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The AIF and the Hundred Days Battlefields such as Gallipoli, Fromelles, Pozières, Bullecourt and Passchendaele are burnt into the Australian Great War psyche. Unfortunately the sheer guts, fortitude and sacrifice of the diggers in those battles had often been wasted by poor leadership and planning. From an Australian perspective, such sacrifice engendered bitterness and frustration, which resulted in an emergent sense of Australian nationalism. The AIF now sought a unification of its five divisions to fight under its own command and administration.

By mid-1918, after the calamitous German March offensive in which 1200 square miles of hard-won territory had been lost, the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) had begun to learn its lessons. In just 100 action-packed days Germany was brought to its knees. And Lieutenant-General Sir John Monash and his Australian Corps played a critical role in that stunning victory.

In this authoritative account of the 100 days, Peter Brune traces the painstaking BEF acquisition of its tactical doctrine with regard to its artillery, tanks and its air force. And the consequence of this knowledge was a sophisticated inter-locking all arms approach to war: incorporating coordinated firepower rather than the futile expenditure of manpower. However, it is Brune's use of participants' diaries that brings an immediacy to his story. The reader will be taken to the bloody interface of battle, hear the voices of some of the Australians involved, and gain a sense of the cost of ultimate victory.

In Whispering Death, Mark Johnston, one of Australia's leading experts on World War II, explains vividly how more than 130,000 Australian airmen fought Japan from the Pacific War's first hours in 1941 to its last in 1945. They clashed over a vast area, from India to Noumea, Bass Strait to the Philippines. Merely flying over that region's boundless oceans and wild weather was dangerous enough for Australia's fliers, but their formidable enemies made it much more perilous. In their Zero fighters and Betty bombers they were initially too numerous, experienced and well-armed for the few Australians who opposed them in Malaya, the Northern Territory and New Guinea.

February 1942 brought the RAAF its darkest hour: the bombing of Darwin, which no Australian fighter planes contested. But in the months following, Australian aircrew won or contributed to great aerial victories in the air over Port Moresby, Milne Bay, the Papuan beachheads and the Bismarck Sea. The American air force grew to dominate both the Japanese and their Australian ally, but until war's end Australian aircrew continued to battle in Pacific skies, and to die in flaming aircraft or at the hands of vindictive captors. Some pilots, such as aces Clive 'Killer' Caldwell and Keith 'Bluey' Truscott became household names. Certain Australian aircraft caught the public imagination too: the Kittyhawk, the Spitfire and the plane dubbed 'Whispering Death' for its eviscerating firepower and deceptively quiet engines - the Beaufighter.

Australia's flight to victory was never smooth, thanks to internal squabbling at the RAAF's highest levels and a difficult relationship with the allies on whom Australia depended for aircraft and leadership. So controversial were the RAAF's final operations that some of its most prominent pilots mutinied. Based on thousands of official and private documents, Whispering Death makes for compelling reading.
The Australian Imperial Force, first raised in 1914 for overseas war service, became better known by its initials - the "AIF". There was a distinct character to those who enlisted in the earliest months and who were destined to fight on Gallipoli. During the war the AIF took its place among the great armies of the world, on some of history's oldest battlefields. The Australians would attack at the Dardanelles, enter Jerusalem and Damascus, defend Amiens and Ypres, and swagger through the streets of Cairo, Paris, and London, with their distinctive slouch hats and comparative wealth of six shillings per day.

However, the legend of the AIF is shrouded in myth and mystery. Was Beersheba the last great cavalry charge in history? Did the AIF storm the red light district of Cairo and burn it to ground while fighting running battles with the military police? Was the AIF the only all-volunteer army of World War I? Graham Wilson's Bully Beef and Balderdash shines an unforgiving light on these and other well-known myths of the AIF in World War I, arguing that these spectacular legends simply serve to diminish the hard-won reputation of the AIF as a fighting force. Graham Wilson mounts his own campaign to rehabilitate the historical reputation of the force and to demonstrate that misleading and inaccurate embellishment does nothing but hide the true story of Australia's World War I fighting army. Bully Beef and Balderdash deliberately tilts at some well loved windmills and, for those who cherish the mythical story of the AIF, this will not be comfortable reading. Yet, given the extraordinary truth of the AIF's history, it is certainly compelling reading.
Common men no longer start wars: they take part in them when someone else has started them. War nowadays is a major accident and calamity, it is a storm that is seen a long way off’ Report on Experience is an incisive and compelling memoir, written by a quietly heroic author. This brilliantly-written work provides an insight not just into the mind of the author, but the prevailing attitudes of wartime Britain and Europe. In simple but effective prose, Mulgan traces the Allies’ path to World War II and the widespread reluctance of the population to accept the reality of hostilities. Mulgan was a determined man who who was appalled by the inaction of his peers and superiors, then by the limp and unrealistic reactions to aggression. He rallies against the folly of re-employing the same personnel, in the same offices with the same filing cabinets as those which had been used for World War I. He comments, ‘The Germans, unfortunately, had a new set of files, not to say a new filing system’. He describes the camaraderie among troops, but the incompetence of many of those in positions of authority and the rigidity of the command structure. The memoir moves on to cover his time as part of a battalion in Egypt and his first experiences of witnessing death. He then covers his time in Greece hiding with partisans. Throughout, however, this is not just a factual account but a story told poetically with spirit and insight. This new edition of the work has an introduction by the acclaimed SOE historian M R D Foot, together with a foreword by John Mulgan’s son Richard.
 Every AIF soldier of the Great War regarded his battalion as his home. This was where he felt he belonged. At the head of that unit was the Commanding Officer or CO — the lieutenant colonel who commanded the men, trained them, led them into action and rebuilt the unit following its time in the front line. There are myriad accounts and histories of divisions.

Brigades and battalions, of battles and actions great and small, some of which name the CO of a battalion, while others do not. The Official Histories, the various unit war diaries and many of the unit histories are likewise inconsistent, often neglecting to identify the unit’s CO other than as ‘the CO’ or ‘the old man’.

The author, the son of an AIF veteran of the 41st Battalion who served from Passchendaele to the Hindenburg Line, asked his father the name of the man who had commanded his battalion. He replied curtly, ‘Goodness knows, we were much too busy to worry about that!’

The author discovered that the 41st had not one CO, but three. And so it was reflected with most AIF combat units. Age, exhaustion, wounds, death and promotion all contributed to the rotation of battalion and formation COs. By the end of the war, CO appointees for the 60 infantry battalions, 15 light horse regiments, 25 artillery brigades,,5 machine-gun, 5 pioneer, 2 cyclist, 4 camel corps battalions and 5 ammunition columns reached almost 500; the number of individual appointments numbering close to 2000.

Combat Colonels of the AIF in the Great War seeks to address the regrettable gap in Australia’s documented history of its combat colonels. Its purpose is to name all the Commanding Officers who led units into action in the Great War and to describe their lives before and, for those who survived, after the war. From these pages emerge the men who shaped Australia’s battlefield history - both the professional soldiers and the former teachers, accountants, salesmen, clerks, farmers and others from a broad range of occupations whose leadership on and off the battlefield proved so crucial. These are men Australia cannot afford to forget.

On 28th October 1940, the Greek premier, Ioannis Metaxis, refused to accept a deliberately provocative ultimatum from Mussolini and Italian forces began the invasion of Greece via Albania. This aggression was prompted by Mussolini's desire for a quick victory to rival Hitler's rapid conquest of France and the Low Countries. On paper, Greek forces were poorly equipped and ill-prepared for the conflict but Mussolini had underestimated the skill and determination of the defenders. Within weeks the Italian invasion force was driven back over the border and Greek forces actually advanced deep into Albania.??A renewed Italian offensive in March 1941 was also given short shrift, prompting Hitler to intervene to save his ally. German forces invaded Greece via Bulgaria on 6 April. The Greeks, now assisted by British forces, resisted by land, sea and air but were overwhelmed by the superior German forces and their blitzkrieg tactics. Despite a dogged rearguard action by Anzac forces at the famous pass of Thermopyale, Athens fell on the 27th April and the British evacuated 50,000 troops to Crete. This island, whose airfields and naval bases Churchill considered vital to the defence of Egypt and the Suez Canal, was invaded by German airborne troops the following month and eventually captured after a bitter thirteen-day battle. The remaining British troops were evacuated and the fall of Greece completed. ??John Carr's masterful account of these desperate campaigns, while not disparaging the British and Commonwealth assistance, draws heavily on Greek sources to emphasize the oft-neglected experience of the Greeks themselves and their contribution to the fight against fascism.
It's early 1918, and after four brutal years, the fate of the Great War hangs in the balance.

On the one hand, the fact that Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks have seized power in Russia - immediately suing for peace with Germany - means that no fewer than one million of the Kaiser's soldiers can now be transferred from there to the Western Front.

On the other, now that America has entered the war, it means that two million American soldiers are also on their way, to tip the scales of war to the Allies.

The Germans, realising that their only hope is striking at the Allied lines first, do exactly that, and on the morning of 21 March 1918, the Kaiserschlacht, the Kaiser's battle, is launched - the biggest set-piece battle the world has ever seen.

Across a 45-mile front, no fewer than two million German soldiers hurl themselves at the Allied lines, with the specific intention of splitting the British and French forces, and driving all the way through to the town of Villers-Bretonneux, at which point their artillery will be able to rain down shells on the key train-hub town of Amiens, thus throttling the Allied supply lines.

For nigh on two weeks, the plan works brilliantly, and the Germans are able to advance without check, as the exhausted British troops flee before them, together with tens of thousands of French refugees.

In desperation, the British commander, General Douglas Haig, calls upon the Australian soldiers to stop the German advance, and save Villers-Bretonneux. If the Australians can hold this, the very gate to Amiens, then the Germans will not win the war.

'It's up to us, then,' one of the Diggers writes in his diary.

Arriving at Villers-Bretonneux just in time, the Australians are indeed able to hold off the Germans, launching a vicious counterattack that hurls the Germans back the first time.

And then, on Anzac Day 1918, when the town falls after all to the British defenders, it is again the Australians who are called on to save the day, the town, and the entire battle . . .

Not for nothing does the primary school at Villers-Bretonneux have above every blackboard, to this day, 'N'oublions jamais, l'Australie.' Never forget Australia.

And they never have.
A reinterpretation of the British Army's conduct in the crucial 1944-45 Northwest Europe campaign, this work examines systematically the Colossal Cracks operational technique employed by Montgomery's Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group and demonstrates the key significance that morale and casualty concerns exerted on this technique. To ensure a full understanding of the campaign, one needs to look not only at Montgomery's methods but at those of his army commanders, Dempsey and Crerar; thus, this study addresses the scant attention to date paid to these two figures. Hart suggests that Montgomery and his two senior subordinates handled this formation more effectively than some scholars have suggested. In fact, Colossal Cracks, the concentration of massive force at a point of German weakness, represented the most appropriate weapon the 1944 British Army could develop under the circumstances.

Previous studies have been characterized by an overemphasis on Montgomery's role in the campaign, rather than a systematic examination of overall British methods. They have ignored the difficulties that the 1944 British Army faced given its manpower shortage, and they have underestimated the appropriateness of Monty's methods to the campaign war aims that Britain pursued: namely, the desire that Britain's modest military forces secure a high profile within a larger Allied effort. The cautious, firepower-laden approach used by the 21st Army Group was both crude and a double-edged sword; however, despite these weaknesses, Colossal Cracks represented an appropriate technique given the nature of British war aims and the relative capabilities of the forces involved. It proved to be just enough to defeat the Germans and keep alive British hopes that her war aims might be achieved.

In the wave of devastating German offensives launched in the spring of 1918, it is Operation Michael that has captured most attention, characterised by astonishing advances and their potentially shattering impact on the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF) Third and Fifth armies. While this offensive eventually petered out, albeit tantalisingly close to the BEF’s crucial logistic hub of Amiens, German General Ludendorff redirected the German effort north to Flanders to launch Operation Georgette. In Flanders, the BEF front line lay alarmingly close to the vital channel ports, and the main German thrust posed a direct threat to the town of Hazebrouck, the BEF’s second key logistic hub. After four years of grinding and horrific war, all that stood between the Germans and victory was the 1st Australian Division, hastily recalled to defend the town.

This volume describes the battle to save Hazebrouck — part of what was to become the Battle of the Lys — and focuses on the role of the 1st Australian Division in halting the surging German thrust towards the town. While often neglected by history, this action was critical to the survival of the BEF and the Allied war effort in 1918 and deserves far greater recognition. The Battle of the Lys also brings the performance of the BEF divisions during Operation Georgette into sharper focus while providing a unique opportunity to reassess BEF and German performances at what was a decisive point in the First World War.

This volume describes the battle to save Hazebrouck — part of what was to become the Battle of the Lys — and focuses on the role of the 1st Australian Division in halting the surging German thrust towards the town. While often neglected by history, this action was critical to the survival of the BEF and the Allied war effort in 1918 and deserves far greater recognition.

With conscription introduced, Zeppelins carrying out bombing raids on key towns and cities across England, the Battle of Jutland seeing fourteen British ships sunk and the Battle of the Somme claiming 20,000 British dead on the first day alone, the resolve of the British and allied troops in 1916 was being sorely tested. The Great War Illustrated 1916 is the third picture volume in this series that deals exclusively with actions fought throughout the year on the Western Front. Split into five chapters, the authors begin with the British defeat at Kut, showing photographs from British and Turkish perspectives throughout the four-month campaign. The second chapter explores the new technological advances made by both sides throughout the year including new tanks, aircraft and guns. Photographs show the new equipment in action on the battlefield as well as being manufactured on production lines in the factories back home. We then turn to the Battle of Verdun, one of the largest battles of the First World War, before exploring the Battle of Jutland. Being the only full-scale naval clash of the entire First World War, the two-day battle saw twenty-five ships sunk and over 8,000 men killed on both sides and the authors analyse the battle in full detail, illustrating the ships that were involved and the men who sailed upon them. The concluding chapter explores the infamous Battle of the Somme, from the horrendous losses suffered on 1 July to the arduous battle of attrition that followed thereafter. Split into sub-sections, detailed analysis of the Australians, Canadians and British troops are featured along with a final section showing winter conditions in the area at the end of the year. With over 1,300 painstakingly enhanced and restored photographs and a thirty-two page full colour section, the work within these pages represents a real labour of love and offers the reader an exceptional picture library of rare and unseen pictures that is easily accessible for the general reader and military enthusiast alike.
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