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The Hard Slog
Australians in the Bougainville Campaign, 1944–45

Part of Australian Army History Series

  • Date Published: April 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107017320

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  • The island of Bougainville in the South Pacific was the site of one of the largest and most gruelling campaigns fought by Australian forces during the Second World War. During the offensive against the Japanese from November 1944 to August 1945, more than 500 Australians were killed and two Victoria Crosses awarded. A veteran later described Bougainville as 'one long bloody hard slog'. Despite this, little is known about the campaign, which was dismissed as an unnecessary and costly operation. In the first major study of the Bougainville campaign since 1963, Karl James argues that it was in fact a justifiable use of Australia's military resources. Drawing on original archival research, including wartime reports and soldiers' letters and diaries, James illustrates the experience of Australian soldiers who fought. Generously illustrated with over forty photographs, this important book tells how this often overlooked battle played an important part in Australia's Second World War victory.

    • This is the first major Australian study of the Bougainville campaign since the official history was published in 1963
    • It draws heavily on original archival research, using wartime reports as well as soldiers' letters and diaries
    • It tells the story of a campaign often overlooked and ignored in Australia's military history
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107017320
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 47 b/w illus. 23 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The unnecessary war
    2. Torokina and the Outer Islands
    3. The Central Sector
    4. The Northern Sector
    5. The Southern Sector
    6. Slater's Knoll
    7. To Buin
    8. Peace.

  • Author

    Karl James, Australian War Memorial

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