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Doomed Battalion - The Australian 2/40th Battalion 1940 - 45 (2nd Edition)

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Title: Doomed Battalion -  Mateship and Leadership in War and Captivity : the Australian 2/40 Battalion 1940 - 45

Author: Henning, Peter

Condition: Mint

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 2014

ISBN: 9780987603227

Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket - 556 pages

Comments: The comprehensive and much sought after history of the 2/40th Infantry Battalion during World War II. 

Doomed Battalion is the story of nearly one thousand Australian soldiers of the 2/40 Battalion – mainly Tasmanians – who were sent to garrison an airfield in Dutch Timor immediately after the Japanese entered the Second World War.  Assigned a hopeless military task within a misguided strategy, they were captured a week after the fall of Singapore in February 1942.  For the next three and a half years they were more thoroughly scattered in prison camps throughout Asia than the men of any comparable Australian unit.  Their experiences represent microcosm the experience of Australians in Japanese hands in the Pacific theatre.

Using a combination of documentary material and interviews, the book represents the most comprehensive reconstruction and analysis of the fighting in Dutch Timor yet written.  It is also a penetrating and sensitive study of the complexities of the prisoner of war experience – the psychology of incarceration; the nature of prisoners’ relationships with other Australians, their officers, and prisoners of other nationalities; and the operation of mateship and leadership under extreme hardship.  A complex, readable and deeply human story of Australians in war and captivity.

This revised and enlarged edition of the book first published in 1995 maintains but extends the combination of documentary material, veteran interviews, diaries and letters, using new information from both public and private sources.

Doomed Battalion explores the complexities of the prisoner of war experience, the nature of the men’s relationships with each other, with their officers, with other Australians and with prisoners of other nationalities in conditions of extreme hardship and the continuous struggle for survival.

The focus is on individuals and their responses to the realities of their circumstances, a focus which demonstrates various and diverse views about the operation of mateship at its most fundamental level and the vexed question of who exercised leadership.

Doomed Battalion is also one of the few accounts about Australian troops in Japanese prison camps which examines in depth the impact of their experiences on their post-war lives.

A penetrating, sensitive and deeply human story of Australians in war and captivity.

Includes Nominal Roll 


  • Item: RB14351
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5kgs


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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 17 November, 2014.

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