Title: War Dance – A Story of the 2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalion AIF
Author: Clift, Ken DCM
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1980
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 450 pages
Comments: The history of the 2/3rd Battalion during World War 2.
The title ‘War Dance’ stems from a tune played by the 2/3rd Battalion Regimental Band in march time over six long years of war.
“Waltzing Matilda” is as Australian in character and folklore as the officers and men that served in the unit many of them original natives of country centers in the west and southwest of NSW.
The writer recalls through the misty nostalgia of several decades late afternoons in the year of 1940 at 16th Brigade HQ Julis camp Palestine the fine dust rising from the tramp of distant tan boots as the detachment the 2/3rd Battalion advanced up a newly made road towards Brigade for the purpose of mounting guard. The music of the band in the lead at first muffled and indistinct but getting nearer gradually rising and surging to a proud crescendo as the group swung past – row after row of bronzed keen young faces newly arrived from the Great Southland smartly attired, slouch hats turned up at the side and tilted at the slightly insolent angle that only Australian troops could achieve, precise in their drill, rows of fixed bayonets protruding from shouldered Lee-Enfield rifles, a series of gleaming menace in the westering sun.
The blare of “Waltzing Matilda” coming to an abrupt ending as the officer in charge gave the command “Halt”, directly outside Brigade. These were the days of the “Phoney War”, the soldiers wearing the chocolate and green colour patch pondering , as did troops in their sister battalions in the newly formed 2nd AIF, if they had volunteered for a cause that was nebulous and whether after leaving their native land, their families and their occupations to travel halfway around the globe for little or no reason.
They should not have been so concerned. In the years that were to follow they were to see much, a little too much of war and they were destined to experience a lot of heartbreak, hardship and cruelty; but then again they were to be compensated in the form of deep and everlasting comradeships, Australian humour in the most desperate situations, unyielding bravery, generosity and loyalty from within the unit’s ranks in all campaigns that they were emblazon the emblem of the chocolate and green. The 2/3rd Battalion record is one of magnificence, they truly upheld the tradition of the 3rd Battalion 1st AIF who stormed the heights of Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915 carrying their banner to the bitter end through the mud and blood of France in the “war to end all wars”.
The 2/3rd Battalion saw action in Bardia, Tobruk, Greece, Crete, Syria, the Kokoda Trail and then later New Guinea campaigns until the atom bomb in 1945 called a halt to hostilities.
Includes Nominal Roll, Honour Roll & Honours and Awards