Militaria

//Militaria
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  • A real 'time-travel' special. Here are the eye-witness accounts of the English Civil War, by those who participated in all aspects. They describe events in vivid language: how it felt to fight at Edgehill, or watch your home ransacked by looting soldiers, or finding your brother on the opposite side to yourself - or Oxford life while King Charles used the city as his headquarters.  In the years since his accession, Charles I had managed  to squander the peoples' ancient respect for monarchy with a series of blunders, thus alienating many of his natural followers and allies. Yet  the outcome of Cromwell's eventual victory was a period of absolute rule quite as arbitrary as anything that had gone before, and ion between, 100,000 people had died. Illustrated with a wealth of black and white and colour photographs of weapons, cartoons of the time, letters and documents. Cover art, detail from The Wounded Cavalier by W.S. Burton.
  • From 1942 - 1945, some 22,000 Australian Service Personnel - including 71 women of the Australian Army Nursing Service - become prisoners-of-war of the Japanese. They were held in camps in Timor, Java, Sumatra, New Guinea, Borneo, Singapore, Malaya and other locations including Japan. Only 14,000 survived those three and a half years after varying experiences at the hands of their captors.  One of Nelson's earliest memories is waiting at a small country railway station to meet a returning prisoner-of-war. The man, a frail figure in a too-big army uniform, hesitated in front of a line of cheering children. Uncertain as to what was expected of him, he looked around, perhaps thought about making a speech then walked away. He was one of those 14,000 who could never fully share with anyone who was not there. Here is the story of those years. With illustrations and maps.

  • Kokichi Nishimura was a member of the 2nd battalion, 144th regiment of the Japanese Imperial Army. In 1942 he fought every foot of the Kokoda Track as the Japanese attempted to take Port Moresby and was the only man from his platoon to survive the campaign. Finally he retreated, wounded and starving, leaving thousands of his comrades buried in shallow graves along the Track. He promised that he would one day return to them and bring them home to Japan for proper burial. He married, had three children and started an engineering business which prospered. But his driving ambition was to return to New Guinea to keep his promise. In 1979, nearing retirement age, he shocked his family by giving his business to his sons, his house and all his assets to his wife and he returned to New Guinea to begin his search for the remains of Japanese soldiers. For the next 25 years Nishimura lived alone in huts and tents along the Kokoda Track and using a mattock, a shovel, a metal detector and an indomitable will, he found the bones of hundreds of his comrades and also forged a new comradeship and new purpose in helping the poverty-stricken Papuans he worked amongst. An incredible story. Illustrated with black and white photographs.

  • It was at Dunkirk that Toosey's charisma and fortitude were first noted and in 1941 he was given command of an artillery regiment. Sent to fight in the Far East he and his men were embroiled in the battle for Singapore and were taken prisoner after the island's fall in 1942. The Japanese, scornful of the Allied forces for surrendering, determined to make use of the new workforce now at their disposal. Toosey was sent to Thailand to command the 'bridge camp' at Tamarkan  where he was ordered to supervise the construction of two railway bridges over the river Khwae Mae Khlong. Starvation rations and harsh working conditions mean that dysentery and cholera were rife and a quarter of the 60,000 prisoners working on the Burma Railway wold perish.  Toosey insisted on high standards of hygiene and discipline, giving back the men their self-respect and making himself a buffer for the cruel excesses if the guards.  The author is Toosey's grand-daughter. Illustrated with black and white photographs and sketches.

  • The author assesses and explains the role of Goering, dismissing the popular image of the corrupt and indolent buccaneer in order to show the central and serious political role that Goering played in the Third Reich. He shows all facets of Goering's personality, as well as the political context in which he exercised so much power.

  • For the first time since the early sixties there is widespread and growing concern about the possibility of a Third World War, given the massive stockpile of nuclear armaments and the growing tensions between superpowers. The author, the grandson of Winston Churchill, shows how this situation has arisen and provides the facts and figures to ensure a true understanding of the issues at stake.  What is the balance of armed power in the world today? What are the chances of either side winning a nuclear war? How should the Western Allies respond to the growing global challenge from Russia? These and more questions are answered - the answers echo the warnings that were made about the threat from Nazi Germany.  Those warnings went unheeded.

  • Australia was almost defenceless against Japanese attack in 1942. Here it is suggested that vital lessons for today can be learnt from that period. Did the Australian leaders rely too heavily on Britain and were they let down? How much can Australia rely on any country for support in wartime? From the days of the First Fleet it was always accepted that the United Kingdom would send its fleet to defend Australia. For this reason Australia sent troops overseas as early as 1885 to help fight Imperial wars. The situation changed after 1918 for then Japan became a likely enemy. Could Britain defend Australia from attack and conduct a war in Europe? Dr. McCarthy examines both sides of the question and concludes that it was never possible.

  • Roy Kyle started writing his remarkable story at the age of 89 and almost completed his story before he died.  Bryce Courtenay was asked to edit Roy's work with a view to it being published. Roy was a typical Anzac, fiercely patriotic and prepared to give his life for King and Country.  He couldn't wait to 'have a go' and enlisted at 17.  He then found himself in a trench at Lone Pine on his 18th birthday.  He was one of the last to leave Gallipolli, then serving in Egypt and later at the Somme.  There are literally hundreds of books written by high-ranking officers, historians and military experts on the part played by the Anzacs in the Dardennelles Campaign - but very few by the ordinary soldier.

  • The Kokoda Track is the symbol of World War II for Australians. This book takes readers up that tortuous track and into battle with the young men who fought there, following in the footsteps of heroes and villains as they climb the endless mountain ranges, dig into defend, charge into battle or begin the long, desperate and bloody trek to safety.  Here can also be found the perspective of the Japanese troops and the extraordinary local people who the Diggers called  'angels'.