In our military section we've got books on the various wars, and particularly a collection of Australian military history.
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The Last Fifty Miles
The young Australian nation is struggling to cope with the Great War, now in its fifth year - the strain of maintaining huge armies halfway across the globe, the bitter divisions over conscription, anxiety from the rise of Communism in Russia, and the creeping influence of the War Precautions Act. And, above all, the country-wide grief over the death of its men on a scale never before seen or even imagined. The five Australian divisions have recently been combined into an all-Australian Corps, fighting as one unit in France. They need a commander and Major-General John Monash is a leading candidate, but rose through the ranks as a part-time militia officer rather than as a professional soldier, and is of German-Jewish background at a time when xenophobia is at its height. The Last Fifty Miles is the riveting account of how, when it mattered most, Australia stood up to play a critical role in one of the most decisive victories of World War One. Told with immediacy, lyricism and a clear-eyed focus by a brilliant new talent in history writing, it relives an extraordinary, neglected chapter of Australia's past.
For Love of Country
At the close of the First World War, and after surviving a gas attack on the Western Front, Captain Walter Eddison moved his family from war-ravaged Britain to start a new life in Australia. The Eddisons were offered under the Australian government's soldier-settlement scheme, but the grim realities of life in the remote bush were not easy for a family used to the green pastures of England. Walter and Marion made the best of their limited prospects, but as they raised their young family on the outskirts of the nation's newly established capital, tensions were again simmering in Europe. When the Second World War broke out, they were forced to confront their worst fears as their three sons headed back to the battlefields. Anthony Hill expertly weaves military history and gripping accounts of frontline fighting into this intimate portrait of a family who sacrificed everything for their country, showing how the global conflicts of the twentieth century came home to Australia, with tragic consequences.
A Broken World
A lieutenant writes of digging through bodies that have the consistency of Camembert cheese; a mother sends flower seeds to her son at the Front, hoping that one day someone may see them grow; a nurse tends a man back to health knowing he will be court-martialled and shot as soon as he is fit. In this extraordinarily powerful and diverse selection of diaries, letters and memories, the testament from ordinary people whose lives were transformed are set alongside extracts from names that have become synonymous with the war, such as Siegfried Sassoon and T E Lawrence. A Broken World is an original collection of personal and defining moments that offer an unprecedented insight into the Great War as it was experienced and as it was remembered.
On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail. Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved, the birth of their countries' sense of nationhood. Peter Fitzsimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.
We Die Alone
In March 1943 a team of expatriate Norwegian commandos sailed from the Shetland Islands - the most northerly part of Britain - for Nazi-occupied Norway.Their mission was to organise and support the Norwegian resistance. They were betrayed and only one man survived the ambush by the Nazis. Crippled by frostbite and snow-blind, hunted by the Nazis, Jan Baalstrud managed to find a tiny arctic village. There - delirious, near death - he found villagers willing to risk their own lives to save him. David Howarth narrates his incredible escape in this gripping tale of courage and the resilience of the human spirit.
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