Papuans in world war
Among the sovereign states of Oceania, the most famous and largest is, of course, Papua - New Guinea. Before World War I, the territory of modern Papua New Guinea was divided between Great Britain and Germany. At the beginning of the twentieth century. The British administration transferred the southeastern part of the island of New Guinea to the control of Australia, and in 1920, as a result of the First World War, the northeast, German part of New Guinea was transferred to the control of Australia. In 1949, both territories were merged into one administrative unit administered by Australia, but only in 1975 did Papua New Guinea gain political independence and become a sovereign state. Before European colonization, the peoples of New Guinea did not know statehood. Of course, they did not have any idea about the regular armed forces and law enforcement agencies. After colonization, insignificant military units of the countries of the metropolis were placed on the island, performing primarily police functions. Only during the Second World War, the Australian military command decided to form a military unit on the territory of Papua to defend the island in case of Japanese invasion. At the beginning of 1940, the Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) was formed, the officers and non-commissioned officers in which were recruited from the Australian professional military, and the rank and file - from the Papuans. The official date of the creation of the battalion was 27 in May of 1940. However, the first soldiers of the battalion arrived only in March of 1941, and only by 1942 in the battalion did they form three companies, and even that was not fully staffed. In June, 1942 units of the battalion moved to perform tasks to patrol the northern coast of Papua - in places of potential landing of Japanese troops or reconnaissance and sabotage groups. Each battalion patrol group consisted of Papuan soldiers and was led by an Australian officer or sergeant. Later the battalion took part in many battles of the Allied forces in the territory of New Guinea.
In March, the 1944 th New Guinean Infantry Battalion was formed to fight against the Japanese troops, which was equipped, like the Papuan, according to the principle “officers and sergeants - Australians, privates - new Guineans”. The battalion strength was established on the Australian 1 and the native 77 military personnel. The unit took part in the offensive of the Allied forces in New Britain and on the island of Bougainville. 550 September 26 was formed by the 1944 th New Guinea battalion, also staffed by Australian officers and sergeants and the New Guinean soldiers. Since it was formed at the end of the war, he practically did not take real participation in the fighting in New Guinea, but he showed himself to provide for the combat units of the Australian army. In June, the 2 was formed by the 1945 th New Guinea battalion, staffed on the same principle as the first two battalions. In November, the 3 was based on the Papuan Infantry Battalion and the 1944 and 1 of the New Guinea Infantry Battalions and formed the Royal Infantry Regiment of the Pacific Islands (PIR). After the creation of the 2-th and 1945-th New Guinea battalions in 3, they were also incorporated into the Pacific Regiment. Units of the Pacific Regiment fought on the territory of Papua New Guinea, New Britain, on the island of Bougainville. The soldiers of the regiment became famous for their ferocity and perseverance, as evidenced by a significant number of military awards, including 4 Military crosses and 6 Military medals. At the same time, it is known that during the service of the regiment there were minor incidents related to dissatisfaction with the level of pay and conditions of service. Thus, Australian officers and sergeants could have exceeded their authority and were too hard on the native soldiers recruited in Papua and New Guinea. It is noteworthy that the administration of Australian New Guinea, which opposed the creation of indigenous units, used examples of such incidents to prove the futility of the idea of forming Papuan and New Guinean military units. However, during the years of World War II, more than 20 3 Papuans passed through the service in the Pacific regiment. 500 native and Australian regimental servicemen died in combat, 65 died of disease, 75 went missing, 16 soldier was injured. 81 June 24. The Royal Pacific Infantry Regiment was officially disbanded.
Royal Pacific Regiment in the postwar period
In the post-war period, discussions among the Australian political establishment and the generals of the armed forces continued about the feasibility of Australia’s military presence in Papua New Guinea. The growing number of conflicts between white settlers and the native population still convinced the Australian authorities of the need for a military presence, primarily to ensure public safety in Papua New Guinea. In July 1949, the Papua New Guinean Voluntary Shooters were revived, in which only white settlers — Australians and Europeans — served as reservists. In November, 1950 was decided to recruit a regular infantry battalion from among the natives. In March, the Royal Infantry Regiment of the Pacific Islands, initially consisting of only one infantry battalion, was restored by 1951. In accordance with the plans of the Australian military command, in the event of war, the regiment had to perform four main tasks - carrying out garrison service, patrolling the land border with the Dutch New Guinea (now Irian Jaya, Indonesia), delaying hostilities in the event of landing the enemy, replenishing personnel Australian units deployed in Papua New Guinea. The size of the regiment was 600 military personnel, united in four companies. The first company served in Port Moresby, the second in Vanimo, the third in Los Negros and the fourth in Kokopo. December 1957 was marked by mass riots in Port Moresby - the capital of Papua New Guinea, which were caused by opposition from regimental soldiers and civilians. After the riots were stopped by the police, the 153 native soldiers were fined, and 117 civilians suffered the same punishments. In January, 1961 attempted a strike by regimental soldiers dissatisfied with low cash payments. After the soldiers' speech, the regiment’s salary was increased, but the Australian command began to make careful efforts to prevent an increased concentration of representatives of one tribe and region in one unit. By 1965, the battalion consisted of 660 native soldiers and 75 Australian officers and sergeants.
When in 1962-1966 relations between Indonesia and Malaysia escalated, resulting in armed confrontation, the Pacific Regiment, as part of the Australian army, was involved in patrolling the border with the Indonesian New Guinea. Since Malaysia was an ally of Britain and, accordingly, Australia, the likelihood of an armed confrontation with Indonesia as an opponent of Malaysia was not excluded. There was even a skirmish patrol of the Pacific Regiment with the Indonesian military at the border. The Australian Command, concerned about the possible invasion of Indonesia into Papua New Guinea (Indonesia at that time considered the territory of eastern New Guinea as its own, and after the liberation of the Dutch New Guinea would not refuse to seize the Australian part of the island), decided to start preparing the Pacific Regiment battalion to partisan actions in the rear of the enemy. In September 1963 was formed the second battalion of the regiment, and in 1965 - the third battalion, which, however, was not fully staffed. The size of the Royal Pacific Infantry Regiment has increased to 1 188 Papuan soldiers and 185 Australian officers and sergeants. In 1965, the command of Papua New Guinea was formed. Since 1963, the Australian military command authorized the assignment of sergeants and junior officers to the Papuans and the New Guinean Melanesians, after which the Papuans were sent to Victoria to train in the cadet corps. In January, the 1973 Defense Forces of Papua New Guinea were formed, which retained their name and after the country's independence was proclaimed in 1975. The Royal Infantry Regiment of the Pacific Islands became the basis of the Defense Forces of Papua New Guinea. Currently, the regiment includes two infantry battalions - the 1 infantry battalion stationed in Port Moresby and the 2 infantry battalion stationed in Beyok. Regiment units took part in suppressing a separatist uprising in neighboring Vanuatu in 1980. The regiment also conducted operations against the Free Papua Movement, from 1989 to 1997. participated in the suppression of partisan resistance to the Bougainville Revolutionary Army on the islands of Bougainville and Buka. In July 2003, the regiment's troops participated in the activities of the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands, after which they remained as part of the Pacific contingent in the Solomon Islands. The combat training of the regiment is carried out at the bases of the Australian army.
Papua New Guinean Defense Forces
By the time Papua New Guinea was proclaimed independence, the strength of the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces (APOG) numbered 3 750 military personnel, in addition 465 Australian officers and sergeants were in Papua New Guinea to train personnel and maintain sophisticated military equipment. However, among the political leadership of Papua New Guinea, the point of view was spread about the need to reduce the size of the country's armed forces in the absence of a clear enemy. But plans to reduce the Defense Forces came up against a sharp rebuff of the military, who did not want to lose a decent and stable income as a result of the cuts and “citizen” care. After the military insurrection in March 2001, the government of Papua New Guinea agreed with the demands of the rebels and did not reduce the size of the armed forces. However, already in 2002, it was announced the imminent reduction of the Defense Forces to 2100 people. In 2004, the intention to reduce the size of the country's armed forces by one third was confirmed by the head of the headquarters of the Defense Forces, Captain Aloizy Tom Ur. By 2007, the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces were indeed reduced by a thousand troops. Naturally, the modest strength of the armed forces of Papua New Guinea limits the country's military capabilities, but among other states in Oceania, Papua New Guinea is not only the strongest, but also one of several with its own armies. Experts attribute the main problems of the New Guinea army to inadequate funding, military-technical backwardness, unsatisfactory readiness for deployment outside Papua New Guinea itself and the lack of real experience in fighting. Australia, New Zealand and France provide military assistance to the defense forces of Papua New Guinea in the field of personnel training, and Germany and China in the field of financing. Australia is most interested in the participation of Papua New Guinea in the fight against terrorism and patrolling of maritime territories. The strength of the Papua New Guinean Defense Forces is 2100 troops. They include ground forces, air forces and naval operations forces. 4% of Papua New Guinea’s budget is spent on military needs. Ground forces are under the direct control of the headquarters of the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces, while military air forces and fleets have their own commands. In recent years, the government has abandoned the strategy of reducing the armed forces and, conversely, expects to increase the strength of the Defense Forces to 2017 5 troops by 000, respectively, increasing the scale of defense spending.
The ground forces of the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces are the oldest military service and originated in the service of the Papuan and New Guinea Infantry Battalions, the Royal Infantry Regiment of the Pacific Islands. The PNG Ground Forces Ground Forces include two light infantry battalions of the Royal Pacific Islands Infantry Regiment stationed in Port Moresby and Wewak, one engineering battalion in Lae, a signal squadron in Port Moresby, a medical squadron, a military cadet corps and headquarters support units. In armed with land forces PNG is only small weapon and a few mortars, since the island’s jungle makes it almost impossible to use artillery and armored vehicles. Personnel training is carried out in Australia. Recruitment - by recruiting volunteers with complete secondary education in the amount of 12 classes, and who are at least 16 years old. The ground forces of the NAPP are light infantry, capable only of limited operations and performing in fact the functions of helping the police in maintaining public order and fighting crime. Thus, in 2006, a state of emergency was introduced in the Southern Highlands province where construction of a gas pipeline was planned - the government sought to secure the construction process with the help of the presence of the military, since there was a possibility of an attack on the local tribal builders. The engineering battalion of the ground forces is used for the construction of transport and other infrastructure facilities in remote regions of the country where private construction companies do not want to work for security reasons. Until the end of 1990's The main task of the ground forces remained the neutralization of the rebels on the islands of Bougainville and Buka, and the participation of the Papuan military in operations to appease the islands was subsequently severely criticized for numerous human rights violations committed by the PNG soldiers and officers. In particular, in 1991, Col. L. Nuya was discharged from military service for killing Bougainville civilians and dropping their bodies from helicopters into the sea to hide the traces of the crime.
The air operations force, which is the air force of Papua New Guinea, exists to support army operations from the air and is armed with several helicopters and light aircraft. The role of the Air Force is reduced to the transport support of the ground forces, the delivery of food and assistance to the wounded and sick military personnel. The Air Force has only one aviation a transport squadron of approximately 100 troops stationed at Jackson Airport in Port Moresby. The Air Force is suffering greatly from a lack of qualified pilots. Pilot training for Papuan aviation is carried out in Singapore and Indonesia.
Forces of maritime operations as part of the PNG Defense Forces perform tasks for patrol service in territorial waters and also experience numerous problems associated with insufficient funding and the lack of necessary equipment. The total number of PNG naval forces is only 200 officers and sailors serving on four patrol boats and two landing craft. Assistance to the naval forces of Papua New Guinea is provided by Australia, which provides personnel training, technical and consulting assistance, and assistance in patrolling territorial waters.
Thus, despite its small size and numerous technical and financial problems, the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces are one of the few full-fledged armed forces in Oceania and play a significant role in ensuring order and security in the region. True, they act more as auxiliary units in relation to the Australian armed forces. But, given that in Papua New Guinea itself, the growth of armed conflicts is high, including on separatist soil, and in neighboring states of Melanesia, armed tribal conflicts have repeatedly occurred, the government of Papua New Guinea rightly seeks to strengthen its armed forces and military-technical, and in personnel, and in organizational terms.
Fijians serve in Lebanon and Iraq
However, the largest armed forces among the Oceanic states, despite the smaller territory compared to Papua New Guinea, are the Republic of Fiji. This island nation in Melanesia gained independence from Great Britain in 1970, but until 1987 remained in the British Commonwealth and the English Queen was formally considered the head of state. Since 1987, after the military coup, Fiji is a republic. A significant part of the population of Fiji are Indians, more precisely - Indo-Fijians - descendants of workers from India, who in the late XIX - early XX centuries. recruited to work on the plantations of the islands of British landowners. The other main component of the population is Fijians proper, that is, Melanesians, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands. All national communities of the republic are represented in the armed forces of the country. The strength of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Fiji is 3 500 military personnel and 6 000 reservists. Despite the fact that the Fijian armed forces are extremely small, they play an important role in providing security in the oceanic region and take regular part in peacekeeping operations abroad as part of the UN contingents and other international organizations. Participation in peacekeeping operations is one of the most important areas of income not only for the Fijian army, but for the whole country.
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Fiji include ground forces and naval forces. The command of the armed forces is exercised by the president and the commander of the armed forces. The ground forces consist of six infantry battalions that are part of the Fijian infantry regiment, as well as an engineering regiment, a logistic group and a training group. Two infantry battalions of the Fijian army are traditionally stationed abroad and are serving in peacekeeping. The first battalion is stationed in Iraq, Lebanon and East Timor, and the second battalion is in Sinai. The third battalion serves in the capital, Suva, and three more battalions are deployed in various locations in the country.
The Fiji Infantry Regiment is the basis of the country's land forces and the oldest military unit of Fiji. This is a light infantry regiment, consisting of six infantry battalions. The history of the regiment began during the Second World War. Before the war, only the territorial battalion - the Fiji Defense Forces - was deployed in Fiji. As part of the Fiji Defense Forces from 1934 to 1941. there was an Indian platoon, manned by soldiers of Indian origin under the command of "white" platoon commander and separated sergeants. In May, a regular rifle company was formed by the 1940, after which the 1 battalion was formed on its basis. In October, 1940 began the formation of the 2 Infantry Battalion. Units from the island of Fiji participated in World War II under the command of New Zealand officers. In June, 1942 in Fiji established the base of operations for the 37 American Division. The Fiji Defense Forces took an active part in the operation of the base and in the campaign in the Solomon Islands. It was only in September 1945 that the demobilization of the Fiji Defense Forces was announced. One of the servicemen of the regiment, Sefanaya Sukanaivalu, was presented to a high military award — the Victoria Cross, which he earned for his valor during the fighting on Bougainville Island. However, the infantry battalion of the Fijian regiment was restored after the war and in the 1952-1953. under the command of a New Zealand officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Tinker, took part in the fighting in Malaya. After independence, the 1 Infantry Battalion was restored, but under the control of a sovereign government. In 1978, when it was decided to deploy the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, they included the 1 Battalion of the Fiji Infantry Regiment. Later, Fijian soldiers from the 1 Battalion appeared in Iraq and Sudan. In 1982, the 2 th Fijian battalion was formed and sent to the Sinai Peninsula. The third battalion of the Fijian regiment, stationed, as we noted above, in Suva, not only carries garrison service and maintains order in the capital of the country, but also is the personnel reserve for the first two battalions engaged in peacekeeping operations. As for the three territorial battalions, they have a small number and each of them includes one regular infantry company. The 4 Infantry Battalion is responsible for the defense of Nadi Airport, the 5 Infantry Battalion is deployed in the Lautoka and Tavoua areas, the 7 / 8 (6) Infantry Battalion is stationed in the Vanua-Levu region.
The Fiji Naval Forces were formed on June 25, 1975 to protect the country's maritime borders, ensure maritime border control and carry out rescue operations on the water. Fiji’s Navy currently has 300 officers and sailors in service fleet There are 9 patrol boats. Organizational and technical assistance is provided by Australia, China and the United Kingdom. In 1987-1997 Fiji also had an aircraft wing, which was armed with two outdated helicopters. However, after one helicopter crashed and the second served its useful life, the Fijian leadership decided to abolish the air forces, since their maintenance was very expensive for the country's budget, and they did not solve any real problems.
1987 to 2000 Fiji’s armed forces had their own special forces unit, the Zulu Counter-Revolutionary Military. They were created in 1987, after coming to power as a result of the military coup of Major General Sitiveni Rabuka. The direct leadership of the formation of the Fijian special forces was carried out by Major Ilison Ligairi, a former officer of the British 22 Regiment of CAC. Initially, Ligairi was in charge of ensuring the personal safety of General Sitiveni Rabuka, but then set about creating a special unit that could be used to combat terrorism and to protect the head of the Fijian state. By 1997, the number of special forces has doubled. Air and boat divisions were created, the preparation of which was carried out jointly with US combat swimmers and the British intelligence service MI-6. 2 November 2000 Fijian special forces fighters revolted in the barracks of Queen Elizabeth in the capital Suva. During clashes with troops loyal to the government, four government soldiers were killed. After the insurgency was crushed, five rebels were beaten to death, the 42 soldier was arrested and convicted for participating in the insurgency. The incident became the basis for the disbandment of the counter-revolutionary military forces and the dismissal of special forces from military service. The experts subjected this unit to serious criticism, accusing the special forces that it was created as the “personal guard” of a particular politician and his proxies, and not as a tool to protect the country and its people. However, after the unit was disbanded, at least eight of its servicemen were hired as bodyguards by Fijian Indian-born entrepreneur Bally Khan. Other special forces were hired as instructors in the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces. As for the founder of the Counterrevolutionary military forces, Major Ligairi, he, having left military service in 1999, subsequently created a private security company.
Tonga: King’s Guard and Maritime Infantry
The only monarchy of Oceania - the Kingdom of Tonga - also has its own armed forces. This unique state is still ruled by the king (leader) of the ancient Tongan dynasty. Despite the fact that Tonga was part of the British colonial empire, it possessed its own armed formations.
So, back in 1875, the Royal Guard of Tonga was created, which by the beginning of the twentieth century. outfitted according to the German model. The soldiers of the Royal Guard Tonga participated in the First World War as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. At the beginning of the Second World War, the Tonga Defense Forces were created in Tonga, whose competence, in addition to the king’s personal protection and law enforcement, included the defense of the islands from the possible landing of a Japanese landing force and participation in combat operations with Australian and New Zealand units. By 1943, as part of the Defense Forces of Tonga, 2000 soldiers and officers served, and the Tongans took part in battles with Japanese troops in the Solomon Islands. By the end of the war, the Tongan Defense Forces were demobilized, but were revived in 1946. After the political independence of the Kingdom of Tonga was proclaimed, a new stage in the history of the country's armed forces began. Currently, the strength of His Majesty’s Armed Forces (as the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Tonga is officially called) is 700 soldiers and officers. The general management of the armed forces is exercised by the Minister of Defense, the immediate command is the commander of the Tonga Defense Forces with the rank of colonel. The headquarters of the army is located in the capital, Nuku'alofa. The armed forces of Tonga include three components - the Royal Guard of Tonga, which performs the functions of the ground forces; Naval forces; Territorial forces and reserves.
The Royal Guard of Tonga - the oldest branch of the country's military, formed in the XIX century. Currently, the Royal Guard solves the tasks of guarding the king and royal family, ensuring public safety, and performing ceremonial functions. The guard is stationed in the Vilai barracks in Nuku'alofa and has 230 soldiers and officers. The guards include a rifle company, officially called the Tongan Regiment, and the Royal Music Corps of 45 men. In addition, the engineering division of 40 military personnel is closely related to the guard.
The naval forces of Tonga are also distinguished by their long history - even in the depths of centuries, the Tongans were famous as excellent seafarers. In the middle of the XIX century, the kings of Tonga began to modernize the fleet: for example, King George Tupou I purchased sailing schooners and steam vessels. After independence, Tonga adapted several civilian courts for military purposes. 10 March 1973. The first patrol boats entered the Tongan fleet. They formed the basis of the Tongan Coast Guard, later transformed into the country's Navy. Currently, the Tonga Navy is based at Touliki Base on Tongatapu Island and at Velat Base on Lifuka Island. The structure of the Navy of Tonga includes: a division of ships, marines and aviation wing. On ships of the Navy Tonga, 102 man serves - sailors, non-commissioned officers and 19 officers. The division of ships consists of patrol boats, in 2009-2011. reconstructed and improved in Australia. Each boat is armed with three machine guns. The aviation wing is formally considered an independent unit, but is used primarily as an auxiliary part of the Navy. Aviation was formed in 1986, but until 1996, it was armed with only one aircraft. Currently, only one Beechcraft Model 18S aircraft based at Fuaamotu International Airport is still in service with the air wing. As for the Royal Marines of the Navy of Tonga, then, despite its small size, it is the most famous abroad and efficient unit of the armed forces of the country. Service in the Marine Corps of the Kingdom of Tonga is carried around 100 marines and officers. Almost all marines have real combat experience in “hot spots”, since Tonga regularly sends its contingent, recruited mainly by marines, to participate in peacekeeping operations. In addition, the Marine Corps of Tonga is well prepared, and because it is undergoing basic training not only at home, but also in the United States and Great Britain. The Royal Marines Tonga took part in the peacekeeping operation in the Solomon Islands, in Iraq (before 2008), in Afghanistan. In fact, Tonga, if we take the ratio of military personnel with experience of participating in hostilities, is probably the most belligerent country in the world - after all, almost every soldier and officer of combat units served in the peacekeeping contingent.
Finally, in addition to the regular armed forces, there are Territorial forces in Tonga that have duties to defend and maintain order in the internal territories of Tonga. They are recruited through a set of contractors for a four-year service. Volunteers are trained in the training center of the armed forces, after which they are sent home, but must be in part for four years on the first order of command. For this, volunteers receive a monetary allowance, but if they do not extend the contract after the first four years, they are transferred to the reserve and lose cash payments. Avoiding their duties involves strict penalties in the form of high fines and even imprisonment. The strength of the Territorial Force and the Kingdom of Tonga Reserve is a little over 1100 people.
The “military face” of Oceania is formed by three states - Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. In the rest of the region, there are no armed forces, but this does not mean that they do not possess other militarized formations. Thus, the Vanuatu paramilitary units are represented by the Vanuatu Police Force and the Vanuatu Mobile forces. The police force has 547 people and is divided into two teams - in Port Vila and in Luganville. In addition to the two main teams, there are four police stations and eight police stations. Vanuatu’s mobile forces are a paramilitaries unit used to help the police. By the way, the country's police officers also take part in the peacekeeping operation in the Solomon Islands. There are no armed forces in Tuvalu either. Their functions are partly performed by the Tuvalu National Police, which includes units for law enforcement, prison security, immigration control and maritime surveillance. The Tuvalan police are inspected by an Australian patrol boat. In Kiribati, the police service performs similar functions and also has a patrol boat in service. Australia and New Zealand are responsible for the real defense of these countries. Therefore, even the smallest countries of Oceania, which do not possess the likeness of the armed forces, can live in peace - their security is guaranteed by the Australian and New Zealand governments. On the other hand, as small states as Tuvalu or Palau, Kiribati or Vanuatu, Nauru or Marshall Islands, it is not necessary to have armed forces. With their population size and small territory, the appearance of any serious adversary condemns these states to immediate surrender. This is well understood by the political elites of most countries in the region, and therefore prefer not to spend money on the illusion of the armed forces, but agree with stronger patrons, who are usually played by former colonial metropolises. The only exceptions are countries with old state traditions, like Fiji and Tonga, profiting from the participation of peacekeepers in UN operations, as well as Papua New Guinea, the unstable situation in which simply does not allow the country's leadership to dispense with its own armed forces.