From recruitment and training and the battlegrounds of Palestine, North Africa, Thailand, Burma and beyond, here are the highly individual stories of Australia's World War II Diggers told in their own voices - warts and all.
With a reputation for being hard to discipline, generosity to their comrades, frankness and sticking it up any sign of pomposity, Australian soldiers were a wild and irreverent lot, even in the worst of circumstances during World War II.
In Larrikins in Khaki, Tim Bowden has collected compelling and vivid stories of individual soldiers whose memoirs were mostly self-published and who told of their experiences with scant regard for literary pretensions and military niceties. Most of these men had little tolerance for military order and discipline, and NCOs and officers who were hopeless at their jobs were made aware of it. They laughed their way through the worst of it by taking the mickey out of one another and their superiors.
From recruitment and training to the battlegrounds of Palestine, North Africa, Thailand, New Guinea, Borneo and beyond, here are the highly individual stories of Australia's World War II Diggers told in their own voices - warts and all.
Tim Bowden is an acclaimed oral historian, broadcaster, and radio and television documentary maker for the ABC. He is author of many books including the much acclaimed One Crowded Hour: Neil Davis, combat cameraman, The Changi Camera: A unique record of Changi and the Thai-Burma Railway, and Stubborn Buggers: Survivors of the infamous POW gaol that made Changi look like heaven.
Table Of Contents:
Chapter 1: Joining up
Chapter 2: Very basic training
Chapter 3: Sailing to war
Chapter 4: Desert Diggers prepare for war
Chapter 5: High jinks in Egypt
Chapter 6: Fighting in the desert
Chapter 7: Ill-fated Greek adventure
Chapter 8: Out of the frying pan into the fire
Chapter 9: The Allied invasion of Lebanon and Syria
Chapter 10: The tide turns
Chapter 11: Return to Australia
Chapter 12: Prisoners of war of the Japanese
Chapter 13: The railway of death
Chapter 14: Service at home
Chapter 15: The saga of the flying footsloggers
Chapter 16: The Kokoda Track and the bloody beachheads
Chapter 17: The battle for New Guinea
Chapter 18: An unnecessary campaign
Chapter 19: Savagery in Bougainville
Chapter 20: Bloody Borneo-Tarakan and Balikpapan
Chapter 21: The lost years and damaged lives
Chapter 22: Retain all prisoners of war indefinitely
Chapter 23: Final thoughts
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format