Book Reviews

These reviews represent the personal opinion of the reviewer and do not reflect the official position of the Royal United Services Institute of Victoria Inc. They are presented to allow readers to evaluate readings on defence, both past and current.

Click on the book cover to get to the Book Review.

An Interesting Point.png
How to Defend Australia.png
Meeting Saddam's Men.png
Scorched Earth.png
The Big Book.png
The Great War.png
The Sisters of Auschwitz.png
World War Noir.png
A Game.png
Answering the Call.png
Aussie Soldier.png
Buckley's.png
Fatal Mission.png
The Diggers of Colditz.png
The Nameless Names.png
Anzac Sniper.png
Mission Improbable.png
Painting.png
The Empire.png
The Last Battle.png
The Mighty Krait.png
The Soldiers' Peace.png
Turning Point.png
Women to the Front.png
Beyond Combat.png
The Civilisation of Port Phillip.png
Unconquered.png
Australia's.png
Hell of a Time.png
No Less Worthy.png

An Interesting Point

A History of Military Aviation at Point Cook

 

Steve Campbell-Wright

Newport NSW, Big Sky Publishing  2019

Hardcover  252pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, February 2020

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Chastise

The Dambusters Story 1943

 

Max Hastings

Harper Collins   2019

Hardcover   464pp   RRP $59.99

 

Reviewer: Brian Surtees, February 2020

How to Defend Australia

 

Hugh White

Black Inc Books   October 2019

Paperback   336pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Michael Hili, February 2020

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Implacable Foes

The War in the Pacific 1944 - 1945

 

Waldo Heinrichs and Marc Galliccho

Oxford University Press UK, 2019

Paperback    728pp   RRP $43.95

 

Reviewer: Roger Buxton, February 2020

Meeting Saddam’s Men

Looking for Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

 

Ashton Robertson

Sydney, Big Sky Publishing, 2019

Paperback   288pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Ian George, January 2020

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Project Rainfall

The Secret History of Pine Gap

 

Tom Gilling

Allen & Unwin   2019

Paperback   320pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, January 2020

Scorched Earth

Peacekeeping in Timor during

a campaign of death and destruction

 

Tammy Pemper

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Paperback   320pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, December 2019

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South Pacific Air War

Volumes 1 to 3

 

Michael Claringbould & Peter Ingman

Kent Town, South Australia, Avonmore Books

 

Reviewer:  Neville Taylor, March 2020

The Big Book of Australia’s War Stories

A collection of stories of Australia’s iconic battles,

 heroes and campaigns from the Boer War to Vietnam

 

Jim Haynes

Allen & Unwin   2019

Softback   600pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, December 2019

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The Four Flash Points

How Asia Goes to War

 

Brendan Taylor

Black Inc Books 2018

Paperback   256pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Bruce Brown, February 2020

The Great War

Aftermath and Commemoration

 

Carolyn Holbrook & Kier Reeves

Sydney, UNSW Press   2019

Paperback   304pp   RRP $39.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, January 2020

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The Long Search for Peace

Observer Missions and Beyond, 1947–2006

[The Official History of Australian Peacekeeping,

Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations Vol 1]  

 

Peter Londey, Rhys Crawley and David Horner

Cambridge University Press   2019

Hardcover   926pp   RRP $179.00

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, February 2020

The Sisters of Auschwitz

The true story of two Jewish sisters’ resistance

 in the heart of Nazi territory

 

Roxane van Iperen

Hachette, 2019

Paperback    310pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, January 2020

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Vietnam: Our Stories

 

Kevin Childs and Ken Foster

Melbourne, Wilkinson Publishing,  2019

Paperback   240pp   RRP $39.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, February 2020

World War Noir

Sydney's unpatriotic war

 

Michael Duffy, Nick Hordern

NewSouth Publishing   2019

Paperback   336pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, January 2020

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After the War

Returned soldiers and the mental

and physical scars of World War I

 

Leigh Straw

University of Western Australia Publishing 2017

Paperback   229pp   RRP: $39.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, October 2019

A Game of Birds and Wolves

The Secret Game that Won the War

 

Simon Parkin

Hachette,    2019

Paperback    320pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Bob Hart, November 2019

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Anzac & Aviator

The remarkable story of Sir Ross Smith

 and the 1919 England to Australia Air Race

 

Michael Molkentin

Allen and Unwin   October 2019

Paperback   424pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, October 2019

Answering the Call

Life of a Helicopter pilot in Vietnam and beyond

 

Bob Grandin

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Paperback   263pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, September 2019

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Battle on 42nd Street

War in Crete and the Anzac’s bloody last stand

 

Peter Monteath

NewSouth Publishing   2019

Paperback    272pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, October 2019

Aussie Soldier:

Up Close and Personal

 

Denny Neave, Craig Smith

Big Sky Publishing   2008

Paperback   314pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, November 2019

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Convict Colony

The remarkable story of the fledgling settlement

that survived against the odds

 

David Hill

Allen and Unwin   October 2019

Paperback   368pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, November 2019

Buckley’s Chance

The incredible true story of William Buckley

and how he conquered a new world

 

Garry Linnell

Penguin Books   October 2019

Paperback   368pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, November 2019

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The Catastrophe of 8 August 1918

 

Thilo von Bose

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Hardback   456pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, November 2019

Fatal Mission

The Life and Death of the crew of

Naughty Nan 467 Sqn RAAF

 

Mal Elliott

Big Sky Publishing, 2019

Paperback   224pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, October 2019

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The Last Cruise of a German Raider

The Destruction of SMS Emden

 

Ben Olsen

Seaforth Publishing, Barnesly UK  2018

Hardback   289pp   RRP $45.75

 

Reviewer: Kevan Sanderson, November 2019

The Diggers of Colditz

The classic Australian POW story

about escape from the impossible

 

Jack Champ and Colin Burgess

Simon & Shuster, Sydney 2019

Paperback   307pp   RRP $35.00

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, October 2019

 

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A History of the Australian Military

From the First Fleet to the Modern Day

 

Jonathan J Moore

New Holland Publishers 2018

Paperback   256pp   RRP: $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2019

The Nameless Names

Recovering the Missing ANZACs

 

Scott Bennett

Scribe Publications   2018

Hardback   384pp   RRP $49.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, September 2019

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Military Virtues

Practical guidance for service personnel at every career stage

 

Michael Skerker, David Whetham and Don Carrick (Eds)­­­­

Howgate Publishing, UK    2019

Paperback   382pp   RRP $53.10

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, September 2019

ANZAC Sniper

 

Roland Perry

Harper Collins    2018

Paperback   400pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2019

Mission Improbable

The Transformation of the British Army Reserve

 

Patrick  Bury                                                                                                                

Howgate Publishing Limited, UK   2019  

Paperback    226 pp    RRP $81.25

 

Reviewer: Jim Barry, September 2019

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Our Great Hearted Men:

The Australian Corps and the 100 Days

 

Peter Brune

Harper Collins, Sydney   2019

Hardback   464pp   RRP $49.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, September 2019

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RAAF Black Cats

The Secret History of the covert Catalina mine-laying

operations to cripple Japan's war machine

 

Robert Cleworth and John Suter Linton

Allen & Unwin    2019

Paperback   288pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2019

Painting War

A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme

Australian Army History Series

 

Margaret Hutchinson

Cambridge University Press   2018

Hardback   284pp   RRP $59.95

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, July 2019

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The Australian War Memorial

A Century on from the Vision

 

Steven Gower

Wakefield Press   2019

Hardback   440pp   RRP $59.95

 

Reviewer: Michael O’Brien, August 2019

The Empire has an Answer

The Empire Air Training Scheme

as reported in the Australian Press 1939-1945

 

Tony James Brady

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Paperback   340pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, September 2019

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The Hindenberg Line 1918

Australian Army History Series

 

Adam Rankin

Big Sky Publishing 2019

Paperback   180pp   RRP: $19.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2019

The Last Battle

Endgame on the Western Front, 1918

 

Peter Hart

Profile Books, UK 2018

Hardback   420pp   RRP: $49.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, September 2019

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The Music Maker

One POW provided hope for thousands

 

Jaci Byrne

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Hardback   239pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, August 2019

The Mighty Krait

The little boat that pulled off

Australia’s most daring commando raid of WWII

 

Ian McPhedran

Harper Collins   2018

Paperback   244pp   RRP $35.00

 

Reviewer: Roger Buxton, September 2019

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The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

 

Vince Scappatura

Monash University Publishing    2019

Paperback   156pp   RRP $39.95

 

Reviewer:  Bruce Brown, September 2019

The Soldiers’ Peace

Demobilizing the British Army 1919

 

Michael Senior

Pen & Sword Military, UK  2018

Hardback   192pp   RRP $44.85

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, September 2019

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Vietnam

An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975

 

Max Hastings

Harper Collins   2018

Paperback   752pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Michael Hili, August 2019

Turning Point

The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 –

Japan's first land defeat in World War II

 

Michael Veitch

Hachette   2019

Paperback   336pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2019

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The First World War

The Universities and the Professions in Australia 1914-1939

 

Kate Darian-Smith & James Waghorne (Eds)

Melbourne University Press Academic 2019

Paperback   277pp   RRP $49.99

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, July 2019

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The Man Inside

The Bloodiest Outbreak

 

Graham Apthorpe

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Paperback   296pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, September 2019

Beyond Combat

Australian Military Activity away from the Battlefields

 

Tristan Moss and Tom Richardson (Eds)

NewSouth Publishing 2018

Paperback   256pp   RRP: $39.99

 

Reviewer: Kevan Sanderson, April 2019

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Duty Nobly Done

An extraordinary account of 11 family members in the Great War

Adam Holloway

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Paperback   528pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2018

The Civilisation of Port Phillip

Settler ideology, violence, and rhetorical possession

Thomas James Rogers

Melbourne University Press Academic   2018

Paperback   254pp   RRP: $44.99

 

Reviewer: Roger Buxton, April 2019

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The Limits of Peacekeeping

Australian Missions in Africa and the Americas, 1992–2005

[The Official History of Australian Peacekeeping - Vol 4]

 

Jean Bou, Bob Breen et al (Eds)

Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne Vic 2018

Hardback   743pp   RRP: $179.00

 

Reviewer:  Neville Taylor, May 2019

Unconquered: Our Wounded Warriors

 

Denny Neave et al (Eds)

Big Sky Publishing 2019

Hardback 264pp  $69.99   

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2019

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Ypres

Great Battles Series

 

Mark Connelly and Stefan Goebel

Oxford University Press, Oxford UK 2018

Hardback   288pp   RRP: $56.99

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, April 2019

Australia’s Vietnam

Myth vs History

Mark Dapin

NewSouth Books   2019

Paperback   272pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, June 2019

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Beat PTSD

How a Combat Soldier Conquered Chronic PTSD to Live a Life that Truly Matters,

and How You Can Too

 

Kevin Lloyd-Thomas

Global Publishing Group, 2018

Paperback   240pp   RRP: $29.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, June 2019

Hell of a Time

An Australian Soldier’s Diary of the Great War

 

Philip Owen Ayton (Elvala Ayton, Ed)

Text Publishing Company 2018

Paperback   287pp   RRP $49.99

 

 Reviewer:  Neville Taylor, July 2019

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Intelligence and the Function of Government

 

Daniel Baldino and Rhys Crowley (Eds)

Melbourne University Press Academic   2018

Paperback   295pp   RRP $49.99

 

Reviewer:  Tim Cook, June 2019

No Less Worthy

Acknowledging Western Australian Aboriginal Men in World War

Second Edition

 

Aboriginal History WA

Western Australia Museum    2019

Paperback   156pp   RRP $35.00

 

Reviewer:  Neville Taylor, July 2019

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Playing Soldier:

The books and toys that prepared children for war, 1871-1918

 

Richard Cheek

The Groller Club, New York 2018

Hardcover  471pp   RRP $86.88

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, June 2019

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