Across the Sea to War

Australia and New Zealand Troop Convoys from 1865 through Two World Wars to Korea and Vietnam

By Peter Plowman

Australia and New Zealand have a proud record of sending troops overseas to fight for Great Britain. This book chronicles the transporting of these troops by ship to overseas destinations starting with the Sudan Campaign in 1865 and ending with Vietnam. It is a story not told before, about an aspect of war that has been largely overlooked by military historians. Using contemporary accounts from the men and women on board these ships, as well as detailed records, the author reveals aspects of history. Many of the ships used were great liners, such as the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Nieuw Holland, and Mauretania. Others were less grand, but no less important. Conditions aboard varied for man and beast. (During the Boer War and World War I large numbers of horses as well as men were shipped to the conflict). Luxury liners converted to carry large numbers of troops traveled to various fields of conflict. The Bass Strait ferry Taroona converted into a troop transport ran aground on Nateara Reef on leaving Port Moresby. Stranded for three days at the entrance to the harbour, whilst Port Moresby was being subjected to daily air raids by the Japanese, she was eventually refloated and made her way back to Townsville. Throughout the book there are details of the men and vessels in which they sailed. There are stories of hardship, comedy and sheer doggedness. Diary entries from medical staff working on the hospital ships repatriating Japanese POWs are heartbreaking. Accounts from soldiers travelling to and from Vietnam give a telling insight into their hopes and fears. The Appendix lists major convoys in World War II. There is an Index of Merchant Ships, An Index of Naval Ships and a detailed Bibliography.

504 pages

Publication Date: 7/1/2003
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781877058066

Temporarily out of stock

Temporarily out of stock.