101

Everyone else is referencing Guns Germs and Steel, but I'm going to give the answer from The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage. Gammage suggests that not only did Indigenous Australians discover a form of agriculture, they developed an agricultural technology that Europeans didn't even realise was possible. The development of technology is not ...


67

Training and morale of Japanese soldiers First of all, Japanese Forces were by no means inferior to their enemies in terms of fighting spirit or training. Beyond a doubt, No nation in WW2 had soldiers of such fanatical devotion in her service as Japan did, who actively sought out Gyokusai (Glorious death). Their mindset could be explained in Japanese martial ...


46

This is a class of question we here on History.SE called a Guns, Germs, and Steel question. This is because we get a lot of them, and even though the question details may be different, the answers to all of them are almost identical, and could be penned by anyone who has read that book. We don't have a "required reading list", but if we did, GG&S would ...


26

There are no known pre-European contact between Australian Aboriginals and New Zealand Maori. In fact there are no evidence of any contact between the Indigenous Australians and other Polynesian peoples at all. The Polynesians originated in Taiwan around 3,000 B.C., and quickly swept through Polynesia, arriving at New Zealand around A.D. 1,200. The ...


25

The ranged weaponry niche occupied by bows and slings in most other parts of the world was in Australia occupied by boomerangs and woomera (spear-thrower). These wouldn't have had the long range of a sling or bow. However, that longer range has to be achieved through 45-degree ballistic shots, which is really most relevant for massed warfare. As hunter-...


23

Section 61 of the Constitution says "The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative [...]". Prime Minister Robert Menzies had to pass a Parliamentary standing order specially for Queen Elizabeth to be able to open Parliament when she visited Australia in 1954 because ...


21

Fire-hardened spears, hardwood clubs and maces and shark-tooth "swords" were pretty much state-of-the-art for both Aboriginal and Polynesian cultures. The Polynesians had the advantage of advanced stonemasonry and oceanic navigation, neither of which would do them much good in a war of conquest, the native Australians had a spear-thrower, the woomera, which ...


21

I want to supplement NSNoob's answer with some more information on Japanese small arms. They lacked the firepower which the Americans could bring down, firepower which is very important in obscured and close range jungle fighting. Compared to the Chinese, their primary land opponent, the Japanese army fared fine. This is something very important to remember,...


21

A proper rephrasing of the question title now is of course: why didn't Australians invent Eurasian agriculture before the Europeans came to them? Sounds non-sensical? It is not! The obvious answer to the frame defining title in its rephrased form is of course that they weren't Eurasians in Eurasia. That is the effect of not properly defining "what is ...


19

The people living along the northern coastline of Australia, in the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York had encounters with various visitors for many thousands of years. People and traded goods moved freely between Australia and New Guinea. Indonesian "Bajau" fishermen from the Spice Islands (e.g. Banda) have fished off the coast of ...


18

Probably not. The Wikipedia article for Maori Australians says: There was no known prehistoric contact between Australian Aboriginal people and New Zealand Māori, although the Māori's Polynesian ancestors were accomplished navigators. The first Māori known to have visited Australia travelled to Sydney in European trading ships from 1795 onwards. ...


18

from Australia's War 1939 - 1945: On 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced that Australia was at war with Germany: "Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, ...


17

I agree with the comments, it doesn't look military in nature. Looking at various organization, I finally found an item listed on ebay which seems to match both the wide emblem and the tasseled 8-point star with cross inset. I've zoomed in on part of the image showing the large emblem on the sash, revealing the motto Amicitia Amor et Veritas or in English: "...


16

The Australian historian and journalist LA Carlyon in his book Gallipoli reports Australian troops, a higher proportion of whom at that date had grown up in a rural, outdoor life (the same was probably true of Canadians), noticed that British troops who had grown up in the then smoky and crowded industrial cities of Britain often seemed less well nourished ...


15

Japan had a disadvantage in heavy equipment, especially artillery and ships artillery. Many Japanese soldiers were killed in heavy bombardments. After the early battles (e.g. Guadalcanal), Japan seldom bombarded or bombed American soldiers. Artillery fire is the deadliest in combat, more so than "small arms" fire because it is heavier; deadlier than say, ...


14

Is there evidence of Chinese exploration of Australia (before European contact)? There is no tangible evidence that Chinese explorers (or traders or any other Chinese for that matter) did land in Australia before the European exploration of the continent began. No Chinese ship wrecks in Australian waters, no Chinese records of having visited Australia, no ...


13

People from what is modern day Indonesia were visiting northern Australia to collect and process trepang (sea-cucumber or sea slug) for centuries before European settlement. These people are generally referred to as Macassan (or Makassan). The first European to circumnavigate Australia, Matthew Flinders, encountered Macassans processing trepang. ...


12

My uncle was a Marine in these battles. His generation spoke very little about the war. He was in the Pacific. One day we were discussing wars. He turned to me and said: "You know we did not take prisoners...". There were many reasons for this: There was no place to put or hold prisoners. You had to be constantly on alert with Japanese prisoners since ...


11

Australia was a lot less hospitable area than Polynesians, Indonesians, and other islanders were used to. Although technically in the tropics, the fact that people lived on islands meant that the sea was a moderating influence on the climate, and "temperate" weather crops such as breadfuirt and sweet potatoes could grow on them. Also, the sea provided a ...


10

The Australian experiment was different because it started as a penal colony -- the convicts and their overseers were the initial seed population of new arrivals. There was no settler class already extant to offer the convicts to as indentured labour. The early years of the colony came close to ending in disaster -- amongst other things failed crops led to ...


9

Simply put, because they didn't. Often I find that people tend to equate 'Colonial Australia' with colonial Sydney. Whilst there were incidents of conflict with Indigenous Australians, there were also a lot of incidents of cooperation. In most cases though, the settler just tended put push the original inhabitants further from their areas. The problem with ...


8

TL;DR: In the 1950s it was still a stain and mark of derision not to be spoken of. In the 1960s attitudes changes. By the 1970s it had become a badge of pride which it still is for some today. Long Answer: I'll quote extensively from two interesting articles on the topic and so just abbreviate which one the quote is from. One article itself quotes ...


8

T.E.D. answer is correct from my point of view (I also agree with Diamond theory regarding to availability of plants and animals as a must for civilized life). But, to give a little bit more context. Maybe we can divide the answer in two: 1. Domestication of crops and animals as a basic requirement for civilized life. This is one of the pillars in ...


7

Scotland, Ireland and Wales along with England were all integral parts of the UK with full representation in the UK government. The four nations each benefited from the Union, for the most part anyway. And so with the exception of Ireland, there has never been a majority in any of the four in favour of independence. (that may change soon though.) Canada, ...


7

As it turns out, it wasn't an eccentric French scientist at all. It was a servant of the VOC originally from French-speaking Switzerland by the name of Jean Pierre Purry. He perhaps knew about the ideas of the French cartographer Melchisedech Thevenot and in any case outlined how the mediterranean climate was mirrored on the southern hemisphere at ...


7

One way to approach the question would be anthropological. There is a dissertation with the title, “Why Foragers Do Not Become Farmers,” which you can download for free. It's based on work done in the Philippines, which might nevertheless generalize to Australia. It's been some years since I read the research, and the author offers a number of potential ...


7

There are actually a number of placental mammals which can be found across the Wallace Line in Australia and New Guinea. The one which probably is most relevant to the question about deliberate human involvement in the process would be the dog (or dingo), which was most likely introduced and dispersed into New Guinea and Australia from South-East Asia by ...


6

Having a date for that picture might be helpful, but my best guess is that is a picture of the RMS Mauretania, taken in the spring of 1940 while she was in Sydney harbor (along with the 3-funnel Queen Mary) to pick up troops for deployment to the Middle East. The paint scheme is fairly distinctive, as the all-gray was a wartime paint job. During peacetime ...


6

What about both? Australia was harsh, far away, hard to get away from. Perfect penal colony, if a tad big maybe. Originally it was no doubt intended as a place to dump convicts when the prisons at home were overflowing. As to your uncle, remember the penal system at the time was rather less lax of "petty crimes" than it is today. Theft was theft, no silly "...


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