Australia 1942: In the Shadow of War

Cambridge University Press
Free sample

In 1942, the shadow of modern war reached Australia's shores for the first time. In this compelling volume, leading historians explore why 1942 was such a pivotal year in Australia's history and explain how the nation confronted some of its greatest challenges. This broad ranging study covers key issues from political, economic and home front reform to the establishment of a new partnership with the United States; the role of the Air Force and the Navy; the bombing of Darwin; as well as the battles of Kokoda, Milne Bay, the Beachheads and Guadalcanal. Australia 1942 provides a unique and in-depth exploration of the controversy surrounding the potential for invasion. Japanese and Australian historians offer perspectives on Japanese military intentions and strategies towards Australia and the South Pacific. Generously illustrated, it is essential reading for anyone interested in one of Australia's most decisive and critical years.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Dec 13, 2012
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Pages
275
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ISBN
9781107311398
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Military / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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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.
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
The Mesilla Valley in southern New Mexico is an oasis in the Chihuahuan desert. It has attracted people for hundreds of years to its bosques of cottonwood trees, its life giving water, and its opportunities. Up and down the Mesilla Valley, from the healing waters at Radium Springs to the historic village of Mesilla, from the mountain ranges that border the east and the west to New Mexico State University, and from the agricultural communities of the south valley, this south-central part of New Mexico illustrates why the state is called the Land of Enchantment. Historic photos from local archives and contemporary pictures show how people lived, worked, and played. This book continues the program by the Public History Program at New Mexico State University to publish local histories of the communities of New Mexico. The two previous books, "Santa Fe: An Historic Walking Tour" and "Las Cruces: The City of Crosses" also utilized historic photographs to tell to history of these New Mexican cities. However, "The Mesilla Valley" is the first book in a new series that the Public History Program has created in collaboration with Sunstone Press. The New Mexico Centennial History Series features books written by local historians about their towns and communities, and the important people who have made New Mexico what it is today. The series not only commemorates the centennial of New Mexico's statehood in 1912, but celebrates the entire history of the state. Jon Hunner is Professor of History at New Mexico State University where he directs the Public History Program and teaches both public and U.S. history. His publications include "Inventing Los Alamos: The Growth of an Atomic Community" and "Chasing Oppie: Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic West."
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