Monash & Chauvel
How Australia’s two greatest generals changed the course of world history
By Roland Perry
Published by Allen and Unwin
RRP $34.99 in paperback • ISBN 9781760291433
John Monash commanded the Australian forces on the Western Front at the most critical time of World War I, 1918. With his German Jewish heritage, Monash was an outsider who had risen to his position through his ground-breaking military achievements. He learned the lessons of past failures and devised the tactics that allowed his Australian troops to break through the stalemate of trench warfare, masterminding crucial battles, including Amiens, Mont St Quentin, Peronne, and at the Hindenburg Line that broke the German Army in France. In the war against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East,
Harry Chauvel led the 34,000-strong Desert Mounted Column. Chauvel was an Empire man, who considered himself as British first, Australian second. However, his attitude changed during the course of the war when he realised he would have to ignore the directives of his British superiors and take the initiative in planning battle tactics himself if he was to defeat the Turks. He did this at Romani in the Sinai in August 1916; at Beersheba on 31 October 1917; and in the final 1918 drive to defeat the Turks.
By the end of the war both Monash and Chauvel had brought a distinctly Australian sensibility to their areas of operation. With this latest book Roland Perry has written a highly readable account of the careers of the two most important Australian field commanders of the First World War.
For a more extensive review of this book, go to this review in The Sydney Morning Herald (8 Feb 2018) – LINK HERE.