Shadows on the Track
Australia's Medical War in Papua 1942-1943Kokoda - Milne Bay - The Beachhead Battles
- ISBN-13: 9781925675900
BIG SKY PUBLISHING
Imprint: BIG SKY PUBLISHING
- Author: McLeod, Jan
- Price: AUD 34.99
- Stock: 941 in stock
- Availability: Order will be despatched as soon as possible.
- Local release date: 18/01/2019
- Format: Hardback (232mm X 155mm) 396 pages Weight: 720g
- Categories: Military history [HBW]
At Templeton’s Crossing in October 1942, Private Nick Kennedy paused to write in his diary: ‘One wonders why all this strife should be … these men in the prime of their life cut down like flowers’. As a young nursing orderly serving with the 2/4th Australian Field Ambulance, Kennedy was unenviably wellplaced to reflect on the futility of war.
The Australian Army was woefully unprepared to fight a medical war in Papua and the soldiers paid the price. Almost 30,000 soldiers suffered from illness and tropical diseases, and an estimated 6000 were killed or wounded during the six-month campaign. These statistics have traditionally been represented as unavoidable consequences of fighting a war in a place such as Papua. This book disputes that narrative. Death and disease were inevitable outcomes, but the scale of the suffering was not. The medical challenges presented in Papua were extreme – they were not insurmountable.
Shadows on the Track considers a wide range of issues that impacted on the health of the Australian soldiers before, during and after the Papuan campaign was fought and won. The strengths, successes, shortcomings and failures of the medical campaign are identified, analysed and evaluated. The focus on the front-line medical personnel – the men of the field ambulance units – brings a new perspective to the battles of the Kokoda Track, Milne Bay and the Beachheads. Shining a light on these Australians who tended the sick, mended the wounded and buried the dead in Papua makes stepping out of the shadows a little easier.
Jan McLeod is a historian, tutor and researcher at the University of Newcastle. Her PhD thesis critically examined the medical care of Australian soldiers during the Papuan Campaign.
• First major account of the medical challenges in the Papuan campaign.
• Easy to read, this book will appeal to a wide readership, not just military enthusiasts.
• Meticulously researched by the author who completed her PhD on this topic.
• National PR campaign targeting Australia’s leading military history magazines and journals, physical and online.
• Advertised in trade publications — InCite Magazine, Good Reading and B+P Magazine.
• Mainstream capital city newspaper book reviews and ABC local and national radio for author interviews.
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