Books and information on Australian Military history from Pre Boer War, World War 1, World War 2 to present day conflicts!
Booksforever offers a diverse selection of new books (latest releases); with old, rare and out of print books on Australia’s War history.
The majority of our bookshop range are on Unit histories. These specialist titles are an important reference and research tool for both historians and family members alike. Most are/were written by military history researchers / authors that specialize in Australia’s history. These books are a wonderful resource for those after information on family members / relatives who served in past Wars and conflicts; rare book collectors; or simply for anyone interested in learning more on Australia’s history at War.
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The biography of Major General William Holmes CMG, DSO, VD
William Holmes was born in Sydney in 1862. In 1872 at the age of 10, he joined the 1st Infantry Regiment of the New South Wales Military Forces as a bugler.
After finishing school William joined the Department of Works as a clerk in 1878 and in 1888 he became chief clerk and paymaster of the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage.
In 1899 William Holmes volunteered for service in South Africa where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
When the First World War broke out William Holmes took the 5th Infantry Brigade to Gallipoli in June 1915 and was involved in fighting at the Nek. He then led the 5th Brigade in France in the attacks on the Pozieres Heights in August and at Flers in October 1916.
In January 1917, William Holmes was given command of the 4th Division. On 2 July he was surveying the Messines battlefield. A German shell landed nearby and Holmes was hit through the chest and lung. He died shortly after.
CEW Bean wrote of William Holmes, ‘he had the reputation of being among the bravest in the force … Amongst all others he was the first general with outstanding powers of leadership whom the Australian Citizen Force produced, and Australian history will always have a big place for him.’
Written by the Grandson of William Holmes, Basil Holmes Travers, this meticulously researched biography details the life of one of Australia’s most gallant soldier and leader.
The true story behind the worst training accident in the history of the Australian Army, and how for 50 years, an entire nation forgot it ever happened.
On Monday the 21st of May 1945, a single blinding flash of highly explosive gelignite violently detonated in an underground training bunker at the Royal Australian Engineer Training Centre ‘Kapooka Camp’, nine miles from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.
In less than a second, 26 of Australia’s promising young soldiers were killed. Many were mutilated beyond recognition. Following an unprecedented outpouring of public emotion and grief, including a Royal message of condolences to affected families, the largest military funeral and coordinated interment of troops in Australia’s history took place just two days later. Then, inexplicably, for the next 50 years, Australia chose to forget the tragedy ever happened.
Based on the testimony provided to the Australian Military Forces, Court of Inquiry, by the very men and women who witnessed this horrific tragedy unfold, this story provides a chilling insight into the lives of the unfortunate victims, and explains just what went wrong that fateful autumn day in 1945 when an unexpected explosion tore open the heart of a country town, and stunned a nation.
‘When I joined the 2nd AIF’, a seasoned veteran said, ‘It didn’t take long for my platoon commander to inform me he had been trained by a member of the well known Australian Instructional Corps’.
Skilfully Drilled tells the story of these exemplary permanent force professional soldiers. The 600 warrant officers, some with honorary quartermaster commissions, were the unsung architects whose practical soldier training laid the basis for the success of the Australian Army in WWII.
The AIC was an Australia wide ‘posting unit’ that was never sent to war. However, the influence of the AIC’s ‘all-corps’ training in the inter-war years was such that its methodology became the springboard from which future training developed when the Australian Regular Army was created in 1947.
Australian Artillery in the Western Desert 1940 – 1942
Battle Winners is a vibrant and detailed account of the extraordinary battles of the Australian 6th and 9th Division six field artillery regiments against the Italian Army and Afrika Korps in the unforgiving terrain of the Western Desert from 1940 to 1942.
It traces the 6th Division’s advance to Benghazi, the legendary Siege of Tobruk and their ‘bush artillery’ of the 9th Division, closing with the bloody finale that was Second El Alamein against a battle-hardened foe.
The book describes the organisation, equipment, development and artillery tactics of both sides in meticulous detail.
General Montgomery’s appointment in August 1942 proved the turning point and the Eighth Army artillery rose to become the ‘queen of battles’ at the climactic El Alamein battle.
‘Plenty of opportunity to buy raki’ was one of many surprises for Australian soldiers captured at Gallipoli. Kismet identifies sixty-seven of them and, using information gleaned from Australian, British and Turkish archives, recounts their stories of capture and experiences at camps across Turkey. The life in some camps, particularly for officers, challenges the myth that the lot of the prisoner was one of constant suffering and hardship. The research for this book took ten years and included a trek of 8,000 kilometres across Turkey to locate the various sites.
Between 20 May and 1 June 1941 the Second World War came to the Greek island of Crete. The Commonwealth defenders consisted of Australian, New Zealand and British refugees from thedoomed Greek Campaign who had not recovered from defeat. Matched against them were crack German paratroopers and mountain soldiers who had only tasted victory. Over eleven days the two sides fought a desperate action that generated tales of stubborn determination and reckless bravery on both sides.
It was an innovative campaign – warfare’s first aerial invasion – and at times its outcome balanced on aknife edge. Richly illustrated, the Battle of Crete examines the commanders and the decisions they made, the men who fought, and the weapons they used in the epic struggle for the island.