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. Click on the Publishers name to go to their website.

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A Rat of Tobruk

A Digger’s Lost Images of the Siege

 

Mike Rosel

North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2020

Paperback   108pp.   RRP $29.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, July 2020

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Surviving the Great War
Australian prisoners of war on the Western Front 1916-18

[Australian Army History Series]

Aaron Pegram

Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press, 2020

Hardcover   xvii, 261pp.   RRP $59.95

 

Reviewer: Michael O’Brien, June 2020

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Brisbane at War

1899 - 1918

 

Barry Shaw (Ed)

Tingalpa QLD: Boolarong Press  2017

Paperback    252pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, July 2020

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The Cost of War

War, Return and the Re-Shaping of Australian Culture

 

Stephen Garton

Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2020

Paperback   308pp  RRP $40.00

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, July 2020

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Clash of the Gods of War

Australian Artillery and

the Firepower Lessons of the Great War

 

William Westerman & Nicholas Floyd (Eds)

Newport, NSW: Big Sky Publishing, 2020

Hardback   ix, 480pp.   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Michael O’Brien, June 2020

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The Grand Deception

Churchill and the Dardanelles

 

Tom Curran

Newport, NSW: Big Sky Publishing, 2015.

Hardcover   318pp.     RRP:  $34.99

 

Reviewer: Kevan Sanderson, July 2020

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Hospital Ships

 

Rupert Goodman

Tingalpa Qld: Boolarong Press, 2016

Paperback   310pp.   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Kevan Sanderson, July 2020

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The Making of Warriors

The story of the 2/1st Infantry Battalion

The City of Sydney Regiment 1939-1942

 

Graham J Smith

Dural, NSW: Rosenberg Publishing, 2020.

Paperback   248pp    RRP $34.95­­

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2020

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Military Law in Australia

Robin CreykeDale Stephens and Peter Sutherland (Eds)

Alexandria, NSW: Federation Press and Softlaw Community Projects  2019

Paperback xxiv + 395pp  RRP $130.00

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, June 2020

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The Ratline

Love, Lies and Justice on  the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive

Philippe Sands

London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Hachette UK),  2020

Paperback   431pp    RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, July 2020

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Nazi Dreamtime

Australian Enthusiasm for Hitler’s Germany

 

David S Bird

North Melbourne Vic: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2012.

Paperback   xviii + 448pp  RRP $44.00

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, June 2020

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The Thousand Doors

Australian Doctors at War Vol 4,

The Middle East and Far East 1939 - 1942

Colonel Robert Likeman.

Braddon, Australian Capital Territory: Halstead Press, 2019

Hardcover   463pp   RRP  $65.00

 

Reviewer: Robert Dixon, June 2020

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Oil under Troubled Water

Australia's Timor Sea Intrigue

 

Bernard Collaery

Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing Academic,  2020

Paperback   277pp    RRP $39.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, June 2020

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The Vietnam War

An Intimate History

 

Geoffrey C Ward and Ken Burns

London: Ebury Press, 2019

Paperback   xiii + 826 pp     RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, June 2020

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Radar Gunner

Dick Dakeyne, DFC

Coolalinga NT:   David M Welch, 2015

Hardback 142pp   RRP $29.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 2020

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World War II at Sea

A Global History

 

Craig L Symonds

Oxford University Press   2018

Hardback   792pp   RRP $55.95

 

Reviewer: Michael Hili, May 2020

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Darwin’s Submarine I-124

 

Tom Lewis

Kent Town, South Australia, Avonmore Books 2010

Paperback    317pp   RRP $19.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, April 2020

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Secret

The Making of Australia's Security State

 

Brian Toohey

Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing,  2019

Paperback   400pp    RRP $39.99

 

Reviewer: Kevan Sanderson, May 2020

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Expertise, Authority and Control

The Australian Army Medical Corps

 in the First World War [Australian Army History Series]

 

Alexia Moncrieff

Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press, 2020, Hardcover   237pp.   RRP $59.95

 

Reviewer: Michael O’Brien, June 2020

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Taking the Lead

The Royal Australian Air Force 1972 - 1996

 

Mark Lax

Newport, NSW: Big Sky Publishing, 2020

Hardback   755pp.   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Michael O’Brien, June 2020

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First Know Your Enemy

Comprehending Imperial German War Aims

 & Deciphering the Enigma of Kultur

 

John A Moses with Peter Overlack

North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing   2019

Hardback    369pp   RRP $49.95

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, May 2020

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The Allure of Battle

A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost

 

 

Cathal J Nolan

Oxford University Press UK,    2019

Paperback    728pp   RRP $33.95

 

Reviewer: Bob Hart, May 2020

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Gallipoli’s War Horses

From the Dardanelles to Damascus

 

Jill Mather

Tingalpa, Qld: Boolarong Press, 2014

Paperback   210pp.   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2020

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The Cuban Missile Crisis

Thirteen Days on an Atomic Knife Edge, October 1962

[Cold War 1945 - 1991 Series]

Phil Carradice

Barnsley, UK:  Pen & Sword Military 2017

Paperback  128pp   RRP $40.40

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, April 2020

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Honour Denied

Teddy Sheean A Tasmanian Hero

… and other brave warriors

of the Royal Australian Navy

 

Tom Lewis

Kent Town, South Australia, Avonmore Books 2010, Paperback   317pp   RRP $24.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2020

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The Fight to the Finish

The First World War – Month by Month

 

Allan Mallinson

London: Penguin Random House, 2019

Paperback   432pp.   RRP $24.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2020

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

The RAN’s role, Vietnam, 1965 – 1972

Second Edition

 

John R Carroll

NSW, Rosenberg Publishing   2020

Paperback   258pp   RRP $34.95

 

Reviewer: Roger Buxton, May 2020

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The Submarine Six

Australian Naval Heroes

 

Tom Lewis

Kent Town, South Australia: Avonmore Books 2011

Paperback 192pp   RRP $19.95

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, May 2020

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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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Wings of Gold

The Story of Australian Pilots and Observers who

Trained with the United States Navy 1966-1968

 

Trevor Rieck, Jack McCaffrie and Jed Hart

Newport NSW: Big Sky Publishing 2020

Hardback   285pp    RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, April 2020

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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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Chastise

The Dambusters Story 1943

 

Max Hastings

Harper Collins   2019

Hardcover   464pp   RRP $59.99

 

Reviewer: Brian Surtees, February 2020

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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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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

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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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Project Rainfall

The Secret History of Pine Gap

 

Tom Gilling

Allen & Unwin   2019

Paperback   320pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, January 2020

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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

South Pacific Air War

Volumes 1 to 3

 

Michael Claringbould & Peter Ingman

Kent Town, South Australia, Avonmore Books

 

Reviewer:  Neville Taylor, March 2020

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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 Four Flash Points

How Asia Goes to War

 

Brendan Taylor

Black Inc Books 2018

Paperback   256pp   RRP $29.99

 

Reviewer: Bruce Brown, February 2020

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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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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

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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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Vietnam: Our Stories

 

Kevin Childs and Ken Foster

Melbourne, Wilkinson Publishing,  2019

Paperback   240pp   RRP $39.99

 

Reviewer: Mike O’Brien, February 2020

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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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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

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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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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

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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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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

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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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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

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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 Catastrophe of 8 August 1918

 

Thilo von Bose

Big Sky Publishing   2019

Hardback   456pp   RRP $34.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, November 2019

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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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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

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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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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

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ANZAC Sniper

 

Roland Perry

Harper Collins    2018

Paperback   400pp   RRP $32.99

 

Reviewer: Neville Taylor, August 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

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