The Battle of Brisbane
February 8, 2010 3:56 PM Subscribe
posted by Effigy2000 (51 comments total)
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The United States and Australia have long shared a peaceful alliance, but it was not always so. In 1942, U.S servicemen and Australian soldiers fought openly and violently in what is known today as The Battle of Brisbane
During World War 2, almost 300,000 US servicemen were stationed in the city of Brisbane, Australia. Although the relationship between American and Australian soldiers was a mostly cooperative and friendly one, many Australian soldiers were disgruntled with not only the better pay and rations American soldiers recieved, but also the greater success that American soldiers were enjoying with Brisbane women as a result
. Many Brisbane residents often complained at the behaviour of American service personell, with a popular phrase amongst most Brisbanites saying that the Americans were "overpaid, oversexed and over here
." As a result, tensions began to rise between the two groups.
Because the events of the Battle of Brisbane were largely supressed at the time, there have been differing versions told of how the fighting began
. However the most widely accepted story
says that on November 26 an intoxicated Private James R. Stein of the U.S. 404th Signal Company left the hotel where he had been drinking when it closed at 6:50pm and began walking to the Post Exchange PX on the corner of Brisbane's Creek and Adelaide Streets
. Stopping to talk to three Australian (it is unclear if they were soldiers or civilians), an American MP challenged Stein for his leave pass. In his drunken state it took Stein a little while longer than it should have to find it and the MP began to arrest him. The Australians verbally defended Stein and when the MP went to strike the Australians, the Battle of Brisbane began in earnest
, running over the course of two nights with the end result seeing one Australian soldier killed, several U.S soldiers injured and several hundered people injured.