Fighting the Enemy: Australian Soldiers and Their Adversaries in World War II

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 16, 2000 - History - 206 pages
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Fighting the Enemy is about men with the job of killing each other. Based on the wartime writings of hundreds of Australian front-line soldiers during World War II, this powerful and resonant book contains many moving descriptions of high emotion and drama. Soldiers' interactions with their enemies are central to war, and their attitudes to their adversaries are crucial to the way wars are fought. This book is an unprecedented and thorough examination of the way Australian combat soldiers interacted with troops from the four powers engaged in World War II.

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

If you've read at any length about World War II combat this book will have few real surprises for you, though it is a nice little monograph that does bring together an interesting collection of ... Read full review

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Mark Johnson has made remarks which do not stand up under scrutiny. Primarily about in all their victories the Australians outnumbered the Japanese. This is a stupid thing to say . Let's look at some of the Japanese victories against the Australians in order to get a bench mark. 20,000 Japanese troops came ashore in the Buna/Gona region. 12,000 were the Pacific South Seas Regiment, veterans of much previous fighting. About 8,000 of these, initially, set out to contest the immediate terrain against the Australian soldiers in the area, all 542 of them. These 542 were slowly pushed back,, but by the time reinforcements began to trickle up to where they had been ordered to make a final stand, the Japanese had already had enough . On Timor a ragged force of a few hundred Australians held up 10,000 Japanese troops for months. At Milne Bay, the Japanese were outnumbered, however they had chosen to invade based on the presumtion that the invading force could attack as A FORCE, but that the defenders would be "spaced out." However the Japanese ( Special Forces by the way. Were pushed back in to the sea. And outnumbered OR NOT, this was the very first time in WW2 that a Japanese invasion force had not taken it's objective. I would say that Mr Johnson has skirted around and been a bit economical with the truth. 


The Italians
The Real Enemy
Mutual Respect
The Vichy French
Most Encountered Most Hated
Sources of Hate
Questions of Quality
Empathy Compassion and Incomprehension
Fifth Columnists

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