John Monash books republished


AustVictories_Monash copy

The Australian Victories in France in 1918
By John Monash
Published by Black Inc
RRP $45.00 in hardcover
ISBN 9781863957458


First published in 1920, this book by General John Monash is his account of the part played by the Australian Army Corps in the closing months of the 1st World War. During the early months of 1918, Monash was in command of the Australian 3rd Division but in May of that year, it was decided to consolidate the Australian Divisions into the Australian Army Corps. Monash was promoted to Lieutenant General and placed in charge.

Monash begins his account of 1918 with the German offensive of 21 March on the city of Amiens. The offensive was repelled but the Germans did manage to capture the village of Hamel from an exhausted British Division. Ironically, it was this same village which gave Monash the opportunity to introduce tactical changes which led to his first success as Corps Commander. His use of tanks alongside the infantry in the Battle of Hamel in July was done against the advice of the ‘so-called tank experts’ but was so successful that a similar tactic was used by the Germans in World War II. This became known as BLITZKRIEG.

The Allies launched their major push on 8 August and the Australian Corps played a vital role in its ultimate success. To quote Monash himself “from early dawn on Saturday , August 31st, until the evening of September 3rd, three Australian Divisions of the Corps engaged in a heroic combat which will ever be memorable in Australian history”.

At the conclusion of this action, the Australians commanded Mont St. Quentin, the town of Peronne and the high ground overlooking the town. It was a brilliant operation, masterminded by Monash despite the scepticism of the British General, Sir Henry Rawlinson.

In its republication, this book has garnered fresh praise, for example:

‘The definitive eyewitness account of Australia’s greatest military achievement by Australia’s greatest military commander, it perhaps eclipse even Bean’s official history as the most important book ever written about Australia’s Great War.’ Hugh White Professor of Strategic Studies, ANU, and author of The China Choice

Also republished as a companion volume:


War Letters of General Monash
By John Monash
Published by Black Inc
RRP $45.00 in hardcover; $79.99 for the two books in a slipcase
ISBN 9781863957441

This book was first published in 1934, three years after Monash’s death. A respected British reviewer, Edmund Blunden, himself an author of military history, said of the letters that he ‘would not be surprised if these letters gained the reputation of being the best penned by any soldier of similar rank and sphere’.

These are two marvellous books and it is a credit to the publisher to see them in print again. The cover designs are also a credit to the publisher (and the book designer).

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