Title: The Men Who Came Out Of The Ground – A Gripping Account of Australia’s First Commando Campaign: Timor 1942
Author: Cleary, Paul
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2011
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 382 pages
Comments: The gripping story of a small force of Australian Special Forces commandos that launched relentless hit and run raids on far superior Japanese forces in East Timor for most of 1942. These Australians were the men of the 2/2nd Australian Independent Company – a special commando unit. Initially stranded without radio contact to Australia, the Japanese declared these beared warriors ‘outlaws’ and warned they would be executed immediately if captured. The Australians drawn mainly from the bush, were chosen for their ability to operate independently and survive in hostile territory. As film-maker Damien Parer said after visiting in Timor in late 1942, ‘these men are writing an epic of guerrilla warfare’. Expertly researched by Paul Cleary, who is fluent in Tetum, the main language of the indigenous group of East Timor, it contains black and white photos.
About the author
Paul Cleary is a senior writer with The Australian newspaper and a researcher in Indigenous development at the Australian National University. In a career spanning 20 years he has reported on politics and economics for a decade in the Canberra press gallery, and worked as a correspondent in Southeast Asia and as a political adviser. Awarded a Chevening fellowship by the UK Foreign Office to study at SOAS, University of London, he became an adviser to government of newly-independent East Timor. His work on the Timor Sea resource negotiations led to his first non-fiction book, Shakedown—Australia’s grab for Timor oil. The Timor veterans whom he met while based in East Timor inspired this book. He speaks several languages, including Vietnamese and Tetum, and lives in Sydney with his partner and son.