Created by potrace 1.14, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Australian Military Equipment Used During World War II

  • Owen Gun

    Officially named the Owen Machine Carbine, it was an Australian submachine gun, one of the few weapons designed by them themselves and the only submachine gun of that was entirely Australian designed to have been used in the Second World War. This particular gun was designed by Evelyn Owen in the year 1939. It was used by the army in 1943 and was a part of their arsenal until the mid-60s where it was used during the Vietnam War too. The gun was quite bulky in its construction; however, it was favoured by the soldiers thanks to its reliability in battle.

    Rover Light Armoured Car
    Rover Light Armoured Car

    Rover Light Armoured Car

    As the Second World War broke out Australia was unable to receive military vehicles from its usual supplier, the United Kingdom, as their industrial output was dedicated instead to the immediate needs of the efforts Europe. That meant that During the earlier years of the war Australia had to produce a number of vehicles of their own as they feared Japan would extend their attack to their shores. One such vehicle was the Rover Light Armoured car; these used the chassis of a Ford 3-Ton Canadian Military Pattern truck with an armoured body produced by Melbourne’s own Ruskin Motor Bodies. The vehicles entered service in April of 1942, though they never saw combat, they were mainly used for crew training as Australia began to receive US made armoured cars in 1943.

    AC1 Sentinel Tank
    AC1 Sentinel Tank

    AC1 Sentinel Tank

    The Sentinel Tank was the only tank produced by Australia, it was what is classed as a cruiser tank and was interestingly the first tank ever to be created using a hull cast as one single piece. In 1943 65 of these had been produced but these were only used for evaluation purposes, never actually issued to operation units. In fact, the entire programme was scrapped in July of that year, with efforts instead being put into construction of railway locomotives and supporting the new US tanks which were shortly due to arrive. As such the Sentinel Tank never saw action, though you can see them in the 1944 Australian war movie, Rats of Tobruk, the only time that a squadron of these vehicles has ever been used for a particular purpose.

    CAC Wirraway
    CAC Wirraway

    CAC Wirraway

    Here we have a training and general-purpose military aircraft that was manufactured by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (or CAC for short) in Australia between the years of 1939 and 1946. This aircraft was actually a development made by the Australians of the North American NA-16, this too was a training aircraft. The word Wirraway is Aboriginal in origin meaning “challenge”, the aircraft itself certainly met said challenge and has been noted as a foundation of Australian aircraft manufacturing. During the war it was sent into combat on multiple occasions, being used for light bomber and ground attack purposes against what was then known as the Empire of Japan.