Source C Australia sent combat troops to Vietnam in 1965, many of the troops had been conscripted into the armed forces, not volunteering to fight. Almost 60,000 Australians, including ground troops and air force and navy personnel, served in Vietnam; 521 died as a result of the war and over 3,000 were wounded.
Conscripted: People who have no choice but to enlist, or be sent to jail.
Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960s was in keeping with the policies of other nations, particularly the United States, to stem the spread of communism in Europe and Asia.
Chapter 3 : Why Australia entered the war
The American alliance through the ANZUS and SEATO treaties
• Australia had previously committed troops in other countries to fight communism
• Fear of communism in Australia
• The geography of the region and the domino theory
• Requests for Australian involvement from the US and the government of South Vietnam
• Australia was prepared for a war
Chapter 4 : How Australia entered the war
• Australia had had military advisors in Vietnam since 1962, in 1965 the government committed an infantry battalion
• Australian participation in the war was gradual; troop numbers built up over a number of years as Viet Cong insurgencies increased
• By 1971 nearly 50 000 Australians had fought in Vietnam
• A large number of Australians fighting in Vietnam were national service conscripts