Category: Military History

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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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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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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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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Battle of Stonne, France 1940

Reading time: 5 minutes
The battle for France in 1940 is often portrayed as a rout: the German Wehrmacht simply trounced the French forces within a few weeks, crushing them with military might and tactical ingenuity. However, a few episodes debunk this image and the Battle of Stonne, where a small town in the Ardennes changed hands 17 times in three days, is one of the most prominent.

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The Scrap Iron Captain: Hector Waller DSO and Bar – Podcast

While serving within the Royal Australian Navy as a Signals Officer, Captain Hector MacDonald Laws Waller served with distinction aboard several warships of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Navy during both the First World War and the Second World War. Having graduated from the fledgling Royal Australian Naval College during the First World War, his posting would be to the Royal Navy Battleship HMS Agincourt, and would predominately perform escort duties for the duration of the war.

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Jamaica’s Morant Bay Rebellion and it’s brutal repression

Reading time: 11 minutes
On 12 October 1865, John Davidson, a magistrate in the east of Jamaica, wrote to the island’s Governor, Edward John Eyre:
‘The people at Morant Bay [on the island’s southeast coast, St. Thomas-in-the-East parish] have risen, burnt down the Court-house, released all the prisoners, murdered several white people.’

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Recognising the warriors

Reading time: 7 minutes
It was a sudden and unexpected announcement. Late last week, the chairman of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, declared the governing council had decided to develop a much broader, a much deeper depiction and presentation of the violence committed against Indigenous people, initially by British, then by pastoralists, then by police, and then by Aboriginal militia.

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