of the Frontiers ensued, which included the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Mons. In the former battle the French Fifth Army was destroyed by the German 2nd and 3rd Armies and the latter delayed the German advance by a day. A general Allied retreat followed, resulting in more clashes at the Battle of Le Cateau, the Siege of Maubeuge and the Battle of St. Quentin; the German Army came within 70 km of Paris but at the First Battle of the Marne and British troops were able to force a German retreat by exploiting a gap which appeared between the 1st and 2nd Armies, ending the German advance into France. The German Army retreated north of the Aisne River and dug in there, establishing the beginnings of a static western front, to last for the next three years. Following this German retirement, the opposing forces made reciprocal outflanking manoeuvres, known as the Race for the S
New Zealand and Australian Division
The New Zealand and Australian Division was a composite army division raised for service in the First World War under the command of Major General Alexander Godley. Consisting of several mounted and standard infantry brigades from both New Zealand and Australia, it served in the Gallipoli Campaign between April and December 1915. At Gallipoli, the division landed at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, coming ashore as follow-on troops to the initial assault force that had made it ashore earlier in the day, occupied the northern areas of the Allied lodgement. After the initial Allied assault at Anzac Cove, elements of the division were sent to Cape Helles in early May, where they participated in the Second Battle of Krithia, launching an unsuccessful attack towards the Achi Baba peak; the division's mounted units were sent to Gallipoli in mid-May without their horses, to serve as dismounted infantry, making up for previous losses. That month, the division helped repel an Ottoman counter-attack at Anzac Cove, after which it occupied the line until August, when the Allies launched an offensive designed to break the deadlock.
During this period, the division attacked Chunuk Bair and Hill 971, later Hill 60. These efforts failed, as winter set in on the peninsula, the division was evacuated from Gallipoli in mid-December 1915 as part of a general Allied withdrawal. Returning to Egypt, the division was disbanded in early 1916 following a reorganisation of the Australian and New Zealand forces; the division's constituent infantry brigades were used to form the Australian 4th Division and the New Zealand Division. These two formations would be sent to the Western Front where they would take part in further fighting throughout 1916–1918, while the division's former mounted elements went on to serve in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign as part of the Anzac Mounted Division. Following the outbreak of the First World War in early August 1914, the New Zealand government made an offer to the British War Office of a New Zealand Expeditionary Force, duly accepted. Mobilisation followed and by late September, the NZEF consisted of two brigades – the New Zealand Infantry Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade.
This was insufficient to form a conventional infantry division, which consisted of three infantry brigades. In contrast, in Australia there were more than enough volunteers for the Australian Imperial Force; the original intention had been to form a single infantry division, along with a light horse brigade. It had been planned to send the NZEF and the AIF to the United Kingdom for training prior to their deployment to the Western Front in France. Overcrowding and a shortage of equipment in the United Kingdom resulted in the decision for the Australians and New Zealanders to remain in the Middle East. In December 1914, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, under Lieutenant General William Birdwood, was formed to command both the Australian and New Zealand components, which were under the respective commands of Major Generals William Bridges and Alexander Godley; the headquarters staff for this formation amounted to 550 men. These were provided by the British and it was formally part of the British Army.
A corps had a complement of two infantry divisions, but given the numbers of mounted troops in the AIF and NZEF, Birdwood envisaged that the corps would include a mounted division. As only one complete infantry division was present in Egypt, the NZEF and remaining AIF forces in Egypt were to form the other infantry division. Birdwood decided to combine the New Zealand Infantry Brigade with the Australian 4th Infantry Brigade, with a third brigade to be included if one could be formed. By early 1915, Birdwood scrapped the plans for the corps to have an integral mounted division and instead included two mounted infantry brigades with the two standard infantry brigades to form the second infantry division; this was to be known with Godley as its commander. A British Army officer, Godley had served as commandant of the New Zealand Military Forces from 1910; as well as the four infantry and mounted brigades, the division included artillery. This was contributed by the NZEF, but only consisted of 16 guns, including four howitzers, much less than the normal divisional complement of artillery.
Headquarters staff were drawn from the NZEF. Supporting arms included engineers, medical and service corps units; the division was short of engineers and transport personnel, with deficiencies being made good through recruitment of New Zealanders living in the United Kingdom, or through re-allocating reinforcements from other units. While the division was forming and training in Egypt, elements were committed to the defence of the Suez Canal. On 26 January 1915, the four infantry battalions of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade – the Auckland, Canterbury and Otago Battalions – and a supporting field ambulance were deployed in anticipation of an attack on the canal by Ottoman forces; this force was split between Kubri. On 2 February, after the Ottomans launched a raid on the Suez Canal, elements of the brigade took part in repelling the attack, with the Canterbury Battalion suffering the division's first losses in battle, with two men being wounded, one of whom died; the New Zealand and Australian Division was the second division
New Guinea is a large island separated by a shallow sea from the rest of the Australian continent. It is the world's third-largest island, after Australia and Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2, arguably the largest wholly or within the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania; the eastern half of the island is the major land mass of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. The western half, referred to as either Western New Guinea or West Papua, has been administered by Indonesia since 1963 and comprises the provinces of Papua and West Papua; the island has been known by various names: The name Papua was used to refer to parts of the island before contact with the West. Its etymology is unclear; the name came from papo and ua, which means "not united" or, "territory that geographically is far away". Ploeg reports that the word papua is said to derive from the Malay word papua or pua-pua, meaning "frizzly-haired", referring to the curly hair of the inhabitants of these areas. Another possibility, put forward by Sollewijn Gelpke in 1993, is that it comes from the Biak phrase sup i papwa which means'the land below' and refers to the islands west of the Bird's Head, as far as Halmahera.
Whatever its origin, the name Papua came to be associated with this area, more with Halmahera, known to the Portuguese by this name during the era of their colonization in this part of the world. When the Portuguese and Spanish explorers arrived in the island via the Spice Islands, they referred to the island as Papua. However, the name New Guinea was used by Westerners starting with the Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, referring to the similarities of the indigenous people's appearance with the natives of the Guinea region of Africa; the name is one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants. The Dutch, who arrived under Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten, called it Schouten island, but this name was used only to refer to islands off the north coast of Papua proper, the Schouten Islands or Biak Island; when the Dutch colonized it as part of Netherlands East Indies, they called it Nieuw Guinea.
The name Irian was used in the Indonesian language to refer to the island and Indonesian province, as "Irian Jaya Province". The name was promoted in 1945 by brother of the future governor Frans Kaisiepo, it is taken from the Biak language of Biak Island, means "to rise", or "rising spirit". Irian is the name used in the Biak language and other languages such as Serui and Waropen; the name was used until 2001, when the name Papua was again used for the province. The name Irian, favored by natives, is now considered to be a name imposed by the authority of Jakarta. New Guinea is an island to the north of the Australian mainland, but south of the equator, it is isolated by the Arafura Sea to the west, the Torres Strait and Coral Sea to the east. Sometimes considered to be the easternmost island of the Indonesian archipelago, it lies north of Australia's Top End, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York peninsula, west of the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands Archipelago. Politically, the western half of the island comprises two provinces of Indonesia: Papua and West Papua.
The eastern half forms the mainland of the country of Papua New Guinea. The shape of New Guinea is compared to that of a bird-of-paradise, this results in the usual names for the two extremes of the island: the Bird's Head Peninsula in the northwest, the Bird's Tail Peninsula in the southeast. A spine of east–west mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, dominates the geography of New Guinea, stretching over 1,600 km from the'head' to the'tail' of the island, with many high mountains over 4,000 m; the western-half of the island of New Guinea contains the highest mountains in Oceania, rising up to 4,884 m high, higher than Mont Blanc in Europe, ensuring a steady supply of rain from the equatorial atmosphere. The tree line is around 4,000 m elevation and the tallest peaks contain permanent equatorial glaciers—which have been retreating since at least 1936. Various other smaller mountain ranges occur both west of the central ranges. Except in high elevations, most areas possess a warm humid climate throughout the year, with some seasonal variation associated with the northeast monsoon season.
The highest peaks on the island of New Guinea are: Puncak Jaya, sometimes known by its former Dutch name Carstensz Pyramid, is a mist-covered limestone mountain peak on the Indonesian side of the border. At 4,884 metres, Puncak Jaya makes New Guinea the world's fourth-highest landmass after Afro-Eurasia and Antarctica. Puncak Mandala located in Papua, is the second-highest peak on the island at 4,760 metres. Puncak Trikora in Papua, is 4,750 metres. Mount Wilhelm is the highest peak on the PNG side of the border at 4,509 metres, its granite peak is the highest point of the Bismarck Range. Mount Giluwe 4,368 metres is the second-highest summit in PNG, it is the highest volcanic peak in Oceania. Another major habitat featur
Distinguished Conduct Medal
The Distinguished Conduct Medal, post-nominal letters DCM, was established in 1854 by Queen Victoria as a decoration for gallantry in the field by other ranks of the British Army. It is the oldest British award for gallantry and was a second level military decoration, ranking below the Victoria Cross, until its discontinuation in 1993 when it was replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross; the medal was awarded to non-commissioned military personnel of other Commonwealth Dominions and Colonies. The Distinguished Conduct Medal was instituted by Royal Warrant on 4 December 1854, during the Crimean War, as an award to Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the British Army for "distinguished and good conduct in the field". For all ranks below commissioned officer, it was the second highest award for gallantry in action after the Victoria Cross, the other ranks equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order, awarded only to commissioned officers. Prior to its institution, there had been no official medal awarded by the British Crown in recognition of individual acts of gallantry in the Army.
The Meritorious Service Medal, established in 1845 to reward long serving Warrant Officers and Sergeants, was awarded several times up to 1854 for gallantry in action, although this was not the medal's main purpose. One earlier award for acts of gallantry by other ranks was the unofficial Sir Harry Smith's Medal for Gallantry, instituted by Major General Sir Harry Smith in 1851. Although the British government disapproved of Sir Harry's institution of the medal, it subsequently paid for it and thereby gave it recognition, but not official status; the Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded with a gratuity, that varied in amount depending on rank, given on the recipient's discharge from the Army. Since January 1918 recipients have been entitled to the post-nominal letters DCM. A bar to the medal, introduced in 1881, could be awarded in recognition of each subsequent act of distinguished conduct for which the medal would have been awarded. During the First World War, concern arose that the high number of medals being awarded would devalue the medal's prestige.
The Military Medal was therefore instituted on 25 March 1916 as an alternative and lower award, with the Distinguished Conduct Medal reserved for more exceptional acts of bravery. Around 25,000 Distinguished Conduct Medals were awarded during the First World War, with 1,900 during the Second World War; the Distinguished Conduct Medal could be awarded to military personnel serving in any of the Sovereign's forces in the British Empire, with the first awards to colonial troops made in 1872, to the West India Regiment. Members of the Indian Army remained ineligible since they could receive the Indian Order of Merit and, from 1907, the Indian Distinguished Service Medal. From September 1916, members of the Royal Naval Division were made eligible for military decorations, including the Distinguished Conduct Medal, for the war's duration. Otherwise, it remained an Army award until 1942, when other ranks of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Navies and Air Forces of the Dominions and Colonies became eligible for distinguished conduct in action on the ground.
In 1979 eligibility for a number of British awards, including the DCM, was extended to permit posthumous awards. Until that time, only the Victoria Cross and a mention in dispatches could be awarded posthumously. In May 1894, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various military medals for award to their local military forces; the Colony of Natal and the Cape Colony introduced this system in August and September 1894 and the Transvaal Colony followed in December 1902, while Australia and New Zealand adopted the medal. However, only the Natal and Canada versions were awarded, both in the King Edward VII version. A territorial version of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was approved for the Union of South Africa in 1913, but was never awarded. More than 300 members of the Union Defence Forces were awarded the applicable British versions of the decoration during the two World Wars. In 1903 specific African Distinguished Conduct Medals were established for the King's African Rifles and the Royal West African Frontier Force.
These were superseded by the British Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1943. These colonial Distinguished Conduct Medals were of the same design as the British version, with an additional territorial or unit inscription on the reverse, in a curved line above the regular inscription. In the aftermath of the 1993 review of the British honours system, which formed part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in respect of awards for bravery, the Distinguished Conduct Medal was discontinued, as was the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal and the award for gallantry, of the Distinguished Service Order; these three decorations were replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, to serve as the second level award for gallantry for all ranks of all the Arms of the Service. After the Second World War, most Commonwealth countries created their own honours system and no longer recommended British awards; the last Distinguished Conduct Medal awards for the Canadian Army were for Korea. The last Australian DCM award was announced in the London Gazette on 1 September 1972 for Vietnam, as was the last New Zealand award, announced on 25 September 1970.
Canada and New Zealand replaced the DCM in the 1990s, as part of the creation of their own gallantry awards under their own honours systems. In the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Distinguished Conduct Medal ranks on par with the Distinguished Conduct Medal and takes precedence after the Air Force Cross and before the Cons