A Little Bit of Aussie Military History

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by AusLach, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    If you guys don't mind me indulging myself, over the next fortnight or so leading up to ANZAC Day I'd like to make a thread detailing some of our military exploits. I'd like to finish off with the story of Gallipoli so chronological order has gone out the window :D

    First off I'll start with the Rats of Tobruk. In early 1941 these blokes captured the Libyan :)rolleyes:) city of Tobruk from the Italians against little resistance. Their legend (and perculiar name) comes from their defence of Rommel's blitzkrieg-style counter attacks.

    The Rats of Tobruk

    Adolph Hitler had prepared for war by socially engineering his followers into the 'perfect' fighting machines. Identifying with authority, they obeyed rather than thought. They had been conditioned to die for their nation's glory even if this entailed sacrificing their own life and the lives of their mates. They were aggressive, strong, without empathy and at the outbreak of World War 2, they crushed all who dared stand in their way.

    But in northern Africa , the Germans confronted a very different breed of soldier. They confronted soldiers without respect for authority or for domineering powers. These soldiers were volunteers without dreams of glory but who instead believed that some things were worth fighting for. They were empathetic soldiers who were infuriated if their leaders brushed aside their suffering or dared express an attitude that any man was expendable or inferior. These soldiers were from Australia and at Tobruk, they gave Hitler his first taste of defeat.

    A great deal can be learnt about the strengths of the Diggers' psychology by studying both the tactics they used to fight the Germans as well as their reaction to German propaganda.

    The Capture of Tobruk

    On January 21 1941, the Australian 6th division attacked the Italian garrison of Tobruk. For one reason or another, the Italians offered little resistance and many surrendered without fighting. It took the Australians less than two days to capture 27,000 Italian POWS, 208 guns, 28 tanks and a large number of supplies. The cost on the Australian side was 49 dead and 306 wounded.

    The city was of extremely important strategic value as it was one of only two ports between Tripoli and Alexandria. Had the Allies lost it, the German and Italian supply lines would have been drastically shortened.

    The German Counter-Attacks

    With the Italians on the verge of total collapse in Nth Africa, on the 24th March German General Erwin Rommel launched major offensives aimed at reclaiming the initiative. His blitzkrieg approach proved unstoppable as he swept all before him.

    On the 11th of April, Rommel approached Tobruk and expected it to crumble under his assault as so many had crumbled before. He surrounded the port city from three sides and instructed his soldiers to make more dust than usual in order to strike fear into their opponents and exaggerate the size of their force.

    The odds were stacked against the Diggers. The Axis force was twice its size and it was masterminded by a military genius who had never been defeated in battle. Despite the long odds, the Diggers never entertained the idea of retreat or surrender. Despite plenty of courage, the Diggers knew they could not win on courage alone hence they innovated to fight the battle to their strengths rather than their weaknesses. When Rommel charged Tobruk with tanks, the Diggers didn't bother to resist as to do so would result in certain destruction. Instead, they attacked the follow up infantry and once they were eliminated, the tanks lacking in ground support were easier targets. When the Luftwaffe dropped waves upon waves of bombs, the Diggers didn't make much effort to shoot them down. Instead, they hid safely in Tobruk's network of tunnels. This ensured they remained focused on the task of defending the city against the German infantry.

    When the Axis forces retreated to regroup, the Australians didn't wait in a siege mentality. Instead they went on the offensive; attacking enemy positions, stealing German artillery and then retreating back into the city like thieves in the night. Subsequently, the stolen artillery (known as 'bush artillery') was used against its creators.

    The conviction of the Diggers even won them the respect of the Nazis. Major Ballerstedt, C.O. 2nd Battalion, 115th Motorized Infantry Regiment, wrote to his superiors: "The Australian, who are the men our troops have had opposite them so far, are extraordinarily tough fighters. The German is more active in the attack, but the enemy stakes his life in the defence and fights to the last with extreme cunning."

    The thoughts were echoed by a captured German officer struggling to explain how he found himself a prisoner of war:"I cannot understand you Australians. In Poland , France and Belgium once the tanks got through the soldiers took it for granted they were beaten. But you are like demons. The tanks break through and your infantry keeps fighting."

    The fighting style of the Australians made it very difficult for Rommel's co-ordinated attacks to integrate effectively. The Australians just weren't behaving as expected, and they took little time in noting how this was confusing their enemy. An intelligence assessment by the 2/43rd Battalion concluded that: "Reports from PW indicate that a large scale attack was to have been launched on the Tobruch defences on or about 16 April 41. There appears to have been no co-ordination between enemy tanks and inf units. The ITALIANS appear to have been some what in the dark as to their actual objectives and the method of co-ordination by means of GERMAN liaison offrs working with ITALIAN units has not been successful. PW also state that the spasmodic attacks in different sectors between 14 and 16 Apr, sometimes inf alone, sometimes tks alone sometimes both, were all intended to be a simultaneous assault which apprently went badly asray in its timing."

    Blitzkrieg Becomes a Siege

    With blitzkrieg failing, Rommel held off from further attacks. He then started training his soldiers in the art of siege warfare. Integral to this warfare was propaganda. The Germans aimed to wear down the Australian moral. The Nazis had discovered that Germans responded to words of optimism, success, freedom, supremacy and excellence. Consequently, they described the Australians as the complete opposite in the belief that it would lower the Australian moral. They likened the fighting style of the Australians to that of a rat; a vermin that steals from the shadows. The propaganda expressed supreme confidence that the German victory was assured and the Australian defeat was imminent because the "rats" were caught in a German trap.

    The Australian Response to Nazi Propaganda

    Naively, the Germans failed to appreciate that propaganda that would demoralize a German would motivate an Australian. Are Australians afraid of failure? Whereas German mythology celebrated refinement and class, the Australians identified with the battler whom demonstrated that even in defeat, victory can be achieved.

    A battler has been defined as someone who: "thrust doggedly onwards: starting again, failing again, implacably thrusting towards success. For success, even if it only the success of knowing that one has tried to the utmost and never surrendered, is the target of every battler"

    Because they identified with the battler, the Diggers knew that as long as they continued to make trouble, they were achieving success. If they kept saving their mates, they were achieving success. Most importantly, if they tried their utmost against the odds and never surrendered, they had achieved success. Consequently, the German prediction of failure merely gave the Digger more incentive to persevere. In the words of Chester Wilmot: "Berlin Radio made a fatal mistake in trying to jibe and scare the Australian soldier into surrender. The longer the odds Lord Haw Haw offered against the Diggers chance of getting out, the more heavily the digger backed himself."

    The Mentality Behind the Rats of Tobruk
    Do Australians need to feel superior?
    To inspire the German people, the Nazis used art to inspire a sense of achievement and refinment. While that inspired Germans, it had nothing to do with the culture of the Australians. The Diggers had come from a culture where the champions were the underdogs who stood up against those who expressed their 'superiority'. Consequently, the Germans preaching their superiority merely gave the Australians more motivation to cut them down.
    Do Australians glorify their 'excellence'?
    Countries that are born of revolutions, great heroics or have great artistic traditions are justified in championing their 'excellence'. However Australians are unable to engage in such self-glorification as their culture is built upon the scum of British society. Consequently, instead of glorifying themselves as heroes or champions, Australians self depreciate by affectionately referring to themselves as "d!ckheads", "bastards", "mongrels" and "drongos". Hence when the Germans called them 'rats', the Australians were not offended. To the contrary, they embraced the description; dubbing themselves the "Rats of Tobruk." It was seen as a sign that the underdogs were indeed making life difficult for the domineering power.

    The Australian Withdrawal from Tobruk

    The Diggers had shown great mental strength in Tobruk, but there were physiological limits that their mind could not push their body through. In response to reports their health had been suffering, in the summer of 1941, John Curtin, the Australian Prime Minister, ordered the withdrawal of Australian troops. While they were being withdrawn, they were being replaced by British, Polish and Czech soldiers.

    The British, Poles and Czechs didn't let Tobruk fall - they actually contributed strongly to the lifting of the siege by breaking-out and linking up with 8th Army - with the Germans and Italians eventually in full retreat.
     
  2. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    I Love the Aussie's But the I talians don't count.......:eek::)
     

  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Aussie Military History

    The books Leon Uris wrote regarding the historical relationships of the British, Irish and Aussies, the Trinity series, touched on the role the Aussies played in WW1. Definitely some history worth learning and celebrating.
     
  4. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    Uris you say?? I'll have to look him up, thanks :cool:
     
  5. Troy Michalik

    Troy Michalik Is it Friday yet? Supporter

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    Gees Aus, you expect me to read ALL that? There's not even any pictures. . . . :(
     
  6. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    Sorry mate, here's an edited version: We held off (and kicked the chit out of) ze Germans and Rommel against all odds :D
    [​IMG]
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    I have the video of the New Years Eve Military Tattoo at Edinburgh some years back- included an appearance from the (surviving) Rats of Tobruk. Crowd loved them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  8. armoredman

    armoredman Active Member

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    Hat's off to The Diggers.
     
  9. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    Kokoda

    Ok, I'm taking some advice from Troy and shortening this, plus adding pitchers!! :D

    In WW2 the Japanese advance was fast heading toward Australia. Japanane subs had already been caught in Sydney Harbour, planes had bombed the city of Darwin and troops were taking up positions all throughout the South Pacific. Papua New Guinea was to be the next Japanese conquest, and would position Japan nicely for an invasion of Australia.

    The Japanese objective was to capture Port Moresby, the main Australian base in PNG.. Japanese Army Generals wanted the Navy to bomb the living crap out of Port Moresby first, however they decided that the outnumbered Australian troops would quickly be defeated so it wouldn't be necessary. In a huge tactical error, the Axis force also decided to invade overland as opposed to simply dropping straight into Port Moresby. If this hadn't been the case, I'd probably be LittleDragon right now :p
    [​IMG]
    The Japanese force landed in Gona (about half way between Lae and the Southern end of the Island) and immediately began making their way overland towards Port Moresby. Australian force met them head on, However sustained huge casualties and were forced to retreat. Vastly outnumbered, the Aussies then resorted to guerilla warfare, which took its toll on the Japanese force. Another problem the Japanese encountered was the huge mountain ranges that criss-crossed PNG. Artillery could not be moved quickly through the pass known as the Kokoda Track, and supplies also slowed to a trickle.

    This type of fighting lasted for months, and aided by the native 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels', the Aussies held off the exhausted Japanese force.
    [​IMG].
    It was only a bad decision that cost the Japanese victory in the South Pacific and as with many of our war tales, it was more a long-fought stalemate than outright and resounding victory, however it is safe to say that the men who fought on the Kokoda Track saved Australia.
     
  10. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Thanks for the history lesson mate, keep it coming ;)
     
  11. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Good stuff, Mate!! Keep it coming.
     
  12. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    The Emergency in Malaya was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. The confrontation in Indonesia was a small undeclared war on Australia's doorstep.
    Between 1950 and the early 60s fifty-one Australian servicemen were killed in Malaya, although only 15 of these deaths occurred as a result of operations. Twenty were wounded, most of whom were in the army.
    The "secret war" in Indonesia resulted from a belief by Indonesia's President Sukarno that the creation of the Federation of Malaysia represented an attempt by Britain to maintain colonial rule. Twenty-three Australians lost their lives between 1964 and 1966, seven of them on operations, and eight were wounded.
    It's called "a secret war" because of the sensitivity of the cross-border operations. Australians did not read about the Indonesian Confrontation in their so called "free" press, a principle many Australian troops ironically were prepared to lay down their lives for.


    Private Cyril (Frenchy) Ray remembers what Australian ground troops endured during jungle warfare.

    "Apart from the mental and physical strain, the jungle gave the patrolling soldier a pale look from being continuously in the shade and he became rather quiet after being restricted to talk during daylight.
    I also became an expert at cooking rice, the daily ration containing a pound of uncooked rice and a tin of stewed beef from Australia. This tin was given to Australian troops as the British rations were not sufficient for the diggers. We carried curry powder, onions, even garlic. It didn't weigh much but gave a little variety to a dull dinner. We also learned to discard from our backpack anything which was not absolutely necessary, like shaving cream, boot polish, writing pads etc....
    We got used to the jungle noises, mostly from monkeys and learnt to recognise some of the weird noises. We also walked very carefully in case we fell into a pig trap or wire trip which could be attached to a grenade or other nasty explosive.
    One night I found myself looking at a pair of tiger's eyes staring at me outside my 'hoochy'. I was tempted to fire a bullet at it but I was scared that being so close to me it would jump on top of me. This staring and winking at me lasted a while and was getting more scared by the minute. Eventually, I crawled out of my tent and found myself staring at a tree truck which had phosphorescent fungus growing on it's bark in the shape of tiger's eyes. It just shows you what the imagination can do."

    [​IMG]



    The communist's defeat in 1960 led to Australia's withdrawal soon after. Another communist insurgency was initiated in '67 and despite no international intervention and the fact it lasted until 1989, it also failed.
     
  13. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Keep 'em coming! More about Malaysia, please.
     
  14. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Thanks for the post, keep 'em coming.
     
  15. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    The Malayan Emergency started in 1948 when members of the Malayan Communist Party murdered three farm owners who were aligned with the (then British) government. The MCP were disaffected with British rule, and were angry that Malayan citizenship had not been granted to them. The MCP gained the support of many Malayan Chinese workers, and soon the threat of an attempted coup was realised with the 1951 assassination of the British High Commisioner.

    Australia's involvement in the Emergency began in 1950 with the arrival of RAAF aircraft and personnel in Singapore. Dakotas from 38 Squadron were deployed on cargo runs, troop movements, and paratroop and leaflet drops in Malaya, while six Lincoln bombers of 1 Squadron provided the backbone of airl operations. As the capacity of army and police units operating against the communists improved, however, the need for air power decreased, and by 1952 Lincolns were increasingly used as part of combined air-ground assaults against the communists. One of the major military successes of the conflict was one such coordinated operation in July 1954, east of Ipoh, in Perak state. In Operation Termite, as the exercise was known, five RAAF Lincolns and six from a RAF squadron made simultaneous attacks on two communist camps, followed by paratroop drops, a ground attack, and further bombing runs ten days later. The operation destroyed 181 camps and killed 13 communists; one communist surrendered.

    [​IMG]Lincoln Bomber A73-33 of No 1 Squadron, RAAF, on a bombing mission over the Malayan jungle.


    By October 1955, when the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR), arrived in Penang, the outcome of the Emergency was no longer in doubt, although a lengthy "mopping up" stage followed, largely undertaken by Australian troops. After several false starts 2RAR crossed to the mainland in January 1956 to begin anti-communist operations. Over the next 20 months, as part of 28 Commonwealth Brigade, 2RAR participated in a variety of operations, mainly in Perak, one of the main areas of communist activity. Their work consisted of extensive patrolling, watching for contacts in the rubber plantations, and mounting a perimeter guard on the New Villages, settlements which the government had established to provide infrastructure and services in outlying areas in the hope of denying the guerrillas access to their support base. Contacts were rare, however, and the battalion had a mixed record, killing two communists in an ambush on 25 June 1956 but losing three of its own troops.

    2RAR left Malaya in October 1957 and was replaced by 3RAR in the same month. After six weeks of training in jungle warfare 3RAR began driving the insurgents into the jungle in Perak and Kedah, separating them from food and other supplies. Early successes for the battalion confirmed the growing ascendancy of the security forces over the communists and by April 1959 one of the main communist centres, Perak, was declared secure. By late 1959 operations against the communists were in their final phase and many communists had crossed Malaya's northern border into Thailand. 3RAR left Malaya in October 1959 to be replaced by 1RAR. Although operating in the border region 1RAR made no contact with the enemy and was forbidden to move into Thailand, even when the presence and location of communists was known.

    [​IMG]Soldiers of 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), in the jungle north of Baling, near the Thai border, Malaya, 1960.

    As the threat continued to dissipate, the Malayan government officially declared the Emergency over on 31 July 1960, though 1RAR remained in Malaya until October the following year, when 2RAR returned for a second tour. In August 1962 the battalion was committed to anti-communist operations in Perlis and Kedah, completing its tour in August 1963.

    In addition to air and infantry forces, Australia also provided artillery and engineering support, and an airfield construction squadron built the main runway for the air force base at Butterworth. RAN ships also served in Malayan waters had occasion to fire on suspected communist positions in 1956 and 1957. Australian ground forces in Malaya formed part of Australia's contribution to the Far East Strategic Reserve, which was set up in April 1955 primarily to deter external communist aggression against countries in south-east Asia, especially Malaya and Singapore.

    Lasting 13 years, the Malayan Emergency was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. Thirty-nine Australian servicemen were killed in Malaya, although only 15 of these deaths occurred as a result of operations, and 27 were wounded, most of whom were in the army.



    Interesting fact #1: The conflict was called an 'emergency' rather than a 'war' due to the lobby from a group of Malayan rubber-tree farmers. If it had been a 'war' then the insurance company they were with would not have covered the damages that were incurred on their properties.

    Interesting fact #2: In the film 'The Year of Living Dangerously' with Mel Gibson and Linda Hunt which explains a lot of the politics surrounding the Malayan Emergency, Hunt plays a male photographer. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role.
     
  16. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Keep 'em coming..........
     
  17. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    The Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) is a Special Forces regiment modelled on the original British SAS and also drawing on the traditions of the Australian World War II 'Z' Special Force commando unit, as well as the Independent Companies which were active in the South Pacific during the same period. It is based at Campbell Barracks, Perth, and is a unit of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps, part of the Australian Defence Force. As with the British SAS, the regimental motto is 'Who dares wins'.

    [​IMG]

    The SASR currently has two primary roles, reconnaissance and counter-terrorism. They also are responsible for surgical direct-action missions, while the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment(Commando) conducts large-scale raids.

    Reconnaissance
    In the reconnaissance role the SASR typically operates in small patrols which have the task of infiltrating enemy-held territory and providing intelligence on enemy troop movements. In this role the SASR generally seeks to avoid directly engaging enemy units, though SASR soldiers will call in air and other support to destroy enemy units whenever possible. SASR reconnaissance patrols can be inserted by air, land or sea (including by submarine) and have proven capable of covering large distances in jungle and desert terrain.

    Counter-terrorism and Special Recovery
    In the counter-terrorism and special recovery roles the SASR specialises in tasks such as direct action and hostage rescue, including boarding moving ships (ship underway). In contrast with the SASR's reconnaissance role, when operating in the counter terrorism role SASR units are only tasked with the mission statement "to rescue the hostages".

    The SASR's three 'sabre squadrons' rotate between the war/reconnaissance and Counter-Terrorism/Recovery roles. Two squadrons are maintained in the war/reconnaissance role with the remaining squadron filling the Counter-Terrorism/recovery role.

    Rotations occur every 12 months, so each squadron fulfills the counter-terrorism/recovery role and configuration every three years.

    Vietnam
    The SASR's participation in the Vietnam War began when 3 Squadron deployed as part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) in April 1966. The SASR's role in Vietnam was to act as the 'eyes and the ears' of the Australian Task Force through conducting reconnaissance patrols throughout 1 ATF's area of responsibility.

    SASR Squadrons rotated through Vietnam on one year long deployments until the last Squadron was withdrawn in October 1971. During its time in Vietnam the Regiment was extremely successful in the reconnaissance role. Members of the Regiment became known as 'Phantoms of the Jungle' attributed to their fieldcraft.

    The Australian and New Zealand SAS killed at least 492 and as many as 598 and losing only two men killed in action and three fatalities from friendly fire. The last remaining Australian digger who went Missing In Action in 1969 after falling into the jungle during a suspended rope extraction was found in August, 2008.

    Australia's SASR also worked with U.S. SEAL Teams and U.S. Army Special Forces, and provided instructors to the LRRP School. Some members also served with the highly secret MACV-SOG Units.

    [​IMG]

    Later Conflicts
    Australian SASR troops showed a great proficiency for SCUD hunting, particularly with regard to the mobile launchers. Their modus operandi was to use highly mobile units to locate the lauchers, track it's movements over a couple of days, then 'call in the US rain' :D The Australian SAS who accounted for the destruction of over 50 missiles and launchers were easily identifiable by their long hair and beards, as it is customary for them not to shave while on patrol. Aussie SAS squadrons have also taken part in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly in specialised roles such as sniping and official escort duties.

    [​IMG]

    Weapons
    Basic patrol weapons are the M4 Carbine (designated M4A5 in Australia) with M203A1 40mm grenade launcher and F89 Minimi Para light machine gun. Another popular patrol weapon is the 7.62mm SR-25 rifle. The main pistol used in the CT role is the Heckler & Koch USP, in wartime roles however it is usually the ADF's standard issue defence sidearm, the Browning Hi-Power that operators will carry. Many other weapon systems are used as the mission dictates. Up to a third of SASR operators are qualified snipers. Operators are multi-skilled and all are parachute-qualified, but they specialise in either Air, Water or Vehicle-mounted insertion methods.
     
  18. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Aus thanks again for posting this. I love this stuff! :D
     
  19. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    Burma-Thailand Railway

    Over 30 000 Australian became prisoners of war (POWs) during WW2. The treatment of Australian prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese was brutal. They were often forced to live in uninhabitable jungle, at the mercy of the elements, endure hours of exhausting physical labour, receive no medical treatment, be starved, taunted, abused, maltreated, beaten and derided by their Japanese captors.
    [​IMG]
    Between 1942 and 1943, large numbers of prisoners were moved from Singapore and Java to various locations in Burma and Thailand. The POWs were organised into several working parties consisting of 2000 to 12 000 workers at the railway headquarters at Kanburi. Two parties were sent to Thanbyuzayat in Burma and four were sent to Bampong in Thailand. The parties would begin construction on the ends of the railway and work towards the middle, creating a total railway line of 415 kilometres. Australian prisoners were used in the working parties at both ends of the line.

    The Japanese set a horrific pace. The deadline for construction was August 1943. Over 60 000 Allied prisoners worked the line. 12 000 were Australians.
    POWs were administered by 12 000 Japanese and 3 000 Korean soldiers. The work was difficult. Track had to be laid on an even surface. Before construction of the railway could begin, dense rainforest had to be cleared. Trees were felled, embankments were made. In October 1942, the work quota was 0.6 cubic metres of earth each day for each man. Australian soldiers completed their work quickly, so the Japanese cracked down on their efficiency by doubling their quota. Australian soldiers were forced to move two cubic metres of earth, regardless of their level of health, size, or physical capabilities. They were given no tools and were usually without shoes or clothes, other than underpants, swimming trunks or handmade loin cloths.

    The railway was frequently bombed by Allied aircraft. The Allies were not aware that the Japanese were using European, American and Australian POWs to construct the railway.
    [​IMG]
    The Japanese set a cracking pace by working prisoners in shifts of 24 hours on and off. Men who were sick with tropical diseases were forced to work as long and as hard as healthy men. As food quality declined, the death rate rose, and the Japanese pushed the workers ever harder in 33-hour shifts. Prisoners survived on rice and whatever protein they could find. Boxed meat was sent in. It was often half-rotten and covered with flies. The rotten meat would be cut away, maggots washed off, flies shooed. The meat was then eaten. Most men lost one-third of their body weight and slowly starved to death. They were working on fewer than 2000 calories on 24-hour shifts.
    [​IMG]
    Cuts and wounds could not heal in the humid environment. Tropical ulcers could develop into gangrene, leading to certain death. There were no bandages or medicine to clean wounds. Prisoners would use a spoon to scrape out the pus and bleed the infection out. Other options included standing in the creeks and rivers and allowing fish to eat away at the dead flesh, or scooping the plentiful maggots from rotting food and applying them to the dead flesh.
    [​IMG]
    Australians suffered the lowest death rate of the other prisoners on the Burma-Thailand railway. When the prisoners completed the railway, they were evacuated to Singapore. Of the 12 000 Australian prisoners who were taken to the Burma-Thailand railway, 2646 died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and brutality. Of the 270 000 conscripted Asians, many Indonesian prisoners of war, who worked on line, at least 70 000 died.
     
  20. AusLach

    AusLach New Member

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    I've posted this before, but I simply cannot think of a better way to put it...

    Australian Light Horse

    NSFW