The Government that could not say no and Australia's military effort

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter outlines the raising and expansion of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and some of the policy choices that accompanied the process. It describes how the government's ardent commitment to the empire and the war led to several systemic problems and divisive politics. It also examines how the AIF was created, how and when it was expanded, and how these steps combined with poor decision-making caused problems in administration, training, command, and finding enough men. The chapter refers to the mixed bag of military forces inherited from six separate Australian colonies by the new Commonwealth of Australia in March 1901. It considers the link between the 1914–1916 decisions to expand the force and the government's unsuccessful efforts in 1916 and 1917 to introduce conscription for overseas service via plebiscite.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationManpower and the armies of the British Empire in the two world wars
    Editors Douglas E. Delaney, Mark Frost, Andrew L. Brown
    Place of PublicationIthaca
    PublisherCornell University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781501755859
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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