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Allied Countries (With Reference To Merchant Navies)

Algeria
  • 3 September 1939 to 21 June 1940
  • 9 November 1942 to 8 May 1945
  • From 22 June 1940 to 8 November 1942, Algeria assisted the Vichy French.  Therefore, mariners who served on Algerian ships during that period would be regarded as having been employed by a foreign country that was at that time, at war with Australia and be ineligible for the service pension (see definition of an allied mariner), notwithstanding that they may have also been employed during a period when Algeria was considered an allied country.

Argentina
  • 27 March 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Argentina declared war on Germany and Japan on 27 March 1945 and service on Argentine ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.
  • Argentina was neutral prior to 27 March 1945, therefore, only mariners who served on Argentine ships which were aiding the allies are eligible prior to that date.

Belgium
  • 10 May 1940 to 8 May 1945
  • Belgium was invaded by Germany on 10 May 1940 and capitulated on 27 May 1940.  After capitulation, Belgium put the whole of its merchant navy fleet at Britain's disposal for the duration of the War.  Service on such ships is eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.

Brazil
  • 22 August 1942 to 8 May 1945
  • Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942 and service in Brazilian ships from that date is eligible service.  Prior to 22 August 1942, Brazil was neutral, therefore, only mariners who served on Brazilian ships which were aiding the allies are eligible prior to that date.

Bulgaria
  • 8 September 1944 to 8 May 1945
  • Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with the Balkan Entente at the beginning of the War and, in 1941, the Government subscribed to the anti-comitern pact.  Bulgaria joined the Axis on 1 March 1941.  Bulgaria declared war on Germany on 8 September 1944 and service on Bulgarian ships only on or after that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.

Chile
  • 13 April 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Chile declared war on Japan on 13 April 1945 and service on Chilian ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.  Prior to 13 April 1945, Chile was neutral, therefore, mariners who served only on Chilian ships which were aiding the allies are eligible prior to that date.

China
  • 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945
  • China declared war on Japan on 8 December 1941 and service on Chinese ships from that date is eligible service.  Although China had been at war with Japan since 1937, it was officially neutral until 8 December 1941 and mariners who served only on Chinese ships which were aiding the allies are eligible prior to that date.  For example, some Chinese ships were time-chartered to Britain from September 1939 onwards.

Czechoslovakia
  • 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945
  • Czechoslovakia was invaded by Germany on 16 March 1939.  German forces in Czechoslovakia capitulated on 15 May 1945.  A Czech Government in exile was based in London during the War.  Service on Czech ships which aided the allies at any time during the European War is eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.

Denmark
  • 9 April 1940 to 20 April 1940
  • At the outbreak of War, the Danish Government proclaimed Danish neutrality.  On 9 April 1940 Denmark was invaded by Germany and capitulated on 20 April 1940.  Although Denmark was occupied, it was not officially at war with Germany and many Danish ships were seized by Germany.  Britain also took many Danish ships in prize throughout the War.  Service on ships operated by Britain is regarded as eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.

Egypt
  • 24 February 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Egypt declared war on Germany and Japan on 24 February 1945 and service on Egyptian ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.  Prior to 24 February 1945, Egypt was neutral, therefore, only service on Egyptian ships which aided the allies is eligible service prior to that date.  For example, some Egyptian ships were on time-charter to Britain throughout the war.

Estonia
  • May 1940 to 8 May 1945 (approximately).  The German Army surrendered on 4 May 1945, effective 5 May 1945, but the formal surrender document was effective 8 May 1945.
  • Estonia signed a pact with Russia on 29 September 1939 and then came under the Soviet sphere of interest.  Some Estonian ships were requisitioned by Britain from about May 1940 to May 1945.  Presumably, Estonian ships were also requisitioned by Russia after Russia's entry into the War on 21 June 1941.  Only ships which aided the allies is eligible service in accordance with the definition of allied mariner.

Finland
  • 16 September 1944 to 8 May 1945
  • Finland declared war on Russia on 25 June 1941 and Britain declared war on Finland on 5 December 1941.  The USSR - Finnish Armistice was signed on 19 September 1944 and a state of war existed between Finland and Germany from 16  September 1944.  Service on Finnish ships from 16 September 1944 is, therefore, eligible service.  Some Finnish ships were taken in prize by Britain through the war and service on such ships (after they were taken in prize) is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

France
  • France declared war on Germany on 1 September 1939 and was invaded by Germany on 18 May 1940.  France capitulated on 25 June 1940.  On 22 June 1940, the French-Germany Armistice was signed and the French-Italian Armistice was signed on 24 June 1940.  French ships are, therefore, considered as allies from 3 September 1939 to 21 June 1940 inclusive.  From 22 June 1940 to 10 November 1942, only Free French ships are considered as allies.  Some French ships were on time-charter to the British from about December 1942 onwards and some French ships were requisitioned by Britain throughout the war.  Britain also took some Vichy French ships in prize.  Service on such ships (after they were taken in prize or requisitioned by an allied country), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Greece
  • 28 October 1940 to 31 May 1941
  • Greece was occupied by enemy forces on 28 October 1940 and capitulated on 31 May 1941.  Many Greek ships were on time-charter to Britain throughout the war and therefore provided assistance to Australia's allies in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Hungary
  • 20 January 1945 to 8 May 1945
  • At the beginning of the War, Hungary refused to assist the Germans and proclaimed itself non-belligerent.  However, from September 1940, Hungary adhered to the German-Italian-Japanese Tripartite Pact and is considered an enemy until it signed an armistice with the allies on 20 January 1945.  Some Hungarian ships were on time-charter to Britain at the beginning of the War, but all were lost by December 1941.  Service on such ships (after they were time-chartered to Britain), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Italy
  • 13 October 1943 to 2 May 1945
  • The Italian armistice with the Allies was announced on 8 September 1943.  The Government, however, did not declare war on Germany until 13 October 1943.  From May 1940, Italian ships were taken in prize by Britain and from December 1943, some Italian ships were on time-charter to Britain.  Service on such ships (after they were taken in prize or time-chartered by Britain), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Latvia
  • May 1940 to 8 May 1945 (approximately).  The German Army surrendered on 4 May 1945, effective 5 May 1945, but the formal surrender document was effective 8 May 1945.
  • During 1939-40 Latvia was incorporated into Russia.  Some Latvian ships were requisitioned by Britain from about May 1940 till the end of the War.  Presumably, some Latvian ships were requisitioned by Russia after Russia's entry into the War on 22 June 1941.  Service on such ships (after they were requisitioned by an allied or Commonwealth country), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Liberia
  • 25 January 1944 to 2 September 1945
  • Liberia declared war on Germany and Japan on 25 January 1944 and service on Liberian ships from that date is eligible service.  Prior to 25 January 1944, Liberia was neutral, therefore, only mariners who served on Liberian ships which were aiding the allies are eligible prior to that date.  The United States registered some of their ships in Liberia and some Liberian ships were on time-charter to the U.S..  Service on Liberian ships time-chartered to the U.S. is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner only after America's entry into World War II.

Netherlands
  • Holland was invaded by Germany on 10 May 1940 and capitulated on 14 May 1940.  Many Dutch ships were on time-charter to Britain throughout the War.  Service on such ships (after they were time chartered by a Commonwealth country), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Norway
  • Norway was invaded by Germany on 9 April 1940 and capitulated on 1 May 1940.  Most of the Norwegian merchant navy was on time-charter to Britain throughout the War.  Service on such ships (after they were time chartered by a Commonwealth country), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Panama
  • Panama did not declare war.  However, many Panamanian ships were on time-charter or were requisitioned by Britain, the United States and other allies throughout the War.  Service on such ships (after they were time chartered by a Commonwealth or allied country), is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Poland
  • Poland was invaded by Germany on 1 September 1939 but is considered an allied country only from 3 September 1939 when Australia entered the war.  Poland capitulated on 27 October but the last Polish troops did not cease fighting until 6 October 1939.  Service on Polish ships which were aiding the allied cause between 3 September and 6 October 1939 is eligible service.  Many Polish ships were time-chartered by Britain throughout the War and service on these ships is also eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Rumania
  • 25 August 1944 to 8 May 1945
  • Rumania declared war on Germany on 25 August 1944 and service on Rumanian ships is eligible service, in accordance with the definition of allied mariner, from that date.  Prior to 25 August 1944, Rumania was considered service with an enemy force.

Russia
  • 22 June 1941 to 8 May 1945
  • 8 August 1945 to 14 August 1945
  • Russia officially entered the War on the allied side on 22 June 1941 following its invasion by Germany.  Russia declared war on Japan on 8 August 1945.  Service on Russian merchant ships in the above-mentioned periods is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Sweden
  • Although Sweden remained officially neutral throughout the war, it did put some of its ships at Britain's disposal from about May 1940 onwards. Service on such ships is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Syria
  • 26 February 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Syria declared war on Germany and Japan on 26 February 1945 and service on Syrian ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Turkey
  • 22 February 1945 to 8 May 1945
  • Turkey declared war on Germany on 22 February 1945 and service on Turkish ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.  Prior to 22 February 1945, Turkey was neutral, therefore, only mariners who served on Turkish ships which aided the allies are eligible prior to that date.

Uruguay
  • 23 February 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Uruguay declared war on Germany and Japan on 23 February 1945 and service on Uruguay's ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

United States
  • 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945
  • The US was neutral until 8 December 1941, when it declared war on Japan.  Service on American ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.

Venezuela
  • 17 February 1945 to 2 September 1945
  • Venezuela declared war on Germany and Japan on 17 February 1945 and service on Venezuelan ships from that date is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.  Prior to 17 February 1945, Venezuela was neutral.

Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslavia was neutral until 25 March 1941 when it signed a pact with Germany.  This led to revolution on 27 March 1941 in which King Peter assumed the throne and formed a new Government opposed to alignment with the Axis Forces.  Germany invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941 and Yugoslavia capitulated on 17 April 1941.  From September 1939 till the end of the War, Yugoslav ships were supplied to Britain.  Ships of the Yugoslav merchant navy that provided assistance to Commonwealth or allied countries is eligible service in accordance with the definition of an allied mariner.
  • Other countries that declared war on the enemy and which do not appear to have had merchant navies during the 1939-45 War are:

Country

Declaration Against

Date

Bolivia

Axis

7 April 1943

Equador

Germany, Japan

2 February 1945

Iraq

Axis

16 January 1943

Mongolia

Japan

13 August 1945

Paraguay

Axis

8 February 1945

Persia (Iran)

Germany Japan

9 September 1943 1 March 1945

Peru

Germany, Japan

13 February 1945

Saudi Arabia

Germany, Japan

1 March 1945

See:

  • Definition of an Allied Mariner, Legislation Library, Subseciton 5C(1) of the VEA.