Defence

Drongoes, Gardenias and Hotchkiss Guns

Two curiously unmatching threads seem to run parallel through the whole cloth of Australia’s military history, a paradox revealing deeper truths about what we are as a people and as a nation; some parts of it are not very creditable. The two discordant threads are, on the one hand, our well-proven valour, dash and resolve as fighting warriors; friends and enemies (especially the latter) will acknowledge our prowess the world over. It was Australia’s great victory at Milne Bay in Papua in 1942 that punctured the myth of Japan’s unstoppable military machine on land. This high distinction was fudged and…

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