2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion (1940-1946)

26th Brigade - 9th Division

The 2/48th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army which served during the Second World War.

Raised in Adelaide in South Australia in August 1940, the battalion formed part of the 26th Brigade and was initially assigned to the 7th Division, although it was later transferred to the 9th Division in 1941 when it was deployed to the Middle East. While there, it saw action during the siege of Tobruk and the First and Second Battles of El Alamein before being returned to Australia to take part in the fighting in New Guinea following Japan's entry into the war.

During the campaign in New Guinea, the battalion took part in the advance on Lae during the Salamaua–Lae campaign and the fighting around Finschhafen and Sattelberg, during the Huon Peninsula campaign. Following this it was withdrawn to Australia, where it remained for over a year. In mid-1945, the 2/48th Battalion took part in the landing on Tarakan, which was its final involvement in the war. It was disbanded in October 1945 and is considered to be Australia's most highly decorated unit of the war, with four members receiving the Victoria Cross, the nation's highest decoration for gallantry, while over 90 other decorations were also made to its members.

Battle Honors:

​Siege of Tobruk, Libya (10 April - 7 December 1941)

First Battle of El Alamein, Egypt (1-27 July 1942)

Second Battle of El Alamein, Egypt (23 October – 11 November 1942)

Huon Peninsula campaign, New Guinea (1943 - 1944)

Battle of Tarakan, Borneo (1 May – 21 June 1945)

PO Box 3389



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This website and the information it contains would not be possible without the work of our many researchers behind the scenes, descendants and friends of the Rats. Special mention to Owen Carlton and Roger Murphy who have tirelessly worked for years verifying and documenting the Rats roll, our descendant Ray Windlow for his on-going work creating the tributes and store products for the Association, and others too many to mention who work towards keeping this story alive for the benefit of future generations. Much of the information reproduced has been sourced from the Australian War Memorial records, Battalion records, private memoirs, NAA and DVA service records and online documentation on events, places and people. All attempts possible have been made to verify its correctness and that due credit is acknowledged where known to the source. 

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