Title: Hassett : Australian Leader
Author: Essex-Clarke, John DSM
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2005
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 293 pages
Comments: The compelling biography Of General Sir Francis Hassett AC, KBE, CB, DSO, LVO.
General Sir Francis George “Frank” Hassett AC, KBE, CB, DSO, LVO (11 April 1918 – 11 June 2008) was an Australian general who rose to the position of Chief of the Defence Force Staff; a position marking him as the professional head of the Australian Defence Force. Serving in this capacity from November 1975 until April 1977, he had originally joined the Australian Army in 1935 upon gaining entrance into the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Serving with distinction in the early stages of the Second World War, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1942 at the age of 23, and posted as a staff officer for the remainder of the war.
In 1951, Hassett was appointed to command the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Korea, where he led the unit through some of the toughest fighting of the war. For his leadership and planning during the Battle of Maryang San, he was granted an immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order. Promoted to brigadier in 1960, Hassett commanded a brigade in Malaya for three years, before returning to Australia and serving in a variety of positions which eventually resulted in his appointment as Chief of the General Staff with the rank of lieutenant general. Promoted to general after two years in this role, he was appointed Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, which was reorganised as Chief of the Defence Force Staff the following year. Hassett died in 2008 at the age of 90.
This is the story of a great Australian who joined the army as a boy, trained at Duntroon, and started fighting with an infantry battalion in the Libyan Desert in World War Two. He served in Palestine, Syria, New Guinea and Bougainville with the 2/3rd Battalion.
He later led 3 RAR with distinction, at the Battle of Maryang San in Korea and rose through 40 years of service to command the defence of Australia.
The most decorated soldier in the Australian Army, he earning five post-nominal honours. This book explains why he was so impressive, deeply respected and why he was promoted so young and quickly.
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