Title: Against All the Odds: The History of the 2/18th Battalion A.I.F.

Author: Burfitt, James

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1991

ISBN: 0646064622

Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 296 pages

Comments: The detailed history of the 2/18th Battalion during World War II – 1st edition copies are now rare and much sought after.

Between June 1940 and January 1942 over 1300 young Australians answered the call to their country by voluntarily joining the 2/18th Infantry Battalion.  During their years in the 2/18th, these men led by the courageous Lieutenant-Colonel (later Brigade) Arthur Varley, were repeatedly put to the test yet emerged each time with their esprit de corps intact.  After rigorous preparation, the 2/18th was sent to Malaya, where they were forced to act as garrison troops while their countrymen enjoyed the glory of the initial Australian successes in the Western Desert against the Axis Forces.  Later when the Japanese entereed the war , the 2/18th found itself in the hopeless position of defending the crown jewel of the British Empire against a crack foe in an ill-equipped, unco-ordinated force. 

Despite this, the 2/18th managed to savage a superior enemy force to such an extent that, for the one and only time in the campaign, the Japanese withdrew from battle.  The battalion was positioned on the western shores of Singapore Island when the Japanese stormed ashore.  By 15 February, it alone of all the units that initially confronted the Japanese landing, was still a recognizable unit although it suffered almost 250 deaths in battle.  In February 1942, the battalion was confronted with its gravest challenge, that of captivity.  The Battalion was split into tiny groups which merged with large POW work forces to labour for the Japanese throughout occupied Asia. 

The battalion lost over 200 men in the three and a half years under the Japanese, yet cold boast a survival rate second to none.  Against All Odds is a story of courage, and determination to overcome the varied challenges that war prrsents. The inclusion of a significant amount of interview material gives the men of the 2/18th Battalion a chance to tell it as it was, adding authenticity and candour to the battalion’s story.    

Nominal Roll included

Ex-Library copy