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Australia in the War of 1939-1945

Having already covered in this series of book surveys the official history offerings from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, India, and South Africa, here we add a list of all the titles contained in the official series known as Australia in the War of 1939-1945.

Australia's wide-ranging air, naval, and ground commitments in North Africa, Europe, the Near East, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea, and elsewhere are reflected in these volumes. The series also contains a set of books about political/economic/scientific/social issues plus a very thorough review of Aussie military medicine. In addition to detailed descriptions of operations, every individual Australian serviceman mentioned in the text is footnoted with full name, service number, pre-war occupation, and place and date of birth.

Originally published mostly in the 1950's and early 60's -- and all easily recognizable by their bright red dustjackets -- the last volume arrived in 1977. In the meantime, there has also been a reprint edition in collaboration with the University of Queensland Press. All the volumes seem to be out of print at this time, but they are commonly available through secondhand booksellers.

This series is an important part of any serious library about World War II. The books on ground operations in particular, with much coverage of Allied and enemy plans and operations in addition to Australian material, are invaluable resources for battles such as Tobruk, Alamein, Singapore, and many others.

Series 1: Army
Volume 1 Long, Gavin. To Benghazi. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952
Volume 2 Long, Gavin. Greece, Crete, and Syria. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1953
Volume 3 Maughan, Barton. Tobruk and El Alamein. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1966
Volume 4 Wigmore, Lionel. The Japanese Thrust. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957
Volume 5 McCarthy, Dudley. South-west Pacific Area: First Year, Kokoda to Wau. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1959
Volume 6 Dexter, David. The New Guinea Offensives. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1961
Volume 7 Long, Gavin. The Final campaigns. Canberra: Australia War Memorial, 1963
Series 2: Navy
Volume 1 Gill, G. Hermon. Royal Australian Navy, 1939-1942. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957
Volume 2 Gill, G. Hermon. Royal Australian Navy, 1942-1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1968
Series 3: Air
Volume 1 Gillison, Douglas. Royal Australian Air Force, 1939-1942. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1962
Volume 2 Odgers, George. Air War against Japan, 1943-1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957
Volume 3 Herington, John. Air War against Germany and Italy, 1939-1943. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1954
Volume 4 Herington, John. Air Power over Europe, 1944-1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1963
Series 4: Civil
Volume 1 Hasluck, Paul. The Government and the People: 1939-1941. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952
Volume 2 Hasluck, Paul. The Government and the People: 1942-1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952
Volume 3 Butlin, S. J. War Economy, 1939-1942. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1955
Volume 4 Butlin, S. J. and C. B. Schedvin. War Economy, 1942-1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1977
Volume 5 Mellor, D. P. The Role of Science and Industry. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1958
Series 5: Medical
Volume 1 Walker, Allan S. Clinical Problems of War. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952
Volume 2 Walker, Allan S. Middle East and Far East. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1953
Volume 3 Walker, Allan S. The Island Campaigns. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957
Volume 4 Walker, Allan S. Medical Services of the R.A.N. and R.A.A.F. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1961

For further information on this series of books, as well as much more about Australia during World War II and Aussie participation in other conflicts, the Australian War Memorial maintains an excellent website.

Reviewed 22 June 2000
Copyright © 2000 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone
 

 

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