For most Australians the Great War begins with the Gallipoli dawn on 25 April 1915; few appreciate the significance of Australia's first action that occurred seven months earlier on the island of New Britain to Australia's near north. Nor did Australia's war with Germany end with the Armistice in Europe on 11 November 1918 since it was nearly two months after the guns fell silent in France before a lone German officer emerged from the jungles of New Guinea to finally surrender. Between those two pivotal events Australia's soldiers fought in some of the most intense and protracted battles of the Great War. They ended the trial with a reputation of being among the finest soldiers produced by that conflict.The War With Germany examines the performance of the Australian Army in the two theatres where it confronted the German Army during the First World War: German New Guinea and the Western Front. With a blend of narrative and theme the book charts the rise and fall of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in the Pacific and the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front.Deeply researched and drawing on previously untapped primary sources and recent scholarship, this study adopts a fresh approach, rejecting unsubstantiated assumptions of natural Australian superiority.
Rather it critically examines those traits that set Australia's soldiers apart and those factors they shared in common with other soldiers. It concludes that Australia's forces earned their reputation for battlefield virtuosity for characteristics that were neither innate nor unique. Instead they only gradually and painfully became a great fighting force for the very same reasons that other contingents earned a place among the foremost ranks of the British Empire's best.The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Series:Volume 1: Australia and the War in the Air - AvailableVolume 2: The War with the Ottoman Empire - AvailableVolume 4: The War at Home - AvailableVolume 5: The Australian Imperial Force - May 2016
Robert Stevenson is an independent historian and a former army officer. He is a graduate of the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and the Australian Army Command and Staff College, Queenscliff. He holds a Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales. Professor Jeffrey Grey is a leading military historian with an interest in contemporary warfare. He teaches Australian Military History, Contemporary Warfare and US Military History. He is a member the Army Historical Advisory Committee and the Army History Research Grant Schemes Committee, a Consultant to the Department of Veterans Affairs Series, a consultant to the 8-part television series Australians at War (2001), and adjunct senior research fellow, Land Warfare Studies Centre. Professor Grey is series editor of Centenary History of Australia and the Great War.
Introduction 1. Whose War? 2. An Urgent Imperial Service 3. The Australian Imperial Force 4. C'est la Guerre 5. Bad Boy of the Imperial Family 6. Triumph of the Limited Objective 7. An Australian Imperial Force 8. The Year of Victory 9. Some Reflections Appendix 1: British Naval and Military Ranks Appendix 2: British Military Organisations Appendix 3: Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force and Australian Imperial Force Organisation Appendix 4: Australian Imperial Force, Canadian Expeditionary Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force Monthly Casualties on the Western FrontBibliographical Essay