Best Writing Inspired by Worst Times; MARY ANN ELLIOTT Reviews Penguin Books Australia's Set of 10 War-Themed Books Published to Commemorate the Centenary of the First World War

The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia), April 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

Best Writing Inspired by Worst Times; MARY ANN ELLIOTT Reviews Penguin Books Australia's Set of 10 War-Themed Books Published to Commemorate the Centenary of the First World War


Anzac to Amiens

AUSTRALIAN Charles Bean was appointed war correspondent with the Australian Imperial Force in 1914 and filled countless notebooks for the next five years of the war. He edited the Official History of the Great War and was instrumental in establishing the Australian War Memorial.

Bean's book Anzac to Amiens is a prA[c]cis of his larger work and focuses in detail on the various theatres of war; Gallipoli, the Somme, Pozieres, Messines, Ypres, Palestine and many more.

Written in a precise and archaic manner that one may now deem "old-fashioned" it is nevertheless a telling, dramatic and extraordinarily detailed account of the war on the Western Front.

Bean surely has war scholars' gratitude for his meticulous research.

The Anzacs

PATSY Adam-Smith pays warm tribute to Bean in her appendix to her book, The Anzacs. She gives a more personal account, based on more than 8000 diaries and letters written by Diggers from every walk of life, about the war's sheer horror, misery and brutality; a war now immortalised in a stone monument in every smallest town in Australia.

Australia in Arms

PHILLIP Schuler, alongside Charles Bean, was one of the key First World War correspondents, but unlike Bean who lived to 88, Schuler died in 1917 of wounds received at Armentieres. His legacy is Australia in Arms, a vivid and evocative account of the AIF and its achievements, especially the Dardanelles campaign. Moving indeed are Schuler's final words; "Open-hearted, ever generous, true as gold and hard as steel, Australia's first great volunteer army and its valorous deeds will live in history while the world lasts".

Generals Die in Bed

DRAWING on his own experiences, Charles Yale Harrison paints a graphic tale of a young man sent to fight, reminding us that there is neither glamour nor glory in war, in Generals Die in Bed, the reader is whisked right into the maelstrom of the battlefield; Harrison vividly and gruesomely captures the terrible reality of trench warfare.

Storm of Steel

GERMAN soldier Ernst JA1/4nger, who died in 1998 at 102, writes from the other side of the conflict in Storm of Steel.

Dubbed by some as "the finest book on the 1914 War; honest, truthful, in good faith". …

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