Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The lost battalions : a battle that could not be won, an island that could not be defended, an ally that could not be trusted / Tom Gilling.

By: Gilling, Tom.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Crows Nest, New South Wales : Allen & Unwin, 2018Description: ix, 257 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781760632342; 1760632341.Subject(s): World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, Australian | World War, 1939-1945 -- Prisoners and prisons, Japanese | Prisoners of war -- Australia | Prisoners of war -- Abuse of -- Japan | Java (Indonesia) -- History, Military -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 940.5425 | 940.542598 | 940.547252 Summary: They were thrown into a hopeless fight against an overwhelming enemy. Later, hundreds died as prisoners of war on the Thai-Burma Railway and in the freezing coal mines of Taiwan and Japan. Through it all, wrote Weary Dunlop, they showed 'fortitude beyond anything I could have believed possible'. Until now, the story of the 2000 diggers marooned on Java in February 1942 has been a footnote to the fall of Singapore and the bloody campaign in New Guinea. Led by an Adelaide lawyer, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn VC, and fighting with scrounged weapons, two Australian battalions plus an assortment of cooks, laundrymen and deserters from Singapore held up the might of the Imperial Japanese Army until ordered by their Dutch allies to surrender. Drawing on personal diaries, official records and interviews with two of the last living survivors, this book tells the extraordinary story of the 'lads from Java', who laid down their weapons, but refused to give in.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction (NEST)
Non-Fiction (NEST) 940.5472 GIL Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This is a story of forgotten Australian heroes, the soldiers of two battalions--the 2/3 Machine-Gun battalion and the 2/2 Pioneer battalion--who were on their way home from action in the Middle East to defend Australia from the Japanese when they found themselves diverted to Java to face the vastly superior Japanese army sweeping through the Dutch East Indies. Condemned, for political reasons, by Churchill and the Allied leadership--and by the Australian prime minister, Curtin--to a hopeless battle alongside Dutch forces bent on capitulation, the outnumbered Australians fought heroically before being ordered by the Allied high command to join the Dutch surrender. While their compatriots from the Middle East campaign reached Australia, the men of the 2/3rd and the 2/2nd were marched into captivity and to three and half years of hell as prisoners of the Japanese. For nearly a year, their families in Australia did not know whether their missing fathers and sons were dead or alive. Scraps of information began to trickle out, via radio broadcasts and the Red Cross, about the fate of the prisoners, many of whom ended up on the infamous Thai-Burma railway while others endured atrocious conditions as prisoners in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Several hundred never returned. The full horror of what the men endured only came to light after the wasted survivors were brought home at the end of the war. Some of these men would be key witnesses in war crimes trial against the Japanese.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

They were thrown into a hopeless fight against an overwhelming enemy. Later, hundreds died as prisoners of war on the Thai-Burma Railway and in the freezing coal mines of Taiwan and Japan. Through it all, wrote Weary Dunlop, they showed 'fortitude beyond anything I could have believed possible'. Until now, the story of the 2000 diggers marooned on Java in February 1942 has been a footnote to the fall of Singapore and the bloody campaign in New Guinea. Led by an Adelaide lawyer, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn VC, and fighting with scrounged weapons, two Australian battalions plus an assortment of cooks, laundrymen and deserters from Singapore held up the might of the Imperial Japanese Army until ordered by their Dutch allies to surrender. Drawing on personal diaries, official records and interviews with two of the last living survivors, this book tells the extraordinary story of the 'lads from Java', who laid down their weapons, but refused to give in.