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Malaysia Honours Australias Service in secret war. 1948-1960

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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:46 PM

Remembering 1942

Sixty years ago Australians were at war: in North Africa, over Europe, in south-east Asia, on the seas across the world and in Australia itself. 1942 was a decisive year for Australia and for the war. It began with the Axis powers triumphant in Russia and Asia. Then, in a series of battles - Stalingrad, Alamein, Papua and Guadalcanal - the initiative shifted to the Allies. In 1942 Japan conquered south-east Asia and Australia came under attack until its forces held and defeated the Japanese in Papua New Guinea.

1941 - December

7th - 8th Japanese land in Thailand and Malaya;
Japanese attack Pearl Harbour; USA declares war on Japan;

1942 - January
2 - General Macarthur retreats from Manila
14 - Australian troops fight the Japanese at Gemas

5-8 Battle of the Coral Sea
31 - Japanese midget submarines attack Sydney Harbour

26 - Australians defeat Japanese landings at Milne Bay

23 - HMAS Voyager lost off Timor
25 - Australian counter-offensive in the Owen Stanleys

2 - Australians recapture Kokoda
12-25 - US strategic naval victory at Guadalcanal

9 - Australians and Americans defeat the Japanese at Gona

5 - Australian and US forces take Nadzab
11 - Australians enter Salamaua
16 - Australians enter Lae
26 - Operation Jaywick - special operations party sink over 37000 tons of enemy shipping in Singapore harbour
4 - Australians take Dumpu
2 - Australians capture Finschhafen

Fighting in many parts of New Guinea - Markham and Ramu Valleys
23 - Shaggy Ridge captured by Australians

10 - New Britain and Huon Peninsula secured by Australian and US forces

24 - Australians capture Madang

April - January 1945
26 - Australians take Alexishafen

8 - Australian troops land on Bonis Peninsula on Bougainville
13 - Australians capture Brunei
17 - North Borneo taken by Australian forces


The Malaysian Government will award a commemorative medal to Australian servicemen and women who served in Malaysia from 1957 to 1966, Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence De-Anne Kelly announced today.

The Malaysian Government has produced the award, titled Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM), in recognition of their "distinguished chivalry, gallantry, sacrifice, or loyalty" in contributing to the freedom of independence of Malaysia.

"Australia and Malaysia have enjoyed a long standing and valued relationship based on a common goal of supporting regional stability and security," Mrs Kelly said.

"This acknowledgement of the contribution our service men and women made to the security of Malaysia and the region deepens that relationship."

It is expected that as many as 12,000 current and former service men and women will be presented the PJM.

The Malaysian Government has set the following eligibility guidelines:

* The PJM will be awarded to Australian Defence personnel, who served in the prescribed areas from 31 August 1957 to 12 August 1966,
and to 9 August 1965 for service in Singapore
(the point at which it separated from the Federation of Malaysia).

* Service until 31 December 1966 will also qualify for those personnel who were posted to Malaysia for service prior to 12 August 1966, but failed to qualify for the medal before that date.

* Awards will also be made to those whose service was cut short as a result of death or injury as a result of service in these areas.

* Around 40 former members of the Australian Army who were recruited by the Government of the Federation of Malaya to serve as Lieutenants in the Malaysian Police Force are also eligible for the award.

The Department of Defence will receive applications, verify the service and eligibility and facilitate the approval to wear the award in accordance with guidelines for foreign awards.

"In all possible circumstances, senior representatives from the Malaysian Government will present medals personally to recipients, including next of kin in cases of posthumous awards," Mrs Kelly said.

The Malayan Emergency was the only war the West won against Communism.

The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960)
After the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, a new problem emerged for Malaya. In 1948 Chinese guerrilla fighters (who had been armed and air supplied by the British during the war) emerged from the jungle and under Chin Peng, began their terror campaign to take over the country by force. Thus an intense jungle war began, fought by the British, British Commonwealth and Malay forces against the Malayan Communist Party.

The Australian Government of the day, along with many others in the Western bloc, was apprehensive about the spread of international communism.

Initially there was not much coordination between security forces until Lt.-Gen.Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations in 1949. His war executive committees (including Sir Henry Gurney) coordinated emergency operations, and created 500 new villages for Malayan citizens who lived in remote areas beyond government protection. These citizens had lived in constant fear that the Communists would appear and force them to supply food and money. Travelling was dangerous as a Communist ambush could lurk behind any roadside bush.

So, by depriving the insurgents of their crucial sources of supplies and information, the Communists began to attack the new settlements. But the security forces were now fighting on their own ground, and proved to be too strong for the Communists. These forces were able to concentrate on jungle operations, thereby destroying the Communists and their camps. This was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. It was to be the only war the West had won against Communism.

The Emergency lasted for twelve years, ending in 1960. Australia suffered 15 killed and 27 wounded in action

Australian units fought in Australia's most unrecognised and secret war, the campaign to defend the newly established Malaysia against confrontation by Indonesia & China.

Similar to Australia's role in the Malayan Emergency, operations against Indonesia in Borneo and West Malaysia were part of the Australian government's contribution to the Far East Strategic Reserve. This was an "undeclared war", largely unpublicised in Australia & was part of the famous Briggs Plan to defeat the Communists in south east Asia.


October 7- December 22 - The French conduct Operation Lea, a series of attacks on Viet Minh guerrilla positions in North Vietnam near the Chinese border. Although the Viet Minh suffer over 9000 causalities, most of the 40,000 strong Viet Minh force slips away through gaps in the French lines.


March 8, 1949 - The French install Bao Dai as puppet head of state in South Vietnam.

July 1949 - The French establish the (South) Vietnamese National Army.

January 1950 - The People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union recognize Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

China then begins sending military advisors and modern weapons to the Viet Minh inside Vietnam including automatic weapons, mortars, howitzers, and trucks. Much of the equipment is American-made and had belonged to the Chinese Nationalists before their defeat by Mao. With the influx of new equipment and Chinese advisors, General Giap transforms his guerrilla fighters into conventional army units including five light infantry divisions and one heavy division.

Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960s was in keeping with the policies of other nations, to stem the spread of communism in Europe and Asia. In 1960 and in 1961, Ngo Dinh Diem, leader of the government in South Vietnam, repeatedly requested assistance from the international community to help improve Vietnam's security.

Australia eventually responded with 30 military advisers, the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, known as "the Team".

Dispatched From the battlegrounds in Malaysia where they were running the fight against Indonesia & China in Borneo and West Malaya.

Their arrival in South Vietnam during July and August 1962 was the beginning of Australia's involvement in the war in Vietnam.

Australia committed troops to Malaysia in 1948 & withdrew them in 1960 After Malaysia gained its independence in 1957,

When the Malayan Communists were defeated finally in July 1960, after china turned its attention & support towards the events & actions of the Communists in Vietnam.

Vietnam War 1964 - 1972

The United States committed troops to Vietnam in 1964 and withdrew them nine years later in 1973.

[edit on 17-2-2005 by John bull 1]

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