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John Coates

John Coates (1932–2018) was Chief of the General Staff from 1990 to 1992 and later became an author specialising in military history.

John Coates reviews 'That Magnificent 9th: An illustrated history of the 9th Australian Division' by Mark Johnston, and 'Alamein: The Australian story' by Mark Johnston and Peter Stanley

April 2003, no. 250 11 October 2022
At 9:40 pm on 23 October 1942, in the North African desert, the heavens lit up with myriad flashes from more than one thousand guns, and the roar of the British Commonwealth Eighth Army’s opening barrage rolled out towards Field Marshal Rommel’s poised Panzerarmee Afrika. Promptly, at 10 pm, when two search-lights arced across the sky, beams crossing, the waiting infantry from Australia, Scotl ... (read more)

John Coates on 'The Defence and Fall of Singapore 1940–1942' by Brian P. Farrell and 'Singapore Burning: Heroism and surrender in World War II' by Colin Smith

October 2006, no. 285 01 October 2006
It is rare that two books of such quality should appear at the same time, especially on a subject as tragic but absorbing as the fall of Singapore. The reader is reminded immediately of films about the maiden voyage of the Titanic. You know that at the end of the film the ship has to sink: you also know that Singapore must fall with equally dramatic suddenness. Worse, in the case of Singapore, the ... (read more)