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Australia in the korean war



Robert o'neill






548 pp   -   hardback   -   Published 1981


                           Australia  = AUD$45 (including postage, packing and GST)

                          PNG and NZ   = AUD$69 (including economy air mail and packing)

T                           he World = AUD$79 (including economy air mail and packing)


Volume I: Strategy and Diplomacy

This volume tells the story of Australia's participation in the Korean war at the political and strategic level. It is based on full access to the classified documents of the Australian Government, supplemented by the views of surviving ministers, senior public servants and military officers. Dr O'Neill examines the causes of the Korean war, how and why Australia chose to participate, and the development of allied strategy at the most intense period of the Cold War, when many believed that a Third World War was imminent. The volume discusses Australian and allied reaction to China 's entry into the war, Australia 's attempts to promote unity amongst key allies in the war and Australian initiatives to preserve the support of the United Nations members. It analyses the reasons for the painful protraction of the armistice negotiations at Panmunjom and shows how close the American strategy of limited war came to being one of unlimited war.

O'Neill sets this story in the broader context of the development of Australian defence and foreign policies at the outset of the Liberal-Country Party Government's twenty-three years in office. These were the years in which the course of Australian strategic policies was set for the next two decades. He relates Spender's persistent campaign .to achieve the ANZUS Alliance, the rise of South-East Asia to dominance in Australia 's strategic priorities and Britain 's attempts to involve Australia in military commitments to the Middle East. The book reveals much about the power relationships of Australian ministers, public servants and senior military officers, and the functioning of the higher policy-making machinery of the Department of Defence in time of crisis.


Volume II: Combat Operations [OUT OF PRINT]

This volume relates the experiences of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy contingents which fought the long, bitter campaign in Korea from 1950 to 1953.

The Army provided the largest contingent and won many honours for outstanding service by both individuals and units. Dr O'Neill describes their major actions, including the desperate battles of Kapyong and Maryang San (Hill 317). Joined by sister battalions 1 RAR and later, 2RAR. 3 RAR fought on through 1952 and 1953 in determined patrol actions and company attacks, for which the Australians won renown among their allies.

The RAAF, represented notably by No. 77 Fighter Squadron, made a vital contribution to offset enemy superiority on land from the beginning of the conflict: Flying first Mustangs and then Meteor jet fighters, skilled Australian pilots helped to win air superiority for the United Nations Command and to maintain it against their enemy, who, with the deployment of the Soviet MiG-15 jetfighter, had aircraft of higher capability .They also cut enemy lines of supply and braved heavy anti-aircraft fire to strike at front-line forces. Their achievements helped to convince President Truman that he should enter into a security treaty with Australia - the ANZUS alliance.

The RAN's frigates and destroyers performed daring in-shore operations in the face of strong enemy coast artillery, and protected larger allied ships. The aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney set new records for effectiveness in use of naval aircraft to strike deep into the enemy's logistic system and to attack front-line forces.

This volume also examines the harsh fate of Australian prisoners of war and the development of Australian Army medical services. Copious maps and illustrations assist the reader to understand all the major Australian operations of the war.

782 pp   -   hardback   -   Published 1985


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