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Lavarack: Rival General

Brett Lodge


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LAVARACK: RIVAL GENERALis the story of one of Australia’s most senior soldiers and yet one of the least known. Chief of the General Staff and in command of thousands of Australian troops in battle during the Second World War, Lieutenant-General Sir John Lavarack is relatively unknown in the annals of the Australian army.Lavarack was head of the Australian army from 1935 to 1939, during the critical years before the Second World War. In 1940 he dropped a rank to go to war, fighting successfully in the Middle East as a division and corps commander. Indeed, he was the first Allied comander to stop Rommel’s advance across North Africa. But none of his virtues or abilities could save him from the effects of personal antipathies.Field-Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey saw Lavarack as a rival and so, like other able Australian generals, Lavarack was ruthlessly consigned to obscurity. In the 1940s, the Australian army at war had become Blamey’s personal kingdom and Lavarack, perceived as a threat to the throne, was eliminated.Whether soldier or politician, no-one who knew Lavarack was ambivalent about him. He had a fiery personality, but he was also a man of many accomplishments: intelligent, well-read, professional and courageous. Whether he was loved or loathed, he was respected for his abilities both on and off the battlefield. Lavarack’s obscurity was born of jealousy, insecurity and paranoia. #1020R Traces Lavarack’s life and combat experience, including his service in World War I, and his service as head of the Australian Army from 1935-1949; presents a detailed account of his rivalry with Field-Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey who ended Lavarack’s career. First Edition. xv, 339 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 22 cm. First Edition. ISBN 10: 1864485078 ISBN 13: 9781864485073 Lavarack

Additional Information

AuthorBrett Lodge
Number of pages339
PublisherAllen & Unwin
Year Published1998
Binding Type


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