History Guild Australians in the Mediterranean during WW2 Quiz
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Australians in the Mediterranean during WW2 Quiz

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The stories behind the questions

1. Australian soldiers first saw action in WW2 during which battle?

Bardia – Just over 80 years ago, Australian forces fought their first major battle of World War II. Bardia, a small town on the coast of Libya, some 30 km from the Egyptian border, was an Italian stronghold. The Australian troops occupied Bardia, defeating the Italians in a little over 3 days.

2. Where did Australian troops fight against the Vichy French?

Syria – Read about this here Australia’s War with France, or listen to the podcast, or watch the video describing the action.

3. What were the Australian soldiers who used captured Italian artillery pieces against the Germans and Italians informally called?

Bush Artillery – At the beginning of the siege of Tobruk Allied forces were short of artillery. However in the previous months they had captured huge quantities of Italian artillery, although most were missing their sights. Australian infantry were trained by British Royal Artillery how to use the weapons and the Bush artillery quickly became surprisingly effective, helped by the huge Italian ammunition dumps they had also captured.

4. How many Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross in the Mediterranean theatre of WW2?

6 – We have a video here that tells the incredible story of their valour.

5. How long were Australian forces besieged in Tobruk?

242 days – This podcast gives a great in depth analysis of the Battle of Tobruk, while this article provides a great overview of the Australian involvement.

6. The Scrap Iron Flotilla was comprised of which type of warships?

Destroyers – Read about the Scrap Iron Flotilla in this article, or watch a video that includes interviews with veterans who served on the ships.

7. The Battle of Crete involved Allied, including ANZAC forces, fighting against what new phenomenon in warfare?

Mass parachute assault – Read about the Battle of Crete.

8. Which of the following battles resulted in the most Australians being captured as POW’s?

Battle of Greece – This article details the in depth story of the Australian involvement in the Battle of Greece. We also have an article and podcast that covers a group of ANZAC’s who escaped from German captivity and managed to reach Egypt and re-join their units.

9. The Battle of Cape Spada saw the cruiser HMAS Sydney sink which vessel?

Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni – Read about the Battle of Cape Spada.

10. The Battle of 42nd Street was part of the fighting in which region?

Crete – Read about the Battle of 42nd Street.

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