German Raiders of the South Seas
Doubleday, 208pp, $19.95pb
Royal Australian Navy 1942–1945
by G. Hermon Gill
William Collins/Australian War Memorial, 758pp, $35.00hb
The history of Australia at war has tended to focus on the exploits of the Australian army to the neglect of the other two services. It is usually forgotten, for example, that the most famous of Australia’s military actions, that at Gallipoli, was part of a combined operation, in which the failure to land the troops at the designated spot virtually condemned the attack from the outset. In both world wars, command of the sea was the prerequisite for Australia’s military participation and for her own security. Far removed from the main theatres in World War I, Australian forces had to be transported thousands of miles by sea to the Middle East, Gallipoli and the western front. Allied sea power made that possible.