Celebrating 100 Years of Mateship

100 Years of Australian - American Mateship - a bond forged under fire

On 4 July 2018 Australia and the United States of America celebrated the first 100 Years of Mateship. 

The date marks the 100th anniversary of the first time our troops fought side by side in an offensive action, at the Battle of Hamel on France’s Western Front. They fought under the command of one of Australia’s most revered military leaders, General Sir John Monash.

The battle plan devised by General Monash was radical for its time – it marked the first time tanks had been used as protection on a battlefield for the advancing infantry and the first time aircraft had been deployed to drop ammunition to ground troops.

General Monash predicted that the offensive would last for 90 minutes. Incredibly it took the Allied forces just 93 minutes to secure victory and turned the tide against the Germans on the Western Front.

Since that day, which helped turn the tide of the First World War, Australian and American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women have served alongside one another in every major conflict. This is symbolic of the deep and enduring bond, mutual respect and close co-operation that exists between Australia and the United States.

Today, US marines are stationed in Darwin in Australia’s north, and our servicemen and women are working together in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The mateship forged in battle is the bedrock of a unique contemporary relationship across many shared fields of endeavour.

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