The Australian Army at War

FOREWORD While accompanying the Prime Minister of Australia on his visit to the United Kingdom to attend the Imperial Conference, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff invited tome visit many headquarters, formations and units and in so doing I had the pleasure of meeting many British soldiers of all ranks. In those meetings, I was impressed with the efficiency, spirit and battle fitness of the British Army. I was also agreeably surprised at the keen interest in the Australian Army, which was displayed by all those with whom I came into contact. My personal impression in this matter was supported by the Imperial General Staff, who assured me that this welcome curiosity is very strong. In common with the other Armies of the Empire, the Australian Military Forces have played, even up to the present, avery much larger and more important part than was contemplated, or thought possible, in the previous years of peace. This part has been played against the German and Italian Armies in. Europe and the Middle East, and against Japanese troops in Malaya and the SouthWest Pacific, but it has not been played without great effort or without heavy loss. The close association of the A.I.F. with the British troops in the Middle East in this war, during the heavy infighting the Western Desert, in the stern struggles in Greece and Crete, and in Syria and Malaya, has confirmed the great respect and high appreciation of British soldiers by members of the Australian Forces. We are deeply conscious of the assistance given by the British Army in matters of training and equipment during the early stages of this war, when it could least be spared. I trust, therefore, that this booklet, which presents a few of the salient facts of the history of the Australian Army in this War, will abe means of providing you with a basic knowledge with which to follow the future share of the Australian Army in achieving victory. Commander-in-Chief Australian Military Forces June 15,1944
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