Signed copy of Greg Raffin's Australia's Real Baptism Of Fire
Australia's Real Baptism Of Fire Heroes Known Only to A Few is Greg Raffin's historically accurate account of the little known story of Australia's first involvement in the Great War. He details the action of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in 1914, Australia's 1st Battle WW1 Attack to capture the German wireless station in German New Guinea.
Australia's Real Baptism Of Fire Heroes Known Only To A Few ' by Greg Raffin. A professionally written study of the entire engagement, the author who is a History Teacher was awarded the 2005 Premier's Military History Scholarship. In a Foreword to the book, General (Retd) Peter Cosgrove comments that, "I realised that while it was so significant to Australians then and now, very few people today knew anything about it:"
Seven months before the troops landed at Gallipoli, a force of 2000 Australian volunteers sailed to Rabaul New Guinea to capture Germany's interests in that Country. That force was known as Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF). The AN&MEF was a combined operation undertaken by the Australian Army and naturally the Navy. At the time it included a flotilla of ships from the Royal Australian Navy including the AE1 and AE2 Submarines. The Army was comprised of 1,000 men mostly with military experience enlisted in Sydney which was to be known as the 1st Battalion. A further 500 naval reservists and ex-sailors who would serve as infantry and 500 volunteers of militia from Townsville North Queensland's based Kennedy Regiment. The main attack was undertaken on the September 11, 1914. Ten days later, and with no further fighting, all of German New Guinea was formally surrendered to Australia. What many history books have until now dismissed as a 'skirmish' led historically to a huge expansion of Australia's interest in New Guinea and islands to its north.
This New Guinea campaign also saw a number of significant 'firsts' for Australia, including the first overseas military expedition planned and coordinated by the fledgling Australian nation, the first land military operation of the war (including a land charge), the first joint operation by the Army and Navy, the first WW1 Australian casualties (7 Australians were killed, a Seaman W.G.V. Williams has been credited as the first Australian fatality of the WW1), the war's first bravery award for an Australian...
'Australia's Real Baptism of Fire ' is a detailed account which via meticulous research the author tells the story of the soldiers and sailors who took part. Many had been civilians only weeks earlier and some showed extraordinary heroism. For example, the Bayonet Charge of Charles Elwell who was mortally wounded leading with sword drawn. Their deeds have been largely overshadowed by the later carnage at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, but the men who fought at Bita Paka on that one day in September have earned their place in Australia's history.
Now their sacrifices will be remembered.