Military history of New Zealand during World War I
The military history of New Zealand during World War I began in August 1914 when Great Britain declared war on Germany at the start of the First World War, the New Zealand government followed without hesitation, despite its geographic isolation and small population. It was believed at the time that any declaration of war by the United Kingdom automatically included New Zealand; the total number of New Zealand troops and nurses to serve overseas in 1914–18, excluding those in British and other Dominion forces, was 100,444, from a population of just over a million. Forty-two percent of men of military age served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, fighting in the Gallipoli Campaign and on the Western Front. 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 were wounded during the war – a 58 percent casualty rate. A further thousand men died within five years of the war's end, as a result of injuries sustained, 507 died while training in New Zealand between 1914 and 1918; the First World War saw Māori soldiers serve for the first time in a major conflict with the New Zealand Army.
A contingent took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, served with distinction on the Western Front as part of the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion. 2688 Māori and 346 Pacific islanders, including 150 Niueans, served with New Zealand forces in total. Upon the outbreak of the war, the New Zealand Government authorised the raising of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force for service overseas. Mobilisation for the NZEF had begun, with preparations discreetly beginning a few days prior to the declaration of war. Mobilisation followed and by late September, the NZEF consisted of two brigades – the New Zealand Infantry Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade; the day after the declaration of war, the British Government requested New Zealand seize the wireless station on the island of Upolu, part of Imperial Germany's protectorate of German Samoa, deeming it an "a great and urgent Imperial service." A mixed force of 1,413 men, known as the Samoan Expeditionary Force under the command of Colonel Robert Logan, plus six nursing sisters, sailed from New Zealand on 15 August 1914.
After stopping in Fiji to collect some guides and interpreters as well as additional escort ships, the New Zealanders arrived at Apia on 29 August 1914. Germany refused to surrender the islands but with only a minimal military presence, there was little prospect for meaningful resistance; the Governor of German Samoa, Dr. Erich Schultz, sent a message from the island's radio station that no resistance would be offered; the New Zealanders proceeded to land at Apia and seized key buildings and facilities without interference. The only opposition encountered was at the radio station, where the equipment was sabotaged by the German operators. Logan declared German Samoa to be under the control of New Zealand the following day, 30 August 1914, in a ceremony at the courthouse in Apia; when Vizeadmiral Maximilian von Spee, commander of Germany's East Asia Squadron, learned of the occupation, he hastened to Samoa with the armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau. Arriving at Apia on 14 September 1914, the approach of the German ships was observed and the New Zealanders prepared to defend themselves.
However, von Spee and his ships soon departed with neither side opening fire. The SEF remained in Samoa until March 1915 at which time it began returning to New Zealand, a process completed by the following month; as early as October 1914 the main body of the NZEF sailed from Wellington. Diverted from their original destination in Europe, the New Zealanders were landed in Egypt along with elements of the AIF. In December 1914, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, under Lieutenant General William Birdwood, was formed to command both the AIF and NZEF components; 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; the AIF was able to field one complete Australian division, had one each of mounted and infantry brigades. To form the second infantry division of the corps, Birdwood included these with the two brigades of the NZEF; this division was to be known as the New Zealand and Australian Division, with Godley as its commander.
While the New Zealand and Australian 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. On 25 April 1915, as part of the New Zealand and Australian Division, the New Zealanders landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula, fought in the Gallipoli Campaign under the command of British General Alexander Godley; the combined British Empire and French operation was mounted in order to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople.
Because of a navigational error, the Anzacs came ashore about a mile north of the intended landing point in their initial landing. Instead of fa
Corps expéditionnaire d'Orient
The Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient was a French Expeditionary Force raised for service during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. The corps consisted of a single infantry division, raised in North Africa from metropolitan French and French colonial African soldiers, but grew to two divisions, it took part in fighting around Kum Kale, on the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles, at the start of the campaign before being moved to Cape Helles where it fought alongside British formations for the remainder of the campaign. In October 1915, the corps was reduced to one division again and was evacuated from the Gallipoli Peninsula in January 1916 when it ceased to exist; the force consisted of 16,700 troops organised into one division, made up of two brigades, raised from the 17th Colonial Division in North Africa and included both "metropolitan" French and colonial African troops. The so-called metropolitan units included four battalions of zouaves recruited from French settlers in Algeria and Tunisia, the 175th regiment of French line infantry and one battalion of the Foreign Legion.
The colonial troops consisted of battalions of both West African Tirailleurs Senegalais and white regulars of colonial infantry organised into the 6th regiment de march colonial d'infanterie. The force had a strong divisional artillery, consisting of six field and two mountain batteries, but having been raised it received only limited training as a formation, with only two brigades it was smaller than the British divisions that took part in the campaign. In the campaign, the corps was expanded to include a second division, raised from the 156th Infantry Division. At its height, the corps' strength was around 42,000 men. Following the Ottoman Empire's entry into the war on the Central Powers side in late 1914, the Allies began preparations to capture the Dardanelles in order to secure a supply route to Russia; as part of these preparations, the Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient was raised on 22 February 1915 under the command of General Albert d'Amade, who had served in Morocco and the Western Front.
Throughout February and March, Anglo-French naval forces attempted to penetrate the Dardanelles, aided by small landing parties that were put ashore to destroy Ottoman fortifications. Several small-scale operations were undertaken, starting on 19 February, but they were hampered by bad weather which delayed the main attack until 18 March. Entering the straits in broad daylight, the force was engaged by Ottoman shore batteries and following heavy losses from mines and shelling, they were forced to turn back. After this, the Allied strategy to capture the Dardanelles turned towards a large-scale landing. Hastily formed, after assembling on Lemnos there had been no time for the corps to undertake large-scale training before it was committed to the land campaign. During the initial Allied landing on 25 April, the corps undertook a diversionary landing on the Dardanelles Asiatic coast around Kum Kale, to divert Ottoman forces away from the main landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula, to disrupt Ottoman artillery that could have fired upon the main landings.
The 6th Colonial Regiment led the division ashore, supported by three battleships and a Russian warship. Part of the first wave was turned back by heavy fire, but the rest managed to get ashore and they proceeded to secure the village and an Ottoman fort. Throughout the course of 26 April, the Ottoman 3rd Division counterattacked, but the following day, having lost over 2,200 killed or wounded, the Ottomans began surrendering to the French in large numbers, they were withdrawn shortly afterwards, having lost about 300 killed and 500 wounded. Following this, the French force re-embarked and was landed at Cape Helles, where they took up a position on the right flank around'S' Beach. With a strength of 24 battalions, they subsequently took part in the First Battle of Krithia on 28 April. In early May, the Ottoman forces launched a heavy counterattack on the Allied positions with a force of over 16,000 men; the attack was beaten back, but the French division suffered heavy casualties – up to 2,000 men – and at the height of the assault some of the Senegalese and Zouaves "broke and ran".
As a result, the 2nd Naval Brigade from the British Royal Naval Division, had to take over some of their positions. Reinforcements were brought in, including a second French division, which arrived between 6 and 8 May, although they did not arrive in time to take part in the Second Battle of Krithia, during which the 1st Division attacked towards the Kereves Dere gully, although they made slow progress they managed to secure the high ground overlooking this position before the attack petered out. D'Amade was replaced as commander of the corps in late May when he was dismissed and recalled to France, he was replaced by General Henri Gouraud. On 4 June, both divisions took part in the Third Battle of Krithia, once again forming the right of the Allied line as part of the effort to take Achi Baba, a high feature that dominated the Allied position; the six French batteries were detached to support the British, while the infantry were tasked with attacking the Haricot Redoubt, overlooking the Kereves Dere spur.
Attacking in daylight, but possessing a numerical superiority, the Allies made ground across a broad front, before the French were forced back by an Ottoman counterattack. Regaining positions on the right, the Ottomans were able to enfilade the British positions and they too were forced back, the attack failed. In preparation for the August Offensive, minor attacks continued around Helles, the French undertook further attacks on the Haricot Redoubt, which they subsequently took on 21 Jun
British Expeditionary Force (World War I)
The British Expeditionary Force was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War. Planning for a British Expeditionary Force began with the Haldane reforms of the British Army carried out by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War; the term "British Expeditionary Force" is used to refer only to the forces present in France prior to the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914. By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance. An alternative endpoint of the BEF was 26 December 1914, when it was divided into the First and Second Armies. B. E. F. remained the official name of the British armies in France and Flanders throughout the First World War. Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, famously dismissive of the BEF issued an order on 19 August 1914 to "exterminate... the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army".
Hence, in years, the survivors of the regular army dubbed themselves "The Old Contemptibles". No evidence of any such order being issued by the Kaiser has been found. Under the terms of the Entente Cordiale the United Kingdom had a diplomatic "understanding" with France to counter military aggression from the German Empire in the European continent. Detailed plans had been drawn up in advance for the British Army in the event of war breaking out between those two countries to dispatch a "British Expeditionary Force" to France which consisted of six infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades under the command of General Sir John French to repel any German attack in the West; the BEF was arranged into I Corps, under the command of General Sir Douglas Haig, II Corps, under the command of General Sir James Grierson, which embarked for France on the 15 August 1914. In October 1914, 7th Division arrived in France, forming the basis of III Corps and the cavalry had grown to form the Cavalry Corps of three divisions.
By December 1914, the BEF had expanded to such an extent that the First Army and the Second Army were formed. By the end of 1914, after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres, the old regular British Army had suffered massive casualties and lost most of its fighting strength but had managed to help stop the German advance; the force was commanded by Field Marshal Sir John French until December 1915, when he was replaced by General Sir Douglas Haig. The BEF's Chief of Staff on mobilisation was General Archibald Murray, he was replaced in January 1915 by General William Robertson. Lieutenant-General Launcelot Kiggell served as Chief of Staff from December 1915 to January 1917 when he was succeeded by Lieutenant-General Herbert Lawrence; the two initial Army Corps were commanded by Horace Smith-Dorrien. As the Regular Army's strength declined, the numbers were made up, first by the Territorial Force by volunteers from Field Marshal Kitchener's New Army. By the end of August 1914, he had raised six new divisions and by March 1915, the number of divisions had increased to 29.
The Territorial Force was expanded, raising second and third line battalions and forming eight new divisions, which supplemented its peacetime strength of 14 divisions. The Third Army was formed in July 1915 and with the influx of troops from Kitchener's volunteers and further reorganisation, the Fourth Army and the Reserve Army, became the Fifth Army in 1916; the BEF grew from six divisions of British regular army and reserves in 1914, to encompass the British Empire's war effort on the Western front in 1918 and some of its allies. Over the course of the war 5,399,563 men served with the BEF, the average strength being 2,046,901 men; the First Army was formed on 26 December 1914. Its first commander was Douglas Haig promoted from command of the I Corps; when Haig took over command of the BEF in 1915, the new commander was General Henry Horne. First Army remained in France until the end of the war; the Second Army was formed at the same time as the First Army on 26 December 1914. The first commander was Smith–Dorrien promoted from command of the II Corps.
In May 1915, Smith -- Dorrien was replaced by General Herbert Plumer. Second Army served in France notably in the Ypres Salient, served in Italy between November 1917 and March 1918 returned to France; the Third Army was formed in July 1915, the first commander being General Edmund Allenby promoted after commanding the Cavalry Corps and the V Corps. He was replaced after the battle of Arras by General Julian Byng; the Fourth Army was formed under the command of General Henry Rawlinson. Confusingly, when the Second Army was sent to Italy late in 1917, the Fourth Army was renumbered the Second Army whilst Rawlinson commanded the Ypres Salient. After Plumer's return from Italy Rawlinson spent a period as British Permanent Military Representative at the Supreme War Council at Versailles, but at the start of April he took over the remnants of Gough's Fifth Army after its recent defeat, it was renamed the Fourth Army. The Fifth or Reserve Army was formed under command of General Hubert Gough. At first known as the Reserve Army, it was renamed the Fifth Army in October 1916.
Fifth Army was destroyed during the German offensive in March 1918. It was reformed again in May 1918 under the command of General William Birdwood; the British Army first engaged the German Army in the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914, part of the greater Battle of the Frontiers. The massed rifle fire of the professional British soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans who attacked en masse over terrain devo
Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia
During World War II, the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia was a corps-sized expeditionary unit of the Regio Esercito that fought on the Eastern Front. In July 1942, the three divisions of the CSIR all became part of the Italian XXXV Army Corps; the CSIR was formed in an attempt to provide a somewhat "mobile" unit to fight on a front where mobility was key. Two of the divisions were "truck-moveable" and one was a "fast" division, drawn from the reserve Army of the Po. However, this amounted to more on paper than in reality; the CSIR was created by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in an attempt to show solidarity with Nazi Germany after German dictator Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa and attacked the Soviet Union. Mussolini created the CSIR despite the lack of enthusiasm shown by Hitler; the CSIR was constituted on 10 July 1941 and, between July and August 1941, the various units of the CSIR arrived in southern Russia. The CSIR included an Aviation Command with a limited number of fighters and transport aircraft.
This command was part of the Royal Air Force and was known as the "Expeditionary Air Corps in Russia". The CSIR was subordinated to the German 11th Army commanded by General Eugen Ritter von Schobert. On 14 August 1941, the CSIR was transferred to the control of German Panzer Group 1 commanded by General Ewald von Kleist. On 25 October 1941, Panzer Group 1 was redesignated as the 1st Panzer Army; the CSIR remained under von Kleist’s command until 3 June 1942 when it was subordinated to the German 17th Army commanded by General Richard Ruoff. The CSIR was composed of three divisions: the 52 Motorised Division Torino, the 9 Motorised Division Pasubio, the 3 Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca d'Aosta. Torino and Pasubio were known as "Semi Motorised" divisions. What this meant in practice was that an assortment of commercial vehicles with company logos intact were pressed into service; the Amedeo Duke of Aosta Cavalry Division was a combination of traditional saber wielding horse cavalry and motorized units.
Much of the division's artillery was horse-drawn. The highly-mobile riflemen in this unit made use of motorcycles or bicycles; the initial strength of the CSIR stood at about 3,000 officers and 59,000 men, 5,500 motor vehicles, 220 artillery pieces, 92 anti-tank guns, 83 aeroplanes, 4,600 horses and mules. The units of the CSIR were lightly armed infantry, horse cavalry, mobile riflemen; the Torino and Pasubio divisions were each composed of two infantry regiments and a regiment of artillery. The Prince Amedeo Duke of Aosta Fast Division was composed of four regiments; those regiments were: the 3rd Dragoons Savoia Cavalry Regiment, the 5th Lancers Novara Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Fast Artillery Regiment, the 3rd Bersaglieri Regiment. As can be seen, the units of the CSIR represented a mixed lot and they were transported by truck, car, bicycle, or, as was the case all too on foot. While the Amedeo Duke of Aosta Division did include 60 obsolete tankettes and light tanks in its one tank battalion, as well as anti-tank guns, there was nothing in the Italian arsenal able to counter the numerous and technically superior Soviet tanks like the T-34/76 or KV I.
The Aviation Command of the CSIR had less than 100 aircraft. The CSIR had the following aircraft available to it: Macchi C.200 “Thunder" fighter, Caproni Ca.311 light reconnaissance-bomber, Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 “Bat" tri-motor transport. The CSIR included the "Special Intendancy East" which provided the following logistical services: medical, administration, chemical and veterinary, automotive, staging and telegraphic; the CSIR's original commander was Italian General Francesco Zingales. He fell ill in Vienna during the early stages of transport to Russia. On 14 July 1941, Zingales was replaced by Italian General Giovanni Messe. For good reason, Messe was never satisfied with the equipment and support available to the CSIR, he pointed out the lack of adequate winter equipment. The CSIR was sent to the southern sector of the German advance in the Ukraine in July 1941. In August 1941, as part of the German 11th Army, the CSIR made its first contact with the enemy; the CSIR pursued retreating Soviet troops between the Bug Dniestr River.
While the 11th Army besieged Odessa, the CSIR was attached to First Panzer Group under General von Kleist. In its early encounters it was successful, taking a number of towns and cities and creating a favourable impression on its German allies, its most notable early victory came at the Battle of Petrikowka in September 1941, where the Italians encircled some sizable Red Army units, inflicting unknown combat casualties on them and capturing over 10,000 prisoners of war as well as significant numbers of weapons and horses. This cost them only 291 casualties of their own: 87 killed, 190 wounded, 14 missing. On October 20, the CSIR together with the German XXXXIX Mountain Corps captured the major industrial center of Stalino after heavy resistance from the Soviet defenders. Units from the Pasubio Motorized Division captured the neighboring city of Gorlovka on November 2. While the CSIR did not participate in the siege of Odessa, Italian troops assisted in the occupation of the Odessa area after the city fell on 16 October 1941.
With the onset of winter, the CSIR units began consolidating their occupation zone and preparing defensive works. In the last week of December, the 3rd Mobile Division was hit with a fierce counterattack by Sovie
British Expeditionary Force (World War II)
The British Expeditionary Force was the name of the British Army in Western Europe during the Second World War from 2 September 1939 when the BEF GHQ was formed until 31 May 1940, when GHQ closed down. Military forces in Britain were under Home Forces command. During the 1930s, the British government planned to deter war by rearming from the low level of readiness of the early 30s and abolished the Ten Year Rule; the bulk of the extra money went to the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force but plans were made to re-equip a small number of Army and Territorial Army divisions for service overseas. General Lord Gort was appointed to the command of the BEF on 3 September 1939 and the BEF began moving to France on 4 September 1939; the BEF assembled along the Belgian–French border. The BEF took their post to the left of the French First Army under the command of the French 1st Army Group of the North-Eastern Front. Most of the BEF spent the 3 September 1939 to 9 May 1940 digging field defences on the border.
When the Battle of France began on 10 May 1940, the BEF constituted 10 percent of the Allied forces on the Western Front. The BEF participated in the Dyle Plan, a rapid advance into Belgium to the line of the river Dyle but the 1st Army Group had to retreat through Belgium and north-western France, after the German breakthrough further south at the Battle of Sedan. A local counter-attack at the Battle of Arras was a considerable tactical success but the BEF, French and Belgian forces north of the Somme retreated to Dunkirk on the French North Sea coast soon after and French troops being evacuated in Operation Dynamo after the capitulation of the Belgian army. Saar Force, the 51st Infantry Division and reinforcements, had taken over part of the Maginot Line for training; the force fought with local French units after 10 May joined the Tenth Army south of the Somme, along with the improvised Beauman Division and the 1st Armoured Division, to fight in the Battle of Abbeville. The British tried to re-build the BEF with Home Forces divisions training in Britain, troops evacuated from France and lines-or-communications troops south of the Somme river but BEF GHQ was not reopened.
After the success of the second German offensive in France, the 2nd BEF and Allied troops were evacuated from Le Havre in Operation Cycle and the French Atlantic and Mediterranean ports in Operation Ariel. The Navy rescued 558,032 people, including 368,491 British troops but the BEF lost 66,426 men of whom 11,014 were killed or died of wounds, 14,074 wounded and 41,338 men missing or captured. About 700 tanks, 20,000 motor bikes, 45,000 cars and lorries, 880 field guns and 310 larger equipments, about 500 anti-aircraft guns, 850 anti-tank guns, 6,400 anti-tank rifles and 11,000 machine-guns were abandoned; as units arrived in Britain they returned to the command of Home Forces. After 1918, the prospect of war seemed so remote, that Government expenditure on the armed forces was determined by the assumption that no great war was likely. Spending varied from year to year and between the services but from July 1928 to March 1932, the formula of the Committee of Imperial Defence was...that it should be assumed for the purpose of framing the estimates of the fighting services that at any given date there will be no major war for ten years.
And spending on equipment for the army varied from £1,500,000 to £2,600,000 per year from 1924 to 1933, averaging £2,000,000 or about 9 percent of armaments spending a year. Until the early 1930s, the War Office intended to maintain a small and professional army and a start was made on motorising the cavalry and the artillery. By 1930, the Royal Army Service Corps had been mechanised, some of the artillery could be moved by tractors, a few engineer and cavalry units had received lorries. From 1930–1934, the Territorial Army artillery, signals units were equipped with lorries and in 1938 the regular army gained its establishment of wheeled vehicles and half of its tracked vehicles, except for tanks. From 1923 to 1932, 5,000 motor vehicles were ordered at a rate of about 500 a year, just under half being six-wheeler lorries. By 1936, the army had 379 tanks, of which 209 were light 166 were mediums; the rule had reduced war spending from £766 million in 1920 to £102 million when it was abolished on 23 March 1932.
The British army had fewer men than in 1914, no organisation or equipment for a war in Europe, it would have taken the War Office three weeks to mobilise only an infantry division and a cavalry brigade. In March 1932, the Ten-Year Rule was abolished and in 1934, the Cabinet resolved to remedy equipment deficiencies in the armed forces over the next five years; the army was always the least favoured force but equipment spending increased from £6,900,000 from 1933–1934 financial year, to £8,500,000 the following year and to more than £67,500,000 by 1938–1939 but the share of spending on army equipment only grew beyond 25 percent of all military equipment spending in 1938. The relative neglect of the army led to a theory of limited liability until 1937, in which Britain would not send a great army to Europe in time of war. In 1934, the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee of the CID assumed that a regular field army of five divisions was to be equipped as an expeditionary force to be supplemented by parts of the Territorial Army.
The force and its air support would act as a deterrent disproportionate to its size
Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force
The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force was a small volunteer force of 2,000 men, raised in Australia shortly after the outbreak of the First World War to seize and destroy German wireless stations in German New Guinea in the south-west Pacific. Britain required the German wireless installations to be destroyed because they were used by Vice-Admiral Maximilian von Spee's German East Asian Cruiser Squadron, which threatened merchant shipping in the region. Following the capture of German possessions in the region, the AN&MEF provided occupation forces for the duration of the war. New Zealand provided a similar force for the occupation of German Samoa; the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force began forming following a request by the British government on 6 August 1914. The objectives of the force were the German stations at Yap in the Caroline Islands, Nauru and at Rabaul, New Britain; the force was assembled under the guidance of Colonel James Legge, was separate from the Australian Imperial Force forming under Major General William Bridges.
The AN&MEF comprised one battalion of infantry of 1,000 men enlisted in Sydney, plus 500 naval reservists and ex-sailors who would serve as infantry. The 1st Battalion, AN&MEF was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Russell Watson, while the naval reservists were formed into six companies under Commander Joseph Beresford. Included were two machine gun sections, a signals section and a medical detachment. Another battalion of militia from the Queensland-based Kennedy Regiment, hurriedly dispatched to garrison Thursday Island contributed 500 volunteers to the force. Recruitment began on 11 August, with the few of the infantry having had previous military experience. Under the overall command of Colonel William Holmes, the AN&MEF departed Sydney on 19 August aboard HMAS Berrima and halted at Palm Island off Townsville until the New Zealand force, escorted by the battlecruiser HMAS Australia, cruiser HMAS Melbourne, the French cruiser Montcalm, occupied Samoa on 30 August; the AN&MEF moved to Port Moresby where it met the Queensland contingent aboard the transport TSS Kanowna.
The force sailed for German New Guinea on 7 September but the Kanowna was left behind when her stokers refused to work. The soldiers from the Kennedy Regiment were left in Port Moresby as Holmes felt that they were not trained or equipped well enough to be committed to the fighting, expected. Off the eastern tip of New Guinea, the Berrima rendezvoused with Australia and the light cruiser HMAS Sydney plus some destroyers. Melbourne had been detached to destroy the wireless station on Nauru; the task force reached Rabaul on 11 September. Sydney and the destroyer HMAS Warrego landed small parties of naval reservists at the settlements of Kabakaul and the German gubernatorial capital Herbertshöhe on Neu-Pommern, south-east of Rabaul; these parties were reinforced firstly by sailors from Warrego and by infantry from Berrima. A small 25-man force of naval reservists was subsequently landed at Kabakaul Bay and proceeded inland to capture the radio station believed to be in operation at Bita Paka, 7 kilometres to the south.
The Australians were resisted by a mixed force of German reservists and Melanesian native police, who forced them to fight their way to the objective. By nightfall the radio station was reached, it was found to have been abandoned; the mast had been dropped but its instruments and machinery were still intact. During the fighting at Bita Paka seven Australians were killed and five wounded, while the defenders lost one German NCO and about 30 Melanesians killed, one German and 10 Melanesians wounded, it was alleged that the heavy losses among the Melanesian troops was the result of the Australians bayoneting all those they had captured during the fighting. As a result of this engagement Seaman W. G. V. Williams became the first Australian fatality of the war. At nightfall on 12 September, Berrima landed the AN&MEF infantry battalion at Rabaul; the following afternoon, despite the fact that the German governor had not surrendered the territory, a ceremony was carried out to signal the British occupation of New Britain.
The German administration had withdrawn inland to Toma and at dawn on 14 September, HMAS Encounter bombarded a ridge near the town, while half a battalion advanced towards the town, supported by a field gun. The show of Australian firepower was sufficient to start negotiations. Terms were signed on 17 September and all military resistance ceased, with the remaining 40 German soldiers and 110 natives surrendering on 21 September; the German colony at Madang on Kaiser-Wilhelmsland was occupied on 24 September but the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cormoran, lurking nearby, escaped undetected. Over the next two months the remaining outposts were occupied; the terms of the surrender allowed the colony's governor, Dr Eduard Haber, to return to Germany while German civilians were allowed to remain as long as they swore an oath of neutrality. Those who refused were transported to Australia from where they could travel back to Germany. Although successful the operation was not well managed, the Australians had been delayed by a half-trained force.
Regardless, the Australians had prevailed not least of all because of their unexpected ability to fight close terrain, while the outflanking of the German positions had unnerved their opponents. The losses of the AN&MEF were light in the context of operations but were sufficiently heavy given the modest gain; these losses were further compounded by the disappearance of the Australian submarine HMAS AE1 during a patrol off Rabaul on 14 Septemb
Greek Expeditionary Force (Korea)
The Greek Expeditionary Force in Korea was formed in response to the United Nations appeal for assistance in the Korean War. It comprised a reinforced Hellenic Army infantry battalion and a Royal Hellenic Air Force flight of seven transport planes. Greece was the fifth largest troop contributor to U. N. Forces in Korea; the seven C-47s of 13th Flight, with 67 Air Force officers and personnel, departed from Elefsis air base at 0830 on November 11, 1950. They belonged to the 355 Transport Squadron, known for its participation in the recent civil war; the majority of the officers and NCOs of this first mission were experienced airmen, being veterans of the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre of World War II and the Greek Civil War. On December 3, 1950, the first Greek aircraft landed on Korean soil; the Greek flight was attached to the 21st Troop Carrier Sqn. of the 374th Wing, United States Air Force, based at Daegu. From May 14, 1951, the flight was based at Kimpo air base where it remained until May 23, 1955.
During its time in Korea, the Greek Flight carried out 2,916 missions, comprising air evacuations, the transport of personnel and prisoners, drops of supplies and ammunition, the replenishment of allied bases and the collection of operational information. In total, its planes carried 70,568 passengers, including 9,243 wounded, it logged 13,777 flight hours. Losses included two C-47s; the Greek government intended to send a brigade to Korea, but with quick UN victories in the autumn of 1950, the expeditionary force was downgraded to a battalion. The army unit, called the Sparta Battalion, sent in November 1950 under Spartan Lieutenant Colonel Georgios Koumanakos, was composed of 849 men and six vehicles in an HQ company and three rifle companies; the men were all volunteers from the 8th and 9th Infantry Divisions. From August 23, 1951, the component was expanded to 1,063 men, at which strength it remained until the December 1953 armistice, it was subsequently increased to the level of 2,163 men until April 1955.
After the anti-Greek Istanbul Pogrom, in September 1955, relations with Greece's NATO ally, Turkey and Athens decided to recall its units stationed in Korea. As a result, only 191 men were still in the country by December 1955. A representative section of one officer and nine men remained until May 1958. 1950 November 15: Embarkation at Piraeus. December 9: Arrival at Busan. December 16: Move to Suwon, attached to the US 1st Cavalry Division as the "4th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment". 1951 January 16: Remnants sweeping operation at Wolaksan, Haseoksan and Sinseol summits. January 29: Battle with 3,000 Chinese at Hill 381, west of Icheon. February 8: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 489, north of Gonjiam-ri. March 7: Attack on Hill 326, east of Yongdu-ri. April 7: Advance to Geumhaksan, north of Hongchen. April 27: Defence of Hongje-dong area of Seoul. May 26: Advance to Imjingang via Nogosan and Gamaksan. June 9: Advance to Wyoming line, north of Yeoncheon. August 4: Battle with the Chinese Army near Churadong area.
October 3–10: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 313. The hill was captured on 5 October 5, with 28 KIA. December 30: Deployed at Imjingang S-curved area. 1952 January: patrol duties attached to the 15th Infantry Regiment, US 3rd Infantry Division. March 17: Battle over Kelly, Betty outposts. May 23: The 1st company guards Kohe-do island prisoner camp. July 23: Advance to Imjingang S-curved area again after improving the corps for four months. August 7: Surprise attack on Hill 167 near Imjingang. September 28: Battle with the Chinese Army near Nori Hill area. October 29: Return to the US 9th corps, move to Cheolwon area. December 14: Entice and destroy one Chinese company at Yujeong-ri. December 27: 14 soldiers killed in a transport aircraft crash in Jinhae. 1953 March 11: Battle between reconnaissance squads at Hill 438. May 16: Deployed at Junggasan, north eastern sides of Cheolwon. June 16: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 420. July 16: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 495, south of Bukjeon-hyeon.
July 25: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 492, north of Seungam-ri. Fifteen officers and 168 men were killed in action, while 577 men were wounded; the 13th Flight received a US Presidential Unit Citation for its participation in the evacuation of US Marines at Hagaru-ri in December 1950. The GEF Spartan battalion received its first US Presidential Unit Citation in February 1952 for the capture of Scotch Hill; the Greek infantry company involved in the defense of Outpost Harry received the following Presidential Unit Citation: "DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Washington D. C. 10 March 1955 GENERAL ORDERS 18 DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION Company P Greek Expeditionary Forces Battalion is cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Surang-Ni, Korea during the period 17 June to 18 June 1953. Assigned the defense of a vital outpost position, the company encountered a major enemy assault on the evening of June 17. After an intense concentration of enemy mortar and artillery fire, the hostile forces, which had taken up an attack position on the northeast and northwest side of the outpost, moved through their own and friendly artillery fire to gain a foothold on the northern slope of the position.
Refusing to withdraw, Company P closed in and met the attackers in a furious hand-to-hand struggle in which many of the enemy were driven off. The aggressors regrouped attacked a second time, again gained the friendly trenches. Immediate