Book review: Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, by Joan Beaumont

My fascination with the Great War, as for other amateur genealogists, begins with the involvement of my relatives. My wife’s paternal grandfather Edward Funston served on the Western Front and suffered trench feet, as well as his brother Hubert Funston who was shot beside him. Her maternal great grandfather Thomas William Austin also served, and survived the war but disappeared. On my father’s side, Fred Petty arrived on the Western Front in December 1917 and was killed by a German shell in March 1918.

Darren Cronshaw
9min

Streamlining Air Land Operations for Better Outcomes

Abstract

Anant Mishra
17min
ANZACS image

Clash of Cultures: The Digger Legend of the First Australian Imperial Force

Were the values that came to embody the digger legend of the 1st AIF incompatible with the expectations of British command? Did the traits required to command a less-than-conventional military force during the First World War require a less-than-conventional style of military leadership? This article explores the questions that arise regarding the leadership of the 1st AIF during the Great War - particularly that of General William Birdwood. Was his command effective given the unique circumstances, and were his opponents right to express criticism?

Luke J. Graham
10min
COIN Ops image

Synchronising Counterinsurgency Ops with Effective Intelligence

All combat operations need real-time, concrete intelligence, but the counterinsurgency operations’ (COINOPS) margin of error runs thinnest. In their fast, multidimensional context, COINOPS demand more comprehensive intelligence at platoon/company levels than conventional warfare does. This article explores the need for tactical unit leaders fighting insurgencies to have more intelligence assets available in the field in order to offer swift analyses to aid decision making in highly fluid environments.

Anant Mishra
6mins
Battle image

Scharnhorst and Professional Mastery


To me, being 'professional' has meant striving for excellence at my everyday job. Until I attended Command and Staff Course at the Australian War College last year, I did not appreciate that being good at my job was not the same as being a military professional. The course broadened my understanding; being a professional requires one to embrace continual learning in all aspects of the profession. I became conscious that through professional mastery, individuals, even those in junior roles, can influence organisational outcomes beyond their job.

SQNLDR Agam Sheldon
3mins
Military History

Changes in warfare in the 16th and 17th centuries - a ‘military revolution’?

The 16th and 17th century was a period of significant change in the character of war. The drivers accounting for these changes were not all based in military reforms, despite Western Europe being engaged almost continuously in war. While tactical applications is interesting, it was the beginnings of some profound changes in the development of warfare; the professional military, the standing army, scale of warfare and subsequent emergence of the state (Crown) owning the monopoly on violence and the arrival of proper naval forces.

COL David Edwards
6 min
Open book with spectacles on top

Military Culture, Learning and Adaptation during the Burma Campaign 1942-1945

This essay discusses how military culture and learning and adaptation on both sides affected the outcome of the Burma Campaign 1942–1945. The British 14th Army developed a military culture of learning and adaptation which led to their victory while the Imperial Japanese Army had an existing military culture based upon tenets of Bushido, which constrained their ability to learn and adapt and in turn led to their defeat.

Mathew Shelley
30m
People working over a map

Thucydides Trap: A lesson in strategy and chance from ancient Greece

Paul Taylor
20m
Cracked lightbulb

Understanding the challenges to British and French Imperialism 1900-1939– An application of the D.I.M.E model

The period between 1900-1939 is said to have created the characteristics of modern war and the global order as we know it. This period saw two World Wars, political revolutions, unprecedented innovation, the introduction of a third military service and created the pre-conditions that resulted in the end of Western imperialism.

Yaeli Liebowitz
30m
Melting ice

How the Military Fights Climate Change

Military leaders have known for millennia that the time to prepare for a challenge is before it hits you, says scientist and retired US Navy officer David Titley. He takes us from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria to the icy shores of Svalbard to show how the military approaches the threat of climate change, in a refreshingly practical, nonpartisan take on climate preparedness. "The ice doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls your congress. It doesn't care which party controls your parliament," Titley says. "It just melts."

David Titley
8m
Warehouse lined with boxes

The Australian Military and Logistics: When Preparedness Equals Survival

The material comprises a 2014 interview with Air Vice Marshall John Blackburn (Retired), in which he poses a number of questions relating to the resilience of Australia’s Defence logistics capabilities. The questions and tacit solutions he proposes have become more relevant given recent instability in the South China Sea and the current shifts in US foreign policy.

M Delaporte
2h
Army tank

Understanding Why a Ground Combat Vehicle That Carries Nine Dismounts Is Important to the Army

The Army has examined the lessons of half a dozen significant conflicts, starting with World War II, has conducted numerous studies over the last 65 years, and has found time and again that an ability to conduct dismounted fire and maneuver is the fundamental squad-level tactic.

Bruce Heldm Mark A. Lorell, James T. Quinlivan, Chad C. Serena
15m