From the bookshelf: ‘The Scrap Iron Flotilla’

Reading time: 4 minutes
Mike Carlton has emerged as a gifted historian of Australia’s outstanding naval contributions in two world wars. He polishes this reputation in his new book, The Scrap Iron Flotilla: five valiant destroyers and the Australian war in the Mediterranean. Carlton has always been persuasive in print. His earlier books, Cruiser on the wartime record of HMAS Perth, and First victory 1914, detailing HMAS Sydney’s destruction of the German raider Emden, suggested both the enthusiasm for and appreciation of Australian naval history which the author has in abundance.

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General History Quiz 139

1. In the 1930’s which country introduced deliberate errors into its maps in order to confuse potential invaders?
Try the full 10 question quiz.

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The Woman King is more than an action movie – it shines a light on the women warriors of Benin

Reading time: 6 minutes
The Woman King is a big-budget Hollywood movie that has been anticipated since 2018, when US star Viola Davis was announced as the lead in the story of the “amazons” of Dahomey. Rising South African star Thuso Mbedu also takes a key role in the film, which has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is heading to cinemas worldwide.

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General History Quiz 138

1. Which Roman emperor ordered the construction of a wall across the width of Northern Britain in 121 CE?
Try the full 10 question quiz.

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The Battle of the Beachheads – Podcast – Part 3 Added

By late 1942, the Allies had pushed the Japanese forces back along the Kokoda Track and were now down on the coastal plains of northern New Guinea. The Japanese may have been retreating, but they intended to hold the vital beachheads from Gona down through Sanananda to Buna. The fight to take the beachheads would be bloody and brutal, but first the Australians and their American comrades had to get there.

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General History Quiz 137

1. Which country enslaved the greatest number of Africans and transported them across the Atlantic?
Try the full 10 question quiz.

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A TALE OF REMEMBRANCE, ADMONITION, AND DESPAIR: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Reading time: 6 minutes
The vivid and graphic imagery of the First World War has indeed become a potent symbol of the need for everlasting commemoration, and a continuous reminder of armed conflict’s futility. Yet with the inevitable passing of time, direct links to the “War to end all Wars” have regretfully vanished, with all veterans who served in the trenches now gone. This most special group of soldiers may now be physically silent, but their haunting messages of warning remain.

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Political and Economic History

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The Chungking Legation: Australia’s first diplomatic mission to China, as soon to be wartime allies

Reading time: 6 minutes Gough Whitlam’s visit to China in 1971 is an iconic moment in the history of Australia-China relations. As prime minister, he officially recognised the People’s Republic of China the following year, heralding a new era of engagement with China. But Whitlam’s visit overshadows an earlier and equally significant moment in Australia’s relationship with China. On October 28 1941, Australia opened its first diplomatic mission in China, a legation in the wartime capital of Chungking (Chongqing) in central Szechwan (Sichuan) province.

Social and Cultural History

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Mythbusting Ancient Rome: cruel and unusual punishment

Reading time: 7 minutes Early Roman history is full of stories about the terrible fates that befell citizens who broke the law. When a certain Tarpeia let the enemy Sabines into Rome, she was crushed and thrown headlong from a precipice above the Roman forum. Such tales not only served as a warning for future generations, they also provided a backstory for some of Rome’s cruellest punishments. Tarpeia is one of many legendary figures who appear in Livy’s History from the Foundation of the City; regardless of whether she was a real person, it became established practice to throw traitors from the “Tarpeian Rock”.

History Audiobooks

A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World – Audiobook

On his first journey Cook mapped the east coast of Australia, on his second the British Admiralty sent him into the vast Southern Ocean. Equipped with one of the first accurate chronometers, Cook pushed his small vessel not merely into the Roaring Forties or the Furious Fifties but become the first explorer to penetrate the Antarctic Circle, reaching an incredible Latitude 71 degrees South, just failing to discover Antarctica.

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History Guild would like to acknowledge the Boonwurrung people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are based, and pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.