Australian troops have been repatriated from the Middle East in order to face the likely threat of Japanese invasion after the fall of Singapore and Indochina. The story begins with an eight-day Sydney furlough between the two theatres of combat, explores the relationships they have come home to and gives the reader a sense of Sydney in  1942, when people were still more or less unaware of the gravity of the threat of war.  In New Guinea, the first days to control the Kokoda Trail were disastrous. The men suffered, far from their supply lines against an overwhelming enemy force that they hardly see and deal with all the ills of the tropical jungle – typhus fever, malaria, dysentery, and more. Ill-equipped and ill-prepared, yet they fought – heroes in their tough and dogged endurance. Cover art by Edward Osmond.