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Australia, officially the Republic of Australia, or the Australian Republic, is a nation in Oceania that comprises the eastern half of the Australian continent, Tasmania Island, and Papua New Guinea, as well as numerous island territories in the Antarctic Ocean south of 45°S latitude. It shares borders with West Australia to the west on the mainland, and with the Philippine Empire to the west on New Guinea.
Initially settled as a penal colony in the late 1700s, Australia quickly grew as a major British settlement throughout the next century, until the late 1890s, when a fundamental split occurred with talks of federation as a British commonwealth and the Colony of West Australia voted against joining the new federation, remaining separate until granted independence by Edward VII in 1903. For the first twenty-nine years of its existence, West Australia and Australia remained on generally good terms and traded quite often, but the start of the Great Depression in 1929 marked the beginning of a long downturn for the entire Australian continent.
From 1932 to 1990, Australia was in conflict with its neighbor, thanks to the election of Fred Paterson as West Australian Prime Minister in mid-1932. In 1969, Australia petitioned Britain for independence, and it was granted, thus it was re-formed as the Republic of Australia and adopted a new flag to represent its status as a proper nation. From the sustained casualties of World War II's Australian Front (1938-1942) to the Great Australian War, the final - and possibly largest - conflict between the two nations, chaos reigned over the continent, leaving many to wonder if the fighting would ever end. But, with the decisive, yet costly Australian victory in the Great War, coupled with the West's huge March Riots of 1990, it did indeed come to an end, with the signing of the Adelaide Accords in January 1991. In recent years, the two nations have fostered a spirit of cooperation - unprecedented for once bitter enemies.
Pre-Commonwealth Years (1770-1900)
Early Commonwealth (1901-1929)
Great Depression (1930-1939)
As with many other world nations, Australia and West Australia equally suffered at the hands of the Great Depression and gave rise to a disaster that had already been years in the making. In mid-1932, Fred Paterson came to power as the Prime Minister of West Australia, along with the West Australian Communist Party, enacting sweeping reforms and turning the nation into a socialist and heavily militarized state within six years. He issued their one and only goal in December of 1937: to crush the Australian Commonwealth at all costs.
Pre-War buildup (1938)
Australia responded in kind in early 1938 with the purchase of post-WWI capital ships for its Navy from Britain and increasing the minimum size of its Army to 85,000 regulars. Now fearing potential involvement by Britain, Paterson ordered the West Australian Army to be stationed along the entirety of their 1,157 mile border. For seven tense months, both armies faced each other down from their side of the border, all the while bringing in additional troops and reinforcing their positions.
World War II (1938-1945)
Main Article: World War II (1938-1946)
On the outbreak of war in October 1938 with Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia, and Britain's distraction with the beleaguered nation, Paterson decided the time was right to seize the initiative. On November 7 - just over a month after the Germans crossed into Czechoslovakian territory - West Australian infantry divisions crossed the border near Lake Tanami and fired the first shots of the war on Australian soil.
Though outnumbered, the beleaguered Australian Army pulled out every tactical advantage it possessed and fought with bravery unmatched, with the sole exception being that of Britain's struggle against Nazi Germany. For the first several years of the war, West Australian troops advanced east, gaining ground, but at a heavy coast from the more determined Australians. After suffering nearly untenable losses by slowing the Western advance, the Australians were bolstered by the arrival of 31,000 American regulars under the command of General Douglas MacArthur in the early spring of 1942. The Americans' timely arrival gave the Australian Army a much needed advantage, enabling them to recover much of their lost territory by September 1943. For the remainder of the war, Allied forces held a static defensive line at the border - with the exception of the 'North Pocket', a section of the Northern Territory that the West Australians held onto quite aggressively until the armistice of 1945 - and sent long range bombers against West Australian targets both on the mainland and their occupation forces on Kerguelen.
Post-War interim (1946-1950)
Korean War (1950-1952)
Main Article: Korean War (1950-1952)
An Uneasy Calm (1953-1971)
Independence and Transition to Republic (1969)
Indonesian War (1972-1979)
Main Article: Indonesian War (1972-1979)
Growing Tensions (1969-1972)
Great Australian War (1973-1986)
Main Article: Great Australian War (1973-1986)
The Adelaide Accords (1991)
Main Article: The Adelaide Accords (1991)
Modern Times (1991-present)
Main Article: Armed Forces of Australia