Since it was first published in 1982, High Command had become the standard reference for anyone interested in Australia’s participation in the Second World War, this edition was originally published in 1992. The 50th anniversary of battles such as Singapore, Coral Sea and Kokoda in 1942 re-awakened interest in these milestones in Australia’s struggle for independence. Despite the well-known exploits of Australian servicemen in a score of famous battles, Australia’s contribution to the war was ultimately determined by the strategic policy-makers in Canberra, Washington and London.
How competent were our politicians, military leaders and advisers in formulating our own war strategy? How much did the performance of Australian troops on the battlefield affect our ability to influence allied strategy?
The author describes the clash between Generals Rowell and Blamey in Greece. He reveals the impact of the secretary of the Department of Defence, Sir Frederick Shedden, on strategic policy-making. He analyses the role of intelligence, especially signals intelligence, in allied strategy. He shows how Blamey’s miscalculation in 1944 removed any chance of Australian troops joining the Americans in the Philippines. And he reveals how a British admiral challenged the authority of the Australian government.
High Command presents the remarkable, full story of the political battles behind the military battles.
Table of Contents
Preface. Illustrations. Abbreviations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. The British Connection 1919-39 2. Paying the Premium on Imperial Defence September 1939–January 1941 3. The Japanese Threat October 1940–May 1941 4. The Greek Campaign February–April 1941 5. Command Problems in the Middle East May–December 1941 6. Towards War in the Far East June–December 1941 7. Australian Strategic Decision-Making December 1941-February 1942 8. Battlefield Co-operation with the British 1941–1942 9. Strategy in the SWPA, March 1942–January 1943 10. Allied Intelligence Co-operation in the SWPA 11. Strategy in the SWPA January–December 1943 12. Battlefield Co-operation with the British and the Americans 1942-1943 13. Australia and Allied Strategy January–May 1944 14. Australia and the Philippines Campaign June–October 1944 15. Special Problems in High Command Relationships 1942-1945 16. War-Time Administration and the Impact on Strategy 1944-1945 17. The Final Role of the AMF October 1944–July 1945 18. An Occupation Force for Japan 1945-1946. Conclusion. Appendixes. Notes. Bibliography. Index.