Militaria

//Militaria
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  • This book captures the memories of 3,700 Australian men who served in World War II. Ageing men in the 1980s, they filled in long and searching questionnaires, encouraged to look back, think back, search back to the days when they were young and growing up in a world that , still retarded by economic depression, was nevertheless lurching toward a global conflict. Here are their boyhoods, their reasons for joining up, their reactions to army life and the consequences of their service. Illustrated with black and white photos.

  • 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.

  • Part One of this autobiography relates the dramatic escape to Australia of three young Swiss sisters during the Japanese invasion of Singapore, then traces their gradual and complete adaption to the Australian way of life by the youngest sister, Annelies. Part Two is the story of their father, the Swiss Consul and their mother Gritli, who remained in Singapore at their posts in dedication to their community. This second part is translated from the recently discovered original diaries of their father, Rudolph Arbenz.
  • Published by the Dachau Museum, this book serves as a reminder of the victims of the Holocaust. It contains reproductions of official documents, anti-Semitic propoganda, photos of the camps, the prisoners and their few possessions that we callously stolen from them; letters of condolence from Camp Commandants to grieving widows, records of military personnel and so much more.
  • World War II, the most massive and appalling military conflagration in history began on September 1, 1939 when Hitler's troops invaded Poland and from there, it spread inexorably in all directions. On December 7 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, thus bringing the huge American armies into the picture and the Pacific was ablaze as Japan and America fought a devastating island-hopping war across the ocean. As well as swallowing millions of lives, the demands of the military machine gave rise to the atom bomb and the computer; the British Empire was dying but the Commonwealth was heralded; the war made Churchill and  the 'spiv'; it created rationing and the Welfare State; it slaughtered 6,000,000 Jews, broke marriages and laid waste to the European economy.  This is a graphic account of the fateful years that changed the world forever. Illustrated with black and white photos.

  • In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was enjoying a Bohemian life in Paris.  By the end of World War II, she was the Gestapo's mot wanted. After witnessing horrific Nazi brutality in Vienna, Nancy declared she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis.  What began as a courier job developed into a highly successful escape network of Allied soldiers - so successful that Nancy had to flee France to escape the Gestapo who had dubbed her "The White Mouse" for her knack of slipping through their traps.  After training with British Special Operations, she parachuted back into France to help lead the Underground fighters. From training civilian fighters to bicycling 400 kilometres across a mountain range to find a new transmitting radio, nothing was too hard.

  • 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.

  • Published for the Australian Military Forces by the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, in 1944. Full of sketches, poems, colour plates and photographs, cartoons and jokes, as well as those fabulous yarns that Aussies can tell so well, and all by the service personnel who were engaged in the South West Pacific during World War II.  Contributors are identified only by their service numbers...so your grandfather or great grandfather may be among the authors.  Here we do not find battle statistics, plans or  generals - just the down to earth Australian Diggers.