|Originally posted by edgewaters|
My vote goes for the USSR, but I think it is silly that Australia is
one of the choices, and Canada is not. No disrespect to Australia, but
Canadian fighters were equally feared by the Germans.
In fairness, the reason for Australia being on the list is that
Australia's involvement was decisive in securing victory - or at the
very least greatly expedited it. This is for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Australian economy under PM John Curtin was one of the
most efficient in WWII, it was a fully geared total war economy. This
greatly contributed to Australia's involvement in the Pacific. In
battles such as Guadalcanal, where victory was determined only by the
US forces being only slightly better logistically supplied, Australian
supply of materials was decisive.
Then there is the fighting. Australia was the first Western nation to
inflict a decisive strategic defeat on the IJA in WWII, which took
place on the Kokoda Trail in spite of being hugely outnumbered.
Australian military tenacity and adaptability also served well in other
theatres. Australian forces in North Africa held the town of Tobruk
against overwhelming enemy forces, critically delaying the advance of
Rommel's forces for most of a year. Such determination allowed the hard
pressed British to regroup and prepare. Had Tobruk not been held, the
fall of Egypt and critical oil supplies in the Mid East would have had
Australian adaptability to jungle warfare, never developed as well by
other Western powers, proved enormously useful in liberating huge
swathes of Southeast Asia from Japanese rule.
Australian participation was also crucial in the Battle of the Coral
Sea, where joint Australian and US forces turned back the until then
triumphant Japanese navy. This strategic retreat of Japan would be
followed up by large scale tactical destruction of Japanese ships at
Midway shortly after.
All in all, Australian support was critical in achieving a decisive
outcome in a number of theatres (North Africa, the Pacific) on the one
hand. On the other hand, their performance in a range of battles
demonstrated tenacity and adaptability required to bring about victory
in a range of difficult conditions when heavily outnumbered by a well