At the Front Line: Experiences of Australian Soldiers in World War II / Edition 1

At the Front Line: Experiences of Australian Soldiers in World War II / Edition 1

by Mark Johnston
     
 

At the Front Line draws on a plethora of letters, diaries and documents written by more than 300 Australian soldiers in the field to present a picture of the hardships and triumphs of their national wartime experience. Mark Johnston analyzes the suffering of front-line soldiers caused not only by the opposing force, but also by the conditions imposed by their own army… See more details below

Overview

At the Front Line draws on a plethora of letters, diaries and documents written by more than 300 Australian soldiers in the field to present a picture of the hardships and triumphs of their national wartime experience. Mark Johnston analyzes the suffering of front-line soldiers caused not only by the opposing force, but also by the conditions imposed by their own army. The book details the physical and psychological pressures of life at the front. It shows the shocking realizations experienced by soldiers as they came into contact with their own mortality and the mortality of others for the first time. With a skilful hand, Mark Johnston paints a picture of survival and surrender in the surreal conditions in which the soldiers lived and fought: not only the rain, heat, hunger and noise, but also the boredom and the unnerving suspense. The author investigates both the immense strain that led to many breakdowns, and the characteristic forbearance that saw so many others through. In this testament to both scholarship and humanity, Mark Johnston has captured the stoicism and frailty of Australian soldiers struggling under the burdens of service in World War II.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521523233
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/18/2002
Edition description:
First Paperback Edition
Pages:
261
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents

List of Plates
List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Conventions and Abbreviations
Introduction
Pt. 1The Front Line
1The Unnatural Life at the Front3
2Experiences of Fear and Death17
3Major Sources of Front-line Stress29
4When Fear Became Unbearable46
5Taking the Strains of the Front Line63
Pt. 2The Army Way
6Callous Bigwigs and Boredom91
7Army Muck-ups104
8Resentment of Inequality124
9Discipline and Making the Most of Army Life144
Pt. 3Mates
10A Band of Brothers?167
11Aftermath and Conclusions193
App. AWho Fought Where200
App. BStatistical Comparisons: Religion, Occupation, Residence211
Notes214
Bibliography237
Index252

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