Jungle Warriors: From Tobruk to Kokoda and beyond, How the Australian Army Became the World's Most Deadly Jungle Fighting Force

Jungle Warriors: From Tobruk to Kokoda and beyond, How the Australian Army Became the World's Most Deadly Jungle Fighting Force

Jungle Warriors: From Tobruk to Kokoda and beyond, How the Australian Army Became the World's Most Deadly Jungle Fighting Force

Jungle Warriors: From Tobruk to Kokoda and beyond, How the Australian Army Became the World's Most Deadly Jungle Fighting Force

Excerpt

Over the course of the Second World War, the Australian Army underwent an extraordinary transformation. From a force that was ill equipped, poorly organised and with outdated doctrine and training methods in 1939, it had been completely remade by 1945. The first transition, needed to enable the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to operate effectively in the North African and Mediterranean Theatres, was noteworthy but did not demand the swathe of adaptations and improvisations of the second. The entry of the Imperial Japanese Army into the war in December 1941 saw the Australian Army facing an unknown opponent in an unforeseen locale. It would also see a new term enter the military lexicon: ‘jungle warfare’. This second transition, between 1942 and 1945, saw substantial modifications to weapons, uniforms, equipment and, most importantly, doctrine and training. Without these last two crucial elements, events in the South West Pacific Area would have unfolded very differently.

In March 1942, as the first AIF units returned from the Middle East, there was—notwithstanding the experiences of the 8th Division . . .

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