Title: Iven G Mackay – Citizen and Soldier

Author: Chapman, Ivan

Condition: Very Good +

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1975

ISBN: 0909439028

Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 316 pages

Comments: The story of Lieutenant General Sir Iven Mackay KBE, CMG, DSO & bar, VD.

Lieutenant General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay KBE, CMG, DSO and Bar, VD (7 April 1882 – 30 September 1966) was a senior Australian Army officer who served in both World Wars.

A graduate of the University of Sydney, Mackay taught physics there from 1910 until 1914, when he joined the Australian Imperial Force. He served with the 4th Infantry Battalion at Gallipoli, where he distinguished himself in hand-to-hand fighting at the Battle of Lone Pine. In April 1916, he assumed command of the 4th Infantry Battalion on the Western Front and led it at the Battle of Pozières, Battle of Bullecourt and Battle of Broodseinde. He was promoted to brigadier general in June 1918, and led the 1st Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Hazebrouck, the Battle of Amiens and in the attack on the Hindenburg Line.

After the war Mackay studied physics at the University of Cambridge under Ernest Rutherford before returning to Australia and his old job as a lecturer at the University of Sydney. From 1933 to 1940 he was headmaster of Cranbrook School Sydney. He remained in the Militia between the wars, and was a major general by the time the Second World War broke out. He was selected to command the 6th Division in 1940, and led it through the Australian Army’s first battles of the war. Any doubts about his ability soon disappeared with the commitment of the division to the Western Desert Campaign. During the Battle of Bardia in January 1941, the 6th Division captured the fortified town along with 36,000 Italian prisoners. In the Battle of Greece, he became the only Australian general to face the Waffen SS in battle. He suffered a series of reverses in Greece, but impressed the troops under his command with his courage under fire. He was recalled to Australia in 1941 to serve as General Officer Commanding Home Forces. On 6 April 1942 he assumed command of the Second Army. During 1943 he twice commanded New Guinea Force in the fighting in the New Guinea Campaign. His active service ended with his appointment as High Commissioner to India in November 1943.