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Peter Ryan

Peter Ryan (1923–2015) was Director of MUP from 1962 to 1989. A World War II veteran, he wrote Fear Drive My Feet (1959) about his wartime experiences.

Peter Ryan reviews 'On the Warpath: An anthology of Australian military travel' edited by Robin Gerster and Peter Pierce

April 2004, no. 260 01 April 2004
Note especially the last word in the subtitle – ‘travel’. This book is not, or not chiefly, about strategy and battles. It is about getting to the war, or passing through an operational area and (with luck) getting home again; it is about visiting war cemeteries, battlefields and memorials, or revisiting them, sometimes decades later. You may think this a wispy and slender thread upon which ... (read more)

Peter Ryan reviews 'The Australian Centenary History of Defence, Vols. I–VII', edited by John Coates and Peter Dennis

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 12 August 2022
This handsome set of volumes – this ‘library’, it might almost be said – is one of the finest large publishing projects undertaken in Australia over recent years. Dedicated to ‘those who have served in the defence of Australia, 1901–2001’, it is brought triumphantly to a conclusion by the recent issue of its Volume VII, An Atlas of Australia’s Wars. This climactic volume, lying ope ... (read more)

Peter Ryan reviews 'Australia’s Boer War: The war in South Africa 1899–1902' by Craig Wilcox

April 2003, no. 250 01 April 2003
Ever since Federation, Australians have heard of the Boer War, as they have heard of the Wars of the Roses. As to deep understanding, they have as much about the one war as about the other. As a ‘Matric’ student in 1939, I had for my Commercial Practice teacher a Boer War veteran – lean, tall, bowlegged – every schoolboy’s image of our horsemen who had taught the Empire’s enemies such ... (read more)