The Last Knight - A biography of General Sir Phillip Bennett AC, KBE, DSO
General Sir Phillip Bennett is a good example of what makes a successful leader. With a combination of innate personal qualities, education, broad experience and the hardening that comes with survival on the battlefield he prospered. As a young officer he survived the first and most perilous year of the Korean War, including the Battle of Kapyong. He also withstood the rigours of battalion command in South Vietnam in 1968-69, including the Battle of Coral, one of the most intense operations of the war in South Vietnam for the Australian forces. Bennett’s story is not only one of great battles and heroic exploits, but also a story of the contest for ‘policy dominance’ between the civil servants and the military leadership illustrating what was involved in forging the foundations of the Australian Defence Force. He was the last knight to command the Australian Defence Force. Phillip Bennett retired at the age of fifty-eight and, five months later, accepted the post of Governor of Tasmania where he served the people of Tasmania for eight years. His story is characterised by dedication, tragedy, luck, and great achievement. His career spanned the evolution of the post-Second World War Army and the bureaucratic tensions that followed the demise of the separate departments of Navy, Army and Air Force. Hard cover, photographs, 409 pages.