SDSC War Studies Seminar: An Australian Band of Brothers


Event details

SDSC War Studies Seminar

Date & time

Monday 25 June 2018


Seminar Room 3, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU


Dr Mark Johnston


Julia Ahrens

In his most recent book, An Australian Band of Brothers, Dr Mark Johnston tells the story of Don Company of the 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion – part of the 9th Division, which sustained more casualties and won more decorations than any other Australian division in the Second World War. Like his previous works on Australians at war, the book is a ‘warts and all’ exploration of the life of front-line servicemen.

In this presentation, Dr Johnston will discuss the degree to which the research for An Australian Band of Brothers, as well as his earlier work, confirms or contradicts stereotypes about Australian soldiers in the Second World War. He will particularly focus on the role of leadership, and the degree to which it, rather than other factors, enabled Australian soldiers to fight effectively in campaigns such as Tobruk, El Alamein, New Guinea and Borneo.

Dr Mark Johnston is one of foremost historians of the Australian experience of the Second World War. He is the author of 11 books, including a history of the RAAF in the Pacific and histories of the 6th, 7th and 9th Australian divisions. He has written numerous articles, and five booklets for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs series ‘Australians in the Pacific War’. Dr Johnston is currently the Head of History at Scotch College, Melbourne, and was for a time an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.

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