Australian Commando Squadron Leader: Major Norm Winning M.B.E.

Sometimes people survive the experience of war only to perish in circumstances that appear divinely unjust or ‘unfair’. Such is the story of Major Norman Isaac Winning, M.B.E. Born on the 27th of May, 1906 in Oban, Scotland, Winning was a ‘planter,’ possibly in the then Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) before enlisting in the A.I.F. one year

Communist Counter-Insurgency – Sir Robert Thompson.

The September/October 2013 issue of Modern War magazine features a surprising article on a British man named Sir Robert Thompson. I write ‘surprising’ because Sir Robert’s name does not often appear during discussions on post WW2 conflicts in Asia, even though for a period his counter-insurgency doctrine was influential. According to Kelly Bell, the author of the article,

2/7th Australian Independent Company (Part 1).

The 2/7th Australian Independent Company/Commando Squadron is the only one of Australia’s eight original World War Two Independent Companies not to have a company/squadron history, so I think it only fitting that I post snippets of information from their – admittedly sparse – official war diaries so the public may gain a rough impression of the unit. To

Tired of Killing – Mont Brehain, October, 1918.

“The price of victory was paid with the lives of many very gallant officers, N.C.O.s and men whose loss in the closing stages of the war – perhaps in our last battle all regret.” So wrote the philosophical war diarist of the 24th Australian Infantry Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, of the 1st  A.I.F. on the 5th of

Postscript – Timbered Knoll – The Aftermath.

With military history, it is easy to let oneself get caught up in the ebbs and flows of ‘turning point’ battles and the development of new technology, and lose touch with the fact that behind every weapon is a real human being who had a personality, a role in their community, and family and friends they had left

Salamaua Re-entered, Seventy Years Ago Today.

Seventy years ago today, Allied troops re-entered the coastal New Guinean township of Salamaua after 18 months of its occupation by the Japanese. Acknowledged back then but virtually unknown now, was the importance the Salamaua Campaign had played in the defeat of the enemy at Lae, further north across the Huon Gulf, which fell to two Australian divisions

Child’s Play? – Model Military Collectibles.

Please bear with me here while I make an exception to my self-imposed ‘informative blog entries only’ rule to share one of my passions. I don’t plan for this to happen often, but it is related to military history, so come along for the ride for a moment while I write about … toy soldiers. Firstly, let me

“Colonial Guns,” “Where Anzacs Sleep,” and “An Unrewarded Hero” – My Bookshelf, Part III.

When searching for interesting reading matter, I often gravitate towards the specialist military history booksellers who frequently stock titles on niche subjects that you don’t find on the book shelves of major department stores or the ‘chain’ book shops. Following are three such publications that provide an alternative to the selective (and often tired) themes put forward by our

Letting off Steam – Venereal Disease in WW1.

I have wrestled for a short time about whether or not the following is an appropriate subject for this blog, and in the interests of providing a broad view of military history, I have decided, though not confidently, the answer is ‘Yes.’ So let’s talk about Venereal Disease, or ‘V.D.’ Relax, I don’t intend to go into the

A Time Limit for Remembrance?

You may have guessed from perusing the blog that I have a great deal of passion and respect for military history, so when I drive past the memorial (top only pictured) in one of my local towns, I feel embarrassed and – ashamed? – to see it in such a state of decay. Who is responsible for this
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