In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock," and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup.
Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre. Girt proudly reclaims these stories for all of us.
Not to read it would be un-Australian
"A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history." - John Birmingham
"Hilarious and insightful -- Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history." - Chris Taylor, The Chaser
When Imperial Japan unleashed the Pacific War in December 1941, Australian forces went into action, as part of a larger British Empire force, to defend Malaya and Singapore.
Australia’s principal contribution to defending Malaya and Singapore was the 8th Division. Originally raised for service in the Mediterranean, the division was committed piecemeal to Malaya and its performance was bedevilled by poor command decisions in the face of an enemy better prepared on all counts for the campaign at hand. The 8th Division, however, also reflected some strengths of the AIF at large: stubbornness in positional defence, effective and flexible small unit tactics and leadership, and skill and determination in close quarter combat.
Singapore was lost more in spite than because of Australian efforts, but its loss underlined Australia’s strategic dependence on ‘great and powerful friends’ during the Second World War. This book is part of the Australian Army History Unit's Campaigns Series; comprehensive, well-researched and easy-to-read books on Australia's military campaigns.
The Battle of Fromelles - until recently largely forgotten in the accounts of Australia’s experiences in World War One- remains the single bloodiest day in terms of numbers of soldiers killed, wounded or missing, in Australia’s military history. The battle now is also one of the most controversial military episodes in Australian history.
The battle for Fromelles was undoubtedly a tragedy – in the midst of a war which produced many such tragedies. Should anyone be blamed? Does finger pointing from the safety of 95 years distance add much to our understanding of the battle, the Western Front or the war itself? This book attempts to look at the battle, free from emotion, and place the course of events and the unfurling of the tragedy into its tactical, operational and strategic setting. This book is part of the Australian Army History Unit's Campaigns Series; well-researched, comprehensive and easy-to-read books on Australia's military campaigns.
What readers are saying, " I have received Roger Lee's book and I'm thrilled to have it! Thank you so much! It is so very carefully documented, extremely clear, and most helpful on what are in fact fuzzy areas such as : "Casualty Figures" or "The Trench". As for the information on the size and composition of : regiments, platoons, brigades, battalions, etc, the mind boggles! I had no idea it was so varied and complicated! In other words, the book opens up vast avenues of reflection and information, and I am learning heaps of things on every page. It's wonderfully pedagogical, and the lay-out is brilliant. It makes my experience in La Somme a hundred times richer. Hearty congratulations to Roger Lee!"
The August Offensive or ‘Anzac Breakout’ at Gallipoli saw some of the bloodiest fighting since the landing as Commonwealth and Turkish troops fought desperate battles at Lone Pine, German Officers’ Trench, Turkish Quinn’s, The Chessboard, The Nek, Chunuk Bair, The Farm, Hill Q and Hill 971.
The offensive was designed to allow the allied forces to ‘break out’ of the Anzac beachhead below the Sari Bair Range; its end result was an enlarged prison for which they paid a high price in men and materials. The appalling nature of the terrain, the complex plan and the overly ambitious objectives set for the already fatigued troops made the ‘fog of war’ a crucial factor. Indeed, the August Offensive clearly demonstrates what happens when an overriding strategic objective does not take into account the tactical difficulties on the ground.
This book is part of the Australian Army History Unit's Campaigns Series: well-researched, comprehensive and easy-to-read books on Australia's military campaigns.
The Landing at Anzac, 1915 reaches a carefully argued conclusion in which Roberts draws together the threads of his analysis delivering some startling findings. But the author’s interest extends beyond the simple debunking of hallowed myths, and he produces a number of lessons for the armies of today. This is a book that pulls the Gallipoli campaign
Greece presented singular geographic difficulties for the defending forces, its mountainous defiles dictating the distribution of ports, road and rail routes. The primitive state of the national infrastructure did little to help a long-term defensive posture. Operations in Greece proved to be a nightmare, particularly for logistics units, which struggled with primitive communication systems in rugged terrain over which the enemy enjoyed total air superiority.
Poor liaison between the Greek and Commonwealth forces did not help matters, nor was the force deployed adequate for its task. The allies never enjoyed air superiority, nor could they consolidate any in-depth defence in time to be effective. The official British history of the campaign stated that the ‘British campaign on the mainland of Greece was from start to finish a withdrawal’.
Greece: February to April 1941 explores these complexities, and mistakes.
The Ottoman Defence against the Anzac Landing: 25 April 1915 seeks to redress this imbalance, portraying the Ottoman experience based on previously unpublished Ottoman and Turkish sources. This meticulously researched volume describes the Ottoman Army in fascinating detail from its order of battle, unit structure and composition, training and doctrine to the weapons used against the ANZACs. Using Ottoman military documents, regimental war diaries, personal accounts and memoirs, author Mesut Uyar describes the unfolding campaign, unravelling its complexity and resolving many of the questions that have dogged accounts for a century. This valuable chronicle will enhance readers’ understanding of the Ottoman war machine, its strengths and weaknesses and why it proved so successful in containing the Allied invasion. Detailed maps and photographs published for the first time add clarity and portray many of the men the ANZACs referred to with grudging respect as ‘Johnny Turk’.
Sam van Schaik brings the history of Tibet to life by telling the stories of the people involved, from the glory days of the Tibetan empire in the seventh century through to the present day. He explores the emergence of Tibetan Buddhism and the rise of the Dalai Lamas, Tibet's entanglement in the "Great Game" in the early twentieth century, its submission to Chinese Communist rule in the 1950s, and the troubled times of recent decades.
Tibet sheds light on the country's complex relationship with China and explains often-misunderstood aspects of its culture, such as reborn lamas, monasteries and hermits, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and the role of the Dalai Lama. Van Schaik works through the layers of history and myth to create a compelling narrative, one that offers readers a greater understanding of this important and controversial corner of the world.
For the reader's convenience, the work is organized into chapters covering all aspects life: domestic, economic, intellectual, material, political, recreational, and religious. It includes a historical timeline of Viking history, complementary pictures, illustrations, and maps, and a bibliography.
In January 1889, Louisa Collins, a 41-year-old mother of ten children, became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa's husbands had died suddenly and the Crown, convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic, put her on trial an extraordinary four times in order to get a conviction, to the horror of many in the legal community. Louisa protested her innocence until the end.
Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand. Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law -- except when it came to the gallows. They could not vote or stand for parliament -- or sit on juries. Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa's life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men -- male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier -- could not with any integrity hang a woman. The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House.
Caroline Overington is the author of eleven books of fiction and non-fiction, including the top-selling THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY psychological crime novel. She has said: 'My hope is that LAST WOMAN HANGED will be read not only as a true crime story but as a letter of profound thanks to that generation of women who fought so hard for the rights we still enjoy today.'
Praise for LAST WOMAN HANGED
'The story she tells ... is a useful challenge to any tendency to simple moral indignation' -- Beverley Kingston, Sydney Morning Herald
'This is a fascinating book, a terrific read, and an excellent reminder of who tells the stories, and whose stories are forgotten' -- Frances Rand, South Coast Register
'... what's ... interesting is Caroline Overington's even-handed appraisal of Collins's alleged crime(s) that led her to become the last woman hanged in New South Wales in 1889' -- Launceston Sunday Examiner
The best places to visit in Australia are showcased with fantastic photography and detailed descriptions, plus DK's unique illustrations and floor plans. Packed with valuable insider information such as Sydney's best beaches and Melbourne's buzzing shopping districts, along with a wealth of practical tips including hotel and restaurant listings, transportation maps, suggested itineraries, and tours of unmissable sights, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Australia is the only guide you'll need.
With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Australia truly shows you this city as no one else can.
Toughened by early life in the turbulent Australian goldfields, Guy built a career by playing outside the rules. He dodged his way up the ranks of the Royal Navy, married for money, snatched up a country estate, won a seat in Parliament and faked his disappearance to run off with the wife of the King’s doctor. He was active again in World War II—new life, new wife—but the Whitehall mandarins took a cruel revenge.