Reading time: 2 minutes

History Guild is supporting a conference examining the part played by Australian’s in the Mediterranean theatre of WW2. This conference is presented by Military History & Heritage Victoria in Melbourne, Australia on the 9th and 10th of April 2022. It will be held in person and features a conference dinner on the 9th of April. History Guild is subsidising conference registration fees for students and early career researchers. This will allow more history students to study and research this important part of Australian history.

What does the conference examine?

The conference will examine the contribution of Australia’s Army, Navy and Air Force to Allied operations and campaigns in the Mediterranean Theatre over 1940-1945.

From Libya, Greece, Crete, Syria-Lebanon, Egypt, and Malta, in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, southern France and the Balkans, Australians in units or as individuals were active in the theatre.

What were the strategic imperatives about the Mediterranean Theatre and why was Australia there? How did Australia support Allied strategy in the Mediterranean Theatre and what were the consequences for Australia after Japan attacked in the Pacific? What was the Axis opposition and how did the Australians measure up against the Italians, Germans and Vichy French? What was the experience of Australia Air Force, Navy and Army, nationally or as part of Allied forces? What were the Australian contributions to Allied victories, and how did they deal with their defeats? What was the experience of the Australians captured by the Axis, and of Axis prisoners in Australia? How did the medical services cope? Who were the leaders and battle commanders and how did they perform? What were the stories of courage in ground, sea and air battles? How have we remembered those who fell?

Two History Guild contributors are taking part in the conference, Stephen Hutcheon and Richard James. Stephen and Richard have both written articles as well as featured in podcast episodes that examine Australians serving in the Mediterranean, which are published by History Guild.

History Guild contributors who are taking part in the conference

NZ POWs being transported to Germany in 1943.

Escape from Greece

Reading time: 19 minutes
It began, as it sometimes does, with an old photograph.
Three men dressed in khaki uniforms standing in front of an exotic facade in some distant land. The man in the middle – hands in pockets, slouch hat tilted at a jaunty 45 degree angle – is my uncle.

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Commonwealth troops captured on Crete

Escape from Greece – Podcast

ESCAPE FROM GREECE – PODCAST This podcast episode tells the story of Shanghai born John Robin Greaves, ‘Jack’, who emigrated to Australia in 1939 and volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force to serve overseas. The army would send Jack to the Middle East, then to Greece, where he would be captured Germans along with thousands of other […]

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Australia’s War with France

Reading time: 12 minutes
The Nahr al-Kalb, or ‘Dog River’, meets the Mediterranean Sea just north of Beirut, after meandering thirty kilometres downstream from its wellspring in the Lebanon range. A four-lane highway overpass runs along this stretch of coast, and tentacles of concrete obscure the river mouth. The strip of land to the north and south has been reclaimed from the sea. It’s a flat, featureless stretch of windblown sand and garbage. In ancient times, though, the view was very different. The steep riverbanks dropped straight into the ocean, and the Lycus, as the river was then known, was a significant obstacle to conquering armies.

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Discounted Conference Registration for Students

History Guild is sponsoring students to attend the Hard Fought conference by subsidising conference registration. This is open to any student of history, secondary, tertiary and postgraduate, as well as early career researchers. History Guild will pay for 50% of the conference registration fee, students need only pay $75 in order to attend the 2 day conference.

This is available for the first 20 students who apply, first in best dressed!

General Registration

If you would like to attend the conference but are not a student please book your conference registration directly with Military History & Heritage Victoria here.