Military History

If only Wikileaker Julian Assange was in the Government and could leak the actual footage of these mysterious focus groups that found Anzac Day was ‘divisive’ because of multiculturalism.

Yep, they all look pretty unhappy. Pic: Michael Marschall

It’s hard to imagine who, specifically, is planning to be offended by the World War I centenary commemorations.  Unless some dopey focus group leader who desperately needed something to put in the ‘possible issues’ column sketched some outrageous possibilities such as gory re-enactments of Australian soldiers killing Turks, or Vietnamese.

According to today’s Daily Telegraph, the Federal Government commissioned research and focus group testing that found multiculturalism means commemorating the centenary of Anzac Day is a “double-edged sword” and a “potential area of divisiveness”.

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  • King of the North says:

    07:08pm | 27/09/12

    I think the greatest threat to this country is left wing extremists who think up rubbish like this. Read more »

  • King of the North says:

    07:03pm | 27/09/12

    You do realise the protocols of Zion is a hoax right? Read more »

 

A genuine American war ace who did his greatest fighting 70 years ago over the skies of Darwin has passed away in California at the age of 95.

The late Col. Jim Morehead, fighter pilot extraordinaire. Image: www.p40model.com.

Colonel James Morehead played a crucial role in the defence of Australia, and proved with his courage that formations of the feared AM6 Mitsubishi Zeros and long-range bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy were not invincible.

He ended the war having shot down eight enemy planes, most of them off Darwin, flying in P-40s. These planes, the ones famously painted with shark teeth, were hopelessly outclassed by the faster and in all ways superior Zeros.

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  • Andy Evans says:

    10:33am | 21/03/12

    Actually there is newsreel footage of one of the RAAF Milne Bay Kittys with a sharks mouth - an ex USAAF P40E. Read more »

  • The righteous one says:

    07:45am | 20/03/12

    Yes John, they probably did, and aren’t you lucky, because if they had not you probably would not be in a position to post your statements on a blog such as this today. So yes people died on both sides during WW2 and all other wars and two wrongs dont… Read more »

 

The murder of 16 Afghan civilians by a lone US soldier in Afghanistan this week is a tragic incident, which destroys the fundamental principles upon which this population-centric war is being fought.

Wonder how this Kabul bread vendor's heart and mind is feeling? Pic: AP.

This war is as much about winning the hearts and minds of the population as killing the enemy. If the Coalition forces and the Afghan Government cannot be seen to protect the population, then the only alternative is the Taliban. 

Counterinsurgency is the military’s version of what our civil criminal and social justice systems do in areas riddled by crime, drugs and a cycle of inter-generational poverty. Whether it’s Afghanistan or the Bronx, the population is the prize and it is no-longer acceptable just to shoot the bad guys.

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  • Andy of Sydney says:

    11:18pm | 15/03/12

    Carol, perhaps if you knew the history surrounding the Battle of Coral Sea, you’d pick up on what Tom is saying. That you did not points to the fact that you are commenting on a subject on which you know extremely little, if any. Here is a little enlightenment: The… Read more »

  • John says:

    03:54pm | 14/03/12

    You are very lucky that these blinkered US policies since WW2 coinside with your right to free speech. Read more »

 

As we approach the Centenary of World War I, we start to think about the tremendous sacrifice so many of our diggers made. It is unimaginable to think that over 60,000 young men died in Gallipoli and the Western Front.

If we're going to do this, we might as well do it right

When you visit the battlefields of France and Belgium and the cemeteries and memorials you see countless numbers of white crosses honoring the fallen. Many of those crosses are for soldiers who are “Known Only to God”.

At the various memorials such as VC Corner and Menin Gate the names of those who were missing in action are engraved in stone. The Australian Government’s official estimation is there are approximately 18,000 Diggers lying under the fields of France and Belgium.

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  • ajrichar says:

    07:35am | 10/12/11

    The author’s name is Roland Perry, not Fry.  And Monash did not win the war.  He was a good commander, but so were others like Canada’s Currie.  Australians have a view of their role in the Great War that needs some perspective amongst the sheer number of Divisions in the… Read more »

  • Colin Stewart says:

    02:10am | 10/12/11

    Real Dave @11.49 on 8/12 seemst imply that one day we simply decided to invade little old innocent Turkey who was minding its own business and killed 80000 of their troops. The fact is, the Ottoman Empire (the Turks) were a legitimate target once they joined the Triple Alliance, our… Read more »

 

But for a sniper’s sticky trigger, I would not be sitting here writing a last minute article about forgetting to remember Remembrance Day.

Crowds celebrate the Armistice in London, 1918. Source: News Limited archives

For those whose history is a little fuzzy, what was first known as Armistice Day commemorates the moment the guns of the Western Front fell silent at the end of the First World War, at 11am on 11 November 1918. 

It became Remembrance Day after the Second World War, and has since become an opportunity for us to pay tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts past and present. At 11am, time stands still.

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  • Gallipoli says:

    09:55pm | 28/12/10

    ANZAC & Gallipoli was like a dream. It was a fantastic place with its history and incredible natural surroundings and also entertainment. I spent 3 unforgettable days in there with my family. I would like to special thanks for the company TTG Travel They provided us a very professional and… Read more »

  • RoseyGirl says:

    08:51pm | 01/12/10

    Interesting historic tale that I didn’t know before, but I think Dan means he wouldn’t be here if his Grandfather had been killed by a sniper on a cigarette rescue, not the war as a whole. Read more »

 

It worked for playwright Alan Seymour 50 years ago and it is working for historians Henry Reynolds and Marilyn Lake today. Having a dig at Anzac, that is.

Battle-weary: Henry Reynolds argues our war efforts have distorted our overall sense of national history.

Reynolds and Lake, fine historians both, are making ripples with their new book, the provocatively titled What’s Wrong with Anzac?  The questionmark is a fig leaf, as the book sets out, in emphatic fashion, what the authors think is wrong with our most cherished piece of national mythology. Their subtitle is The Militarisation of Australian History.

In short, Reynolds and Lake believe recent emphasis on our military past, and especially Gallipoli and its commemoration on Anzac Day, has distorted and devalued Australia’s true history. They blame governments past and present, which probably makes them long odds to go back-to-back in the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for nonfiction (they got the nod last year for Drawing the Global Colour Line.)

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  • acotrel says:

    08:12am | 17/04/10

    Every Australian should visit Villers Brettoneux to gain an understanding of what our guys achieved on the Western Front.  They won the war with Monash as leader.  We lost 60,000 servicemen in two world wars.  In the main they were fighting for democracy - so we’d have the right to… Read more »

  • Brett L says:

    09:55pm | 16/04/10

    Mr Chong for some reason you feel dissociated with Australia and it’s history. I feel proud to hear about the personal sacrifices of what our young men did during those times. In their mind what they did was for the greater good of our country.  And allowing a supply line… Read more »

 

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