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The Australian Army in World War II (Elite) Paperback – June 19, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Overall an interesting read, and a must-have for modellers and history buffs alike if only to give an insight into a small countries' sometimes large contributions to many chapters of the eventual Allied victory.” ―Bradley J, Armorama (August 2007)

“Throughout there are superb period photographs and the excellent illustrations of Carlos Chagas, which really help bring to life the way these men looked when in combat. An overall outstanding reference on World War 2 Aussie troops and their equipment. One that the enthusiast simply has to have in his reference library.” ―Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (July 2007)

“Mark Johnston's The Australian Army in World War II joins others in the 'Elite' series for military libraries, considering the organization and deployment of one of the most significant fighting armies of the war. While plenty of World War II titles provide overviews of the army, this is the item of choice for any seeking depth and detail, with original wartime black and white photos from all fronts adding illustration and enhancing color plates of uniforms and gear.” ―California Bookwatch (August 2007)

“... a well-researched book ... with information on all its campaigns ... aimed at the history buff or the figure modeler who wants to re-create detailed scale figures of WWII Australian soldiers and their equipment.” ―Cliff Hutchings, Toy Soldier & Model Figure (April 2008)

About the Author

Mark Johnston??was born in 1960. He has written five books??and numerous articles on the Australian Army in World War II. He also has a doctorate on??that topic??from the University of Melbourne. He is currently the Head of History at Scotch College, Melbourne. The author lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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Product Details

  • Series: Elite (Book 153)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1st edition (June 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846031230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846031236
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a useful, but uneven, overview of the Australian Army during World War II. The chapters on the Army's organisation and campaigns are excellent and the book is nicely illustrated with well chosen photos and clear colour drawings. However, it suffers from being focused mainly on the Australian Imperial Force's infantry divisions (at the cost of material on the larger conscript Citizens Military Forces) and the chapter on the campaigns of these AIF divisions largely duplicates the earlier chapter on the Army's main campaigns of the war.

As a result, this book provides a good introduction to the Australian Army during World War II but isn't as comprehensive as it could, and should, have been.
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Format: Paperback

The character of the Australian Army of World War II owed much to its Great War counterpart. In World War I, the volunteer Australian Imperial Force or AIF had first won fame in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of 1915. On the Western Front in 1916-1918, the AIF came to be employed as an elite force; it contributed substantially to Alied victories and garnered numerous honors and decorations, but at the cost of appalling losses. Memories of the 60,000 dead haunted the country in the inter-war period, helping to foster a deep antipathy to war and a decline in military funding. When the Second World War did come, Australia dutifully joined Britain on 3 September 1939 with a similar repetition of the enthusiastic mass enlistments of 1914. Those who did consider signing up for the Second World War's AIF were conscious of the standard set by the First World War's AIF; this enouraged some but discouraged others.

Australian troops embarked for the Middle East in early 1940 and by December of that year; they assisted in the North African campaign against the Italians in Cyrenaica which culminated in the capture of Benghazi in February, 1941. The Afrika Korps then landed at Tripoli and pushed back the Allies: Australia, British Commonwealth, and New Zealanders were besieged in Tobruk by the Germans and Italians until relieved in December, 1941. The subsequent campaigns moved across North Africa several times. In October, 1942, the Australians played a significant part in the Battles of El Alamein in which the Germans and Italians were decisively defeated and forced to retreat from the North African Theater of Operations.
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