This Week in History | Week 26By The Cove June 17, 2020
Week 26 | 22-28 June
22 June 1945 | Japanese resistance on Tarakan ends
The 26th Brigade invaded Tarakan the morning of 1 May 1945, marking the start of the Borneo campaign. The landing was affected with little real difficulty but initiated a bitter campaign against Tarakan's Japanese defenders who had withdrawn inland. 225 Australians were killed as a result of the Tarakan campaign. Over 1,500 of the island's Japanese defenders were also killed.
25 June 1950 | North Korea invades South Korea
When Korea was liberated from Japanese control at the end of the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed temporarily to divide Korea at the 38th parallel of latitude north of the equator. This division resulted in the formation of two countries: communist North Korea (supported by the Soviets) and South Korea (supported by the United States).
Five years after the country’s partition, the communist leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, decided to attempt to reunify Korea under his control. On June 25, 1950, Kim launched a surprise invasion of South Korea.
Believing that the Soviet Union had backed the invasion, United States President Harry Truman and his advisers followed through on their policy of containment, refusing to allow communism to spread anywhere in the world. Within two days of the invasion, the United States had rallied the United Nations Security Council to declare support for South Korea and an American-led UN coalition deployed to South Korea.
This was the beginning of the three-year-long Korean War.
26 June 1945 | The Battle of Beaufort
The Battle of Beaufort was part of the wider Borneo campaign. It was fought between 26 - 28 June 1945 in North Borneo (later known as Sabah). The battle saw two Australian infantry battalions - the 2/43rd Battalion and the 2/32nd Battalion - attack the town of Beaufort, which was held by a force of around 800 – 1,000 Japanese. Over the course of several days, heavy fighting took place before the Japanese began withdrawing on 29 June.
Casualties during the fighting around Beaufort amounted to seven killed and 38 wounded for the Australians, while at least 93 Japanese were killed and two captured. Private Tom Starcevich of the 2/43rd received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the battle.
28 June 1919 | Treaty of Versailles signed
The Paris Peace Conference concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (one of five treaties formulated at the Conference). The treaty, signed between Germany and representatives of 27 victorious powers, punished Germany both territorially and financially for its role in the First World War. The harsh terms of the treaty was intended to prevent Germany from ever having the means to make war in the future.
The major sanctions imposed by the treaty included the disarmament of Germany, payment of very large reparations to the allies, and demilitarization of the Rhineland. The treaty also involved the surrender of territory which had been part of Germany prior to the First World War, including Alsace-Lorraine to France and substantial areas to Poland.