A Military History of Australia by Jeffrey Grey

By Jeffrey Grey

An army heritage of Australia presents a close chronological narrative of Australia's wars throughout greater than 2 hundred years, set within the contexts of defence and strategic coverage, the improvement of society and the influence of struggle and army carrier on Australia and Australians. It discusses the improvement of the military as associations and examines the connection among governments and army coverage. This ebook is a revised and up to date variation of 1 of the main acclaimed overviews of Australian army historical past on hand. it's the in simple terms accomplished, single-volume remedy of the position and improvement of Australia's army and their involvement in conflict and peace around the span of Australia's glossy heritage. It concludes with attention of Australian involvement in its area and extra largely because the terrorist assaults of September eleven and the waging of the worldwide conflict on terror.

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The posting policy of the line regiments of the army in the 19th century was a complicated process. Australia and New Zealand were remote stations, Australia at least being arduous but not especially dangerous. The conditions of the rank and file between Waterloo and the Crimean War were characterised by hardship, brutality, disease and early deaths, and service in the fever-ridden garrisons of the West Indies, for example, produced appalling mortality rates among officers and men alike. Other imperial outposts were little better: service in Ceylon produced a mortality rate five times higher than that pertaining in Britain, while West Africa was a regimental graveyard, half the men perishing within three months of arrival and few men surviving fifteen months’ service.

Captain John Hunter, commander of the Sirius, noted in his journal that initially the tribes of the Port Jackson region met the settlers of the First Fleet with almost unrelieved hostility. Foraging parties were attacked, often after being lured ashore by friendly gestures or the offer of women. The British strayed from their settlement only in armed parties. After one such attempt to trick them into coming into range, Hunter wrote: [w]hat reason they could have had for this treacherous kind of conduct, I am wholly at a loss to guess, for nothing hostile or mischievous had appeared on our part; on the contrary, the most friendly disposition had been manifested in every thing we said or did; even when their women took the alarm upon our approach, I spoke to them, and made such signs of friendship as we judged they would understand, and went round at a distance to prevent their apprehension of any insult.

Not only did the traditional indigenous methods impose great limitations upon Aboriginal warriors; the Aboriginal way of thinking about war itself was a serious limitation. It was quite possible to adapt firearms to an indigenous method of war, as the Zulus did, or to adapt the method of war to incorporate the new weaponry, as the Maori did. But the Aboriginal peoples generally did neither, certainly in the period when effective opposition might have been possible. Late in the 19th century some of the most serious threats to whites were posed by Aboriginal people who had acquired guns and ‘white’ skills as native police or trackers, and who then turned these against white settlers in northern and western Australia.

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