Britain, France, Russia and the United States held a conference in
Geneva to deal with the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel (see source 6.18).
• The communist Viet Minh were to control the North.
• A government friendly to the United States was to control the South.
The Australian Government agreed to the United
States’ requests for military advisers to support their presence in the region. Thirty
Australian army advisers were sent to South Vietnam in 1962.
United States claimed that the North Vietnamese had torpedoed its ships in the Gulf of Tonkin,
so American bombing raids began in the North. Australia’s Prime Minister Menzies
committed 800 Australian troops to fight by sending our 1st Infantry Battalion and HMAS
Sydney to Vietnam in 1965.
Australia’s military commitment increased
when a 4500-man force left for Vietnam.
Later in 1966, the Australian people
returned the Liberal Party/Country Party
coalition government to power with a
massive majority at the federal election.
By the end of 1967 Australia committed
8300 military personnel to serve in
Vietnam. When Australian forces were