Title: The Other Enemy? Australian Soldiers and the Military Police
Author: Wahlert, Glen
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1999
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 208 pages
Comments: The Other Enemy is a the first study of Australia’s Military Police. Glenn Wahlert relates this history from the origins of this history from the Provosts Marshal in the colony of New South Wales through the formation of the Anzac Provost Corps in 1916 and the end of World war II. He discusses the profound, sometimes violent enmity between the Provosts and the Anzacs during World War I, when the former became known as the ‘other enemy’. One Veteran summed it up: ‘there is no way that you can convince me that those bastards ever came anywhere near the front….They were a bunch of no-hopers and a complete waste of rations’.
Historians and Military enthusiasts will be fascinated by the books detailed observations between Military police and soldiers, particularly on the sensitive issue of in discipline among the 1st AIF. As Glenn Wahlert writes: ‘The Anzac Provost corps dealt with more than 26000 Australian soldiers in England for either absence or desertion between January 1917 and December 1918. Some had been absent for so long that they had married, fathered children, and gained acceptance in the community as discharged veterans….One had even joined the local constabulary…’
Matters improved somewhat during World War II, when the role of the provosts evolved from being primarily concerned with discipline into a combat support role that involved hazardous front-line service.
Never the less clashes between soldiers and Provosts occurred periodically, including the infamous Battle of Brisbane in late 1942 when a thousand soldiers clashed with American Military Police and one soldier was shot dead.
This detailed narrative history, complemented by many vivid interviews with veterans, evokes the atmosphere and personalities of this complex and often bitter aspect of Australia’s military history.
Slight bump to lower corners.