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A Thousand Men at War, The Story of the 2/16th Battalion, A.I.F. [1,000 Men at War]

Malcolm Uren
William Heinemann
1959
ISBN:
Pages:
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket
Quantity in stock: 1

Condition: Very Good + in Damaged Dustjacket

Price: $150.00 (inc GST)

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First Edition. History of the 2/16th battalion, originally recruited in Western Australia, during the Second World War. Includes nominal roll. pp. xii, 259 illusts. Dustjacket worn and chipped (see image). #0919

This is the Battalion History book for 2/16th Australian Infantry Battalion. 

The 2/16th Battalion had an outstanding record during the course of the Second World War, both in the Middle Eastern theatre during 1941 and then the South-West Pacific from 1942 until 1945. The unit first saw service during the Syrian Campaign of mid-1941, when it fought a series of engagements at Litani River, Sidon and Damour, thus removing Vichy French forces from Middle East.

Early in 1942 the battalion returned home to man the so-called 'Brisbane Line' but in August, with sister battalions in the 21st Brigade, they were hurried to Papua and sent into the Owen Stanley Ranges to repel the Japanese drive towards the vital Port Moresby airfields.

What followed was weeks of fighting withdrawal along the Kokoda Track that were vital in delaying and finally turning back the Japanese advance.

After being withdrawn from the action and rested, the unit was again inserted into fierce battle at Gona Beach in December where, again, they suffered heavy losses.

In late 1943 the 2/16th was sent into the Ramu / Markham Valley Campaign against Japanese forces. The audacious heroism of the Battle for Shaggy Ridge and the Battalion's part in that series of actions, has since become legend in Australian military history.

In the final phases of the war, in 1945 they were part of the major invasion of the oil town of Balikpapan on Borneo island.

Originally raised from Western Australian volunteers, the battalion suffered heavy casualties and, through reinforcements, came to represent an Australia-wide cross-section of the typical citizen-soldier. The exploits of small units fighting a personal kind of war and the recollections of the surviving soldiers, form the heart of this book. To tell this story, the author combined the personal memories of many of the survivors of the Battalion with accounts from official sources. Uren's emphasis, however, was on the individual rather than on grand strategy.


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