When we consider the many aircraft type which defended the skies above Australia and her territories, the P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk in American service) immediately springs to mind. Indeed, the Kittyhawk would arguably be one of the most important fighters in service with the RAAF during the Second World War. Though many veterans who served in the Northern Territory will recall with fondness, the sound of Merlin engines over the top end with the arrival of No.
For some readers, it may come as a surprise that war in Papua and New Guinea did not start with fighting on the Kokoda Trail in July of 1942. This is partly due to a plethora of books which cover this important land campaign; yet fail to fully integrate the air war into the story. An exception to that statement is Lex McAulay’s Blood & Iron which made a creditable attempt to inform the reader of what was occurring in the skies above the track.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer:
It is a German flechette dart – a sharpened projectile weapon which Australian soldier William Howie found lodged in a case of ration biscuits while in the trenches at Gallipoli. A lethal shower of these darts had just been dropped over Victoria Gully by an enemy aircraft.
Reading Room, Saturday 17 May 2014, 11.00am. Bookings are essential.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the military’s official documents?
Have you ever wondered how historians and academics access military documents and files for their research?
Nearly a century has passed since the First World War began. It has been almost seventy five years since the Second World War and over fifty years since the arrival of Australian troops in Vietnam. It is little wonder that it can be challenging for students today to understand the contribution Australians have made in wartime.
What is it?
Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments.
We will post the answer and the full story next week!
This is #9 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it.
In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at the auction of the Dr Hans Sachs collection in New York. As part of my research into the collector Dr Hans Sachs (1882-1974) I discovered that, his passion for the graphic arts led to a German U-boat becoming an unlikely exhibition venue for posters at the height of the First World War.
Lack of sleep and the enormity of the day yesterday has prevented the blog going up earlier. It is always a unique experience when taking a bunch of teenagers to an event like this. Each year they critically examine their experience and all bring their own perspective. Commemoration is powerful but it also resonates in different ways for people. I am always fascinated to see how our Simpson Prize winners react, and even more so the ensuing debates on the long bus ride to Istanbul.