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Mat McLachlan

Why do publishers do this? The cover of this book screams that the Cowra breakout is an ‘untold’ story, and ‘the missing piece of Australia’s World War II history’. Neither claim is remotely true, as the author himself acknowledges. Once we get past the sensationalist cover and into the text, Mat McLachlan notes that the story of the Cowra breakout has been told several times before, and well: he even salutes Harry Gordon’s Die Like the Carp!, first published in 1978, as the ‘definitive’ account. So this is hardly the missing piece of an Australian military history jigsaw. Another stretch is the suggestion in the shoutline that the breakout was a conventional military ‘battle’.

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