Description

Title: A History of the 2/18th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Author: Elliot, Di & Silver, Lynnette

Condition: Near Mint

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 2006

ISBN: 1876439831

Cover: Hard Cover without Dust Jacket (Laminated Boards) – 306 pages

Comments: History of the 2/18th Battalion – this edition is an update to the 1st edition by James Burfitt.

The 2/18th Battalion assumed garrison duties in Malaya in February 1941 and for ten months was in continuos training – with an emphasis on jungle warfare – until the outbreak of war with Japan on 8 December.  The battalion went into action near Mersing on the night of 26 January 1942, in a battle lasting ten hours.  The entire British-Australian force was then forced out of Malaya but twelve days later, when the Japanese invaded Singapore Island, the 2/18th was in action again. 

Fighting was continuos until 15 February, when general Percival surrendered his entire force.  In the nine days of its total fighting history, the 2/18th lost 225 men killed, with over 400 wounded.  These losses, while the lightest sustained by the Division’s 22nd Brigade in the Malayan Campaign, were greater that that of any Australian unit is a single campaign during World war Two.  With the fall of Singapore, the battalion went into captivity. 

The POW experience varied, as the Japanese split the Allied units to create well balanced work forces for their labour needs.  As a result, men from the 2/18th represented the battalion in camps in Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Japan and, on the Burma-Thai railway.  This history reveals that, for the next three and a half years, the 2/18th as a unit, functioned primarily as a survival mechanism for its members, unifying disparate groups and giving them hope for survival.  By war’s end when those who survived the rigors of captivity returned to civilian life, they had forged bonds which would last a life time.

Nominal Roll included