ACROSS THE SEA TO WAR - ANZ Troop Convoys from 1865 through Two World Wars to Korea & Vietnam
225 x 150 mm, 400 pages, 188 photographs
ISBN 9781877058066, $29.95, Paperback
Available: Out of Stock
Australia and New Zealand have a proud record of sending troops overseas to fight for Great Britain when conflicts have arisen over the years. This book chronicles the transporting of these troops by ship to overseas destinations, starting with the Sudan Campaign in 1865, which was followed by participation in the Boer War at the turn of the century.
The first major international conflict to involve Australian and New Zealand troops was the First World War. During the first year of the conflict, troops travelled to the war zone in convoys, but these were dispensed with, as German naval forces were driven from the seas. These three conflicts are covered in the opening chapters.
The majority of the book is an in-depth coverage of the troop convoys of the Second World War.
From January 1940 to the end of 1941, Australia and New Zealand transported the cream of their military forces to far away battle grounds in the Middle East, where the ANZAC troops covered themselves in glory. Unlike the First World War, German naval forces remained a constant threat throughout the war, and the risk of attack was always present. Despite this, the troops were loaded in huge numbers on board the greatest liners of the day, such famous names as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Aquitania, Mauretania, lie de France and Nieuw Amsterdam featuring in many of the convoys.
However, the sudden entry of Japan into the war brought about a reversal of the policy of sending our troops overseas. Instead, Australian troops were brought back home in a series of convoys so they could be sent to New Guinea to repel, and eventually defeat, the marauding enemy forces.
With the end of the war the survivors were brought home on any available ship, be it an aircraft carrier or a tramp steamer.
All these troop movements are covered in depth, with numerous personal glimpses gleaned from the diaries of those who travelled in the convoys.
This is a story that has never been told before, about an aspect of war that has been largely overlooked by military historians. However, without the convoys, the outcome of the entire war would have been very different.
This is far more than a book about ships, or the war in general. It is a very different, yet highly compelling story of men thrust into dangerous situations, who coped with daily life with the courage and humour that was typical of the average soldier.
This book will be an essential addition to the library of anyone with an interest in military history, naval history, maritime history, the Second World War, or the great liners of the past.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Plowman is a noted maritime researcher and writer, having had five books published in Australia over the past twenty years. His first books detailed the history of Australian and New Zealand Passenger Ships from 1875 to 1980. This was followed by a history of the P & 0 and Orient Line services to Australia, From Chusan to Sea Princess. written under the pseudonym Malcolm R. Gordon, and a volume under his own name, Emigrant Ships to Luxury Liners. He also has a great passion for Australian paddleboats, and has written a major historical work on this subject, The Wheels Still Turn.
Born and raised in Bermuda, and educated in England, Peter carne to Australia as an assisted migrant in 1965., when aged twenty, and has since made the country his home. He has been a member of the World Ship Society for over forty years. From 1978 to 1993 he was the editor of the magazine,
Australian Sea Heritage. published by the Sydney Maritime Museum.