New book: History of the 3rd Brigade, Australian Army


Anzac Cove to Afghanistan
The history of the 3rd Brigade
By Glenn Wahlert

Published by Big Sky Publishing
RRP $39.99 in hardcover
ISBN 9781925275551

Glenn Wahlert says he was thrilled to be asked to write the history of the 3rd Brigade as a part of the Centenary of the First World War, saying that he learnt a lot about not only the brigade’s history in writing the book but also about the Australian Army, as the brigade history is an integral part of the Army.

UPDATE 27 June 2016:

Glenn Wahlert also acknowledged the valuable contribution of Bob Breen and John Blaxland, who contributed to the book. John Blaxland looked at East Timor (as he was there with the brigade) and Bob Breen focussed on some of the brigade’s deployments in the 1980s and 1990s as he had already written extensively on that period.


The 3rd Brigade is one of the oldest formations in the Army having been initially raised in 1903, soon after federation.

The men of the 3rd Brigade were first ashore at Gallipoli, suffering appalling losses in the first few days.

The brigade went on to fight on the Western Front, with further losses – its four infantry battalions suffering around 14,000 casualties. After the fighting ceased the brigade was briefly disbanded and then re-raised as part of the militia.

Mobilised in 1941 to combat the Japanese threat, they served in Darwin, New Guinea and North Queensland.

Disbanded again in 1944, the brigade next saw action in Vietnam in 1967. A major change for the brigade was its move to the newly constructed Lavarack Barracks in late 1969 as part of 3rd Task Force.

The role of the brigade in more recent conflicts is also examined.

Wahlert has clearly set out to write a history of the Brigade’s 100-year journey rather than attempting to examine grand strategy or analyse the competence of high command.

The book has garnered very positive reviews since its release. Marcus Fielding’s assessment of the work is one I heartily endorse.

In telling the story of the 3rd Brigade Anzac to Afghanistan also tells the story of the Australian Army over a century of service to the nation. It is a quality publication that deserves to be read and take pride of place on the bookshelves of those interested in and concerned about Australia’s military history. – Colonel Marcus Fielding, writing for the Military History and Heritage Victoria blog. You can read his full review here.

Note: Marcus Fielding wrote Red Zone Baghdad – My War in Iraq, an account of his tour of duty in Iraq in 2008-2009, also published by Big Sky Publishing.

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