Volume II – Middle East and Far East (1962 reprint)

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Author: Walker, Allan Seymour

This volume, the second of the medical series of the Australian history of the 1939–1945 war, opens with the story of service medicine between two world wars, describes the preparations on the outbreak of war and then follows the AIF to the Middle East. There the medical units were trained to apply modern medical and surgical methods to the problems of war. The campaign narratives describe the medical aspects of the set battles in the desert at Bardia and Tobruk, the pursuit to Benghazi, the retreat to Tobruk and its epic defence, the frustrations of Greece and Crete, and the successes of Syria ad Alamein.

After viewing current events in Australia the author turns to the Japanese war and to the medical corps’ work against heavy odds in NEI, Timor, Ambon and New Britain, and the part it played in the Malayan campaign. The succeeding chapters deal with the stuggle of the 8th Division against disability and death, the fate of the troops and the nurses in captivity, and end with the day of liberation.