...when I was there I heard "if it wasn't for us you would all be talking Japanese now" comments a lot.
And the only reasons things where like that during WWII is because the Brits had out guys fighting everywhere else, and the Australian homeland was left defenseless.
I recently watched a documentary on the bombing of Darwin, and the Aussie boys that were there (which wasn't all that many) really had nothing to fight with, but they did their best. So when I think about WWII are the bombing of Darwin now, and how the yanks saved our asses, I also like to think that the boys we still had here had a huge hand in that as well.
Sadly though, you are right, we must follow orders.