- What is the difference between
Exercise and Operation?
- What was a "bomber"?
- Which is correct; Vietnam or Viet Nam?
- Explain "bought his
- Is overwhelming fire power
always a good thing?
- Who took part in the Viet Nam war?
- Did the Armalite rifle have a tumbling bullet when
it was released?
- Why was the Red Baron's Unit
called a Flying Circus?
- Why are NCO stripes called
- What was the "Brisbane
- What was the "Battle of
- What is the meaning of AMR&O?
- What is the meaning of CARO?
- How many National Servicemen
went to Viet Nam?
- Were any men conscripted in
- What is Australia's rarest medal?
- What is the world's rarest medal?
- What details can I get on the
web about a WW2 service-person relative?
- What is it like to be in the
- Were all Japanese POW Camps equally
- What happened to the horses from
the Light Horse?
- How many horses were sent
overseas for the Light Horse?
- Why is there a crack when a rifle
bullet goes past?
- Which battalions were
disbanded in France in 1918?
- What is the difference between a
bar and a clasp on a medal?
- What is a "Bird Colonel"?
- What is the superstition about 3
lights off 1 match being bad luck?
- Are the Corps of the Army still
"Arms" and "Services"?
- Is "Swy" the same as
- What is/was "The Scrap of
- What is a pull through?
- What is fourby?
- What is the military meaning of
"Cash & Carry"?
- What is a "pam"?
- What is the meaning of IA?
- What is the goose-step or
- What was Japan's goal in WW2?
- Why were the Anzacs landed
at the wrong place?
- How many Anzacs were executed in
- How big was the ANZAC area at
- What is a lackie band?
- Does the Australian Army have a
- Was Gallipoli fairly blamed on
- I've heard the Anzacs went ashore
at Anzac Cove without ammunition. True or false?
- What did the troops carry when
they landed at Anzac Cove?
- I have heard that Aussies elect
their Officers. Is that true?
- In WW1 who were "The
Allies" and when did they enter the war?
you please tell me the meaning of "Cadre".
are Army braces?
What is the difference
between Exercise and Operation?
An Exercise is a training program. An
Operation is the real thing in a war zone.
What was a
Hand held bombs were called grenades.
They were not on issue to every soldier until later in WW1. The soldiers
who trained to use them were called 'grenadiers' until the Grenadier
Guards complained that that usage would reflect badly on them and their
name. So King George V "requested" a change and the grenades
became 'bombs' and the soldiers that used them were referred to as
Undoubtedly the greatest grenade
battle of the war occurred on the Pozieres Heights on the night of 26-27
July 1916. Lasting for twelve-and-a-half hours without a break the
Australians, with British support, exchanged grenades with their German
foes (who threw multiple types of grenade: sticks, cricket balls, egg
bombs and rifle grenades). The allied contingent alone threw some 15,000
Mills bombs during the night. Many
grenadiers were killed that night, while many others simply fell down
due to complete exhaustion.
Which is correct; Vietnam or Viet Nam?
Either. Both. The Vietnamese tend to
break their words up so they would tend to say (and spell )Viet Nam or Ba Ria,
Sai Gon where
we tend to run words together (howyagoinmateorite?) so we tend to use
Vietnam or Baria or Saigon. You say potato I say ......
This never happened in the Australian
It was common in the British Army (pre
WW1) for commissions to be bought and sold. A rich man could advance
very quickly, with almost no training or experience, to high command by
buying his way up. It was legal and common. There was no retirement
benefits or pensions for retired officers so poor men who had earned
their ranks could sell them to rich men, openly and above board.
James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl
of Cardigan (Lord Cardigan) (
1797/1868) had a private annual income of 40,000 pounds. That was about what a
Digger in WW1 would earn in 366 years. Cardigan bought his way to the
near top. He lavished money on his troops equipment and uniforms. They
were very pretty. They were also brave. So was he, or stupid. He led the
Charge of the Light Brigade after completely missing the point of his
orders: he got to the guns, bravely; and left before his troops,
stupidly. The bloke who did not stop him from mistaking his orders was
his brother in law, who disliked him, and who had purchased his own commission.
Buying a commission. From
the birth of the regular army to 1871 two thirds of officers’
commissions were obtained by purchase. The aspiring officer paid the
government an agreed sum, often adding a non-regulation premium to the
holder of the post he sought to occupy. The system was initially open to
abuse, with children gaining commissions, and inexperienced officers
buying their way over the heads of seasoned campaigners. But a series of
reforms, many associated with the Duke of York, commander-in-chief
1798-1809 and 1811-27, laid down 16 as the youngest age for
commissioning and established minimum times which an officer had to
spend in each rank.
Officers who lacked money could make
their way by seniority, for vacancies which arose when an officer was
killed were filled by the promotion of the next senior, often creating
vacancies further down the regimental list.
Interest – the support of an
influential politician or senior officer – was also important,
especially for young men who sought to make their way as gentleman
volunteers, serving as private soldiers but messing with the officers
and hoping to gain a free commission. Captain Thomas Brotherton, who
served with the 16th Light Dragoons in the Peninsular War, recalled that
‘...always recklessly exposed themselves in order to
make themselves conspicuous, as their object was to get commissions
given to them without purchase. The largest proportion of these
volunteers were killed, but those who escaped were well rewarded for
their adventurous spirit.’
During major wars there were far more
vacancies than young men wishing to buy commissions, and most officers
commissioned during the Napoleonic Wars gained their rank without
purchase. Over the past twenty years a growing volume of research has
testified to the importance of this group of officers. Some of them
enjoyed remarkable careers. Robert Cureton was commissioned into the
militia in 1806 but ran into financial difficulties and faked his
suicide. He enlisted into the Regular army under an assumed name, was
commissioned from the ranks, and rose to the rank of brigadier general
before he was killed by the Sikhs in 1849.
Royal Military Academy
Artillery and engineer officers
could purchase neither first commissions nor subsequent promotion.
All had to pass out from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich,
and then advanced by seniority. The Royal Military Academy, which
finished up at Sandhurst, was established in 1801, but potential
officers were not obliged to attend it and there was no guarantee
that those who did would receive free commissions.
...the end of
purchase did not open an officer’s career to all, for
until World War One it was difficult for an officer to
survive without private means.
The purchase system had
advantages, enabling competent young officers to gain higher rank
more quickly than would be the case today, and helping ensure the
army’s loyalty because its officers were men with ‘a stake in
the country’. And even those officers who did not attend formal
training at Sandhurst were prepared by their regiments, being
obliged to train with the recruits until they were thoroughly
proficient in individual drill and understood how to drill a
If purchase fitted comfortably
into the fabric of Georgian England, with its emphasis on place
and patronage, it came under increasing attack in the 19th Century
and vanished in Cardwell’s reforms. These obliged officers, with
few exceptions, to attend Woolwich or Sandhurst, which merged
after World War Two to form the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
However, the end of purchase did not open an officer’s career to
all, for until World War One it was difficult for an officer to
survive without private means.
The fact that most officers came
from a relatively narrow social spectrum did not matter much in
peacetime, but when the
army expanded for World War One many surviving pre-war regulars
received promotion beyond their normal expectation.
Britain’s first citizen army was commanded, at its higher
levels, by officers from the old army.
Is overwhelming fire power a good thing?
No, not always. Viet Nam, 1970. 8 RAR
are in the Long Hai hills, a notorious NVA/VC hidey hole. They were
making good progress. 34 members of D445 have been killed. All of
D445 are in the area. Normal Australian procedure is close with the
enemy and engage him. Beat him where he is. Not to be. 8RAR are pulled
back 3,000 meters and all the local hamlet leaders are advised that a
B52 strike is about to happen. Guess what. By the time (24 hours later)
that all the
paper-work and red tape had been attended to D445 were long gone.
Instead of being bottled up and mauled they were allowed to slip away in
the name of "concentrating massive firepower"
Who took part in the
Viet Nam war?
only seven countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, The
Philippines, The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Spain, sent men.
biggest contingent was the Koreans, who numbered 48,000 in 1967. But they
did not come cheap. America had to
agree to modernize the Korean armed forces and grant Korea several
lucrative military contracts, making the ARVN's uniforms, for example. (Australia
and New Zealand paid for everything that their own troops used or that was used in
now disgraced President Marcos of the Philippines sent 2000 troops in
1966. In return, the Americans turned a blind eye as he turned his
country into a virtual dictatorship.
South Vietnam fell, nearby Thailand would almost certainly be threatened
by the spread of communism in the area. As well as sending 11,568
troops, the Thais allowed B52s, Phantoms and reconnaissance aircraft ,
along with the Infiltration Surveillance Centre, on their soil.
Republic of China (Taiwan) which, like Korea, had its own beef against communism
and its own reasons for keeping in with the US, sent
31 men. Franco's
Fascist Spain sent a
13-man medical team. And there are rumours that
members of the British SAS had some covert involvement in Vietnam.
peak Australian strength was 7,672 and New Zealand's 552. Both
governments felt they had good reason to fight. They had seen communist
insurgency in Malaya and were convinced that it would spread further
south if Vietnam fell.
the Armalite rifle have a tumbling bullet when it was released?
No. Never. This was
a piece of nonsense dreamed up by our friends in the media who got half
a story and then embellished
it. The reports said that a tumbling bullet caused "massive
damage". Some even suggested it was as bad as using dum dum
bullets. No bullet that tumbles could ever be aimed accurately. The fact
is this. The 5.56mm round used by the Colt AR15 Armalite (M16) is high
velocity. Because it strikes it's target at supersonic speed it does do
more damage that the same sized round at a lower muzzle velocity. Were
it not for this increase in "stopping power" NATO and the US
would have stayed with the 7.62mm round then, and now, in common use
throughout the world. If I had to be shot I would rather be hit by a
5.56mm than a 7.62mm.
was the Red Baron's Unit called a Flying Circus?
order to be close to the front, and as mobile as possible to avoid Allied
bombing, Jasta 11 (men and planes) were quartered in tents, giving rise to
a nickname for the squadron: “the Flying Circus.”
Why are NCO stripes
"Chevron" is an architectural
term denoting the rafters of a roof meeting an angle at the upper apex.
The chevron in heraldry was employed as a badge of honour to mark the main
supporters of the head of the clan or "top of the house" and it
came to be used in various forms as an emblem of rank for knights and
men-at-arms in feudal days. One legend is that the chevron was awarded to
a knight to show he had taken part in capturing a castle, town, or other
building, of which the chevron resembled the roofs. It is believed from
this resulted its use as an insignia of grade by the military.
What was the
This term gained currency during the
invasion scare of 1942. It was the line of defence against an invading
Japanese force. When Queenslanders discovered that, for sound military
reasons it was in fact south of Brisbane, along the Lamington mountain
range which forms the Queensland-New South Wales border, their enthusiasms
declined sharply. for
What was the
"Battle of Brisbane"?
It was a fight between American MP's and
Aussie diggers. The MPs opened fire and killed 1 Aussie and wounded a
couple of others. for
What is the meaning of
Australian Military Regulations and
Orders. The book that lays down the how and when of nearly everything the
What is the meaning of
Central Army Records Office. The big
filing cabinet that gobbles up every piece of paper the Army ever produces (and then loses it)
How many National
Servicemen went to Viet Nam?
registered for National Service
up for National Service
Servicemen posted to serve in Vietnam
Servicemen KIA in Viet Nam
Servicemen Killed in SVN (non battle)
Servicemen WIA in SVN
Servicemen injured in SVN (non battle)
any men conscripted in WW1?
Yes. Although conscription
was defeated at the referenda the Government was so convinced that they
would be successful they actually proceeded with the initial call ups.
||Studio portrait of new
recruits Corporals Arthur Gray, Richard E. A. Gray and David J.
Denny at "Billy Hughes" Training Camp at the Goulburn
showground, in Goldsmith Street.
Note their soft cloth jackets. The
Billy Hughes training camp was a second camp started for those
compulsorily called up, as the Federal Government was certain its
conscription referendum would be passed.
The AIF drilled in blue
dungarees and the "Hughesiliers", as they were facetiously
called, in yellow [probably light khaki].
When the referendum was defeated
most of the Hughesiliers went back to civilian life and some
enlisted. (Original print housed in the AWM
Archive Store) (Donor E. Bridge)
What is Australia's
It is a toss up between the Military
Medal (MM) with 3 bars awarded to Pte Corey in WW1 or the Albert Medal in
Gold awarded to Sgt Coyne in WW1. Both are unique as the only one of their
type ever awarded to an Aussie. The MM and 3 bars probably wins out
because it is the only combination of that sort ever awarded to anyone.
What is the world's
Only one of the NAZI Knight's
Cross with Gold Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was ever awarded and it
was always envisaged that only 12 would ever be struck. That would make it
What details can I get
on the web about a WW2 service-person relative?
- Service Record example
- Certificate example
What is it like to be in
Dig a hole in your back garden
while it is raining. Sit in the hole while the water climbs up round your
ankles. Pour cold mud down your shirt collar. Sit there for forty-eight
hours, and, so there is no danger of your dozing off, imagine that a guy
is sneaking round waiting for a chance to club you on the head, cut your
throat or set your
house on fire. Get out of the hole, fill a suitcase full of rocks, pick it
up, put a shotgun in your other hand, and walk down the muddiest road you
can find. Fall flat on your face every few minutes, as you imagine big
meteors streaking down to sock you ... Snoop around until you find a bull.
Try to figure a way to sneak around him without letting him see you. When
he does see you, run like hell all the way back to your hole in the back
yard, drop the suitcase and shotgun, and get in. If you repeat this
performance every three days for several months you may begin to
understand why an infantryman gets out of breath.
Were all Japanese POW
Camps equally bad?
No. Many forget that a large number of
Canadians were held as prisoners of war in the Pacific. The biggest blow
to Canadian troops in that region came on Christmas Day, 1941, when Hong
Kong fell. On that one day 1,689 Canadians were captured by the Japanese.
It's thought that 1,405 survived the camps in Hong Kong and Japan.
What happened to the
horses from the Light Horse?
Extensive research by Robert Thomas BA shows the following
facts and figures.
the end of the First World War Australian Units had 13,000 surplus
horses which could not return home for quarantine reasons. Of
these 11,000 were sold, the majority as remounts for the British
Army in India. Two thousand were cast (selected for disposal) for
age or infirmity. About 200–250 were destroyed (without
permission) by their Lighthorse owners.
The horses were categorised by
veterinary officers by age and condition, into A B C & D. Those of no
further use and those over 14 years of age were destroyed (although Bourne
records in 2nd LH History that those over 8 years of age were destroyed,
this is contradicted by the regimental war diary) Some smaller horses were
sold locally or in some cases given away (100 horses were presented to the
King of the Hejaz)
Generally the horses that were destroyed were destroyed at the Remounts by
Brigade shooting parties making it unlikely that men shot their own
horses. They were then skinned and buried. 7pounds (approx 3kgs) of salt
was allowed per hide to preserve them for shipment to the tannery. The AWM reports a figure of 250
How many horses were
sent overseas for the Light Horse?
Australian horses, all around 15 hands and selected for good build and
the appearance of being well-bred, were used in the Boer War.
- During the first World War 121,324
Walers were sent to the Middle East for the Light Horse and
they created a legend. As well there were many horses sent for
pack animals in artillery and supply units as well as medical
- Nearly 500,000 horses were
exported between 1861 and 1931. See table below.
to Market Zones 1861 to 1931
value 8,171,278 (Pounds)
Figures from A T Harwood's "
Walers; Australian horses abroad"
- The toll on horses in World War 1 was horrific. A
monument in Sturt Street, Ballarat, commemorates the 958,600 killed
"including 196.000 that left these shores and never
GENERAL BRIDGES' FAVOURITE CHARGER-ONE IN 169,000.
The only one of the 169,000 horses that left Australia for WW1 war service to return was " Sandy," General Bridges'
He was brought back with his master's mortal remains and, after the funeral procession, turned out
A few years later, becoming blind and debilitated,
he was mercifully destroyed.
His head is mounted in a show
case originally displayed at the 1st Australian War Memorial Museum
in Sydney and later in Canberra at the AWM.
Why is there a crack
when a rifle bullet goes past?
The cordite rounds used in the First
World War tend to be slower than nitrocellulose or current propellant
rounds. This means that, after travelling a short distance, say 400m, they
are sub-sonic and did not give the wicked ‘crack’ (sonic barrier
shockwave) of modern ammunition projectiles.
were disbanded in France in 1918?
- These AIF Battalions were disbanded, often in the
face of fierce opposition:
|| 5th Brigade,
||(into 17th 18th & 20th)
|| 6th Brigade,
23rd 24th & 25th)
|| 7th Brigade,
|| 2nd Division
|| 8th Brigade,
|| 5th Division
30th 31st & 32nd)
|| 9th Brigade,
|| 3rd Division
33rd 34th & 35th)
38th 39th & 40th)
41st Bn as B Coy)
|| 12th Brigade,
|| 4th Division
|| 13th Brigade,
|| 4th Division
|| 14th Brigade,
|| 5th Division
to 56th, some to 53rd & 55th)
|| 15th Brigade,
|| 5th Division
57th 58th & 59th)
What is the
difference between a bar and a clasp on a medal?
What is a
This is a nickname given to the
rank (in the US Army) of full colonel as opposed to Lieutenant Colonel. It
is so called because of the rank insignia worn. See photos
What is the
superstition about 3 lights off 1 match being bad luck?
There is a superstition in the Army
about lighting 3 cigarettes from one match (or from one burning of a
cigarette lighter). That started in
WW1 where the theory was that enemy snipers were drawn, at night time, to
the flash of light of striking a match and lighting of the first
cigarette, lighting the second cigarette allowed the sniper to get set and
if a third was lit it gave time for the sniper to aim and to shoot.
Many people (myself included) will still
not light 3 cigarettes from 1 match or 1 burn of a lighter, even though
the risk of being sniped by a German marksman has reduced considerably
since 1918. It is still considered "bad luck" to do so.
Are the Corps of
the Army still "Arms" and "Services"?
No. The Corps of the Army are no longer
categorised as fighting arms and service corps. I'm not sure
when this terminology went out of date, but know that for certain it was
prior to 1995 In 1995, it was being taught that the Corps of the Army were
all classified as either combat, combat support or service support corps.
Of these, only RAINF and RAAC were classified as combat corps, as closing
with and engaging the enemy was the key component of their corps role.
Under this classification, RASigs was grouped along with RAA, AAVN, ENGRs
and AAMC as the combat support corps as while their role was not to seek
out and engage the enemy, it was common for them to be called upon to
carry out their corps responsibilities while in contact with the enemy.
All the others such as RAEME, RAAOC, RACT etc were grouped as the service
The reference for this categorisation was
the MLW called "The Arms and Services". Unfortunately,
after sifting through the Army doctrine library and querying Land Warfare
Development Centre, The School of Signals and RMC Duntroon, it appears
this reference has been declared obsolete and I can't provide any further
detail on it other than the title. However, this was still the
accepted categorisation for the corps of the Army when I was instructing
at the School of Signals in 1999, so it is certainly more current that the
old "fighting arm" and "service corps" terminology you
referred to in your original email.
Current doctrine on the subject is
covered in Land Warfare Doctrine 1 - The Fundamentals of Land Warfare
dated 01 Jan 02. Chap 4 of this reference covers the combined arms
team (CAT) and refers to categorisation based on battlespace operating
systems (BOS) rather than corps. This reflects a greater emphasis on
battlefield effects and capabilities of units and sub-units rather than
the corps to which they belong. Under LWD1, the corps are not
categorised like they have been previously, rather they are tasked to
contribute to the various BOS as part of an effective combined arms team.
In the case of RASigs, we are primarily concerned with the Command and
Control BOS, but also contribute to the Information Operations and
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance BOS'.
So in summary, under current doctrine
there is no categorisation of Army Corps into combat or fighting arms.
Therefore, it is not correct to state that RASigs is either.
However, when such categorisation systems were in place under The Arms and
Services MLW, RASigs was classified as a Combat Support corps.
Infantry and Armour were the only combat arms, at least between 1995 and
2000. (by a serving Officer 2003)
Is "Swy" the
same as "Two-up"?
No. Two up is played with 2 pennies
(coins). Swy is played with 3. This means that there is always a result.
It is sometimes called "sudden death two up". Details at Two Up (Swy) the Digger's gambling game.
"The Scrap of Paper"?
There are 2 "scraps of paper",
one from each of the World Wars.
||Before WW1 the British,
Germany & France and 2 other countries had
signed a treaty or agreement with Belgium guaranteeing that if she were
attacked they would come to her aid.
The Kaiser knew that but decided in
his "wisdom" that no one would go to war over a "scrap of
paper" and invaded Belgium to make it easy for his troops to get to
As we know, he was wrong. Britain
did honour her word.
Before WW2 the then British Prime
Minister Neville Chamberlain in a last ditch effort to appease Hitler
signed with him an agreement that supposedly guaranteed "peace in our
time". Chamberlain made big political noise about it. Hitler referred
to it, disparagingly, as "a scrap of paper that he gave to Chamberlain because he
seemed like a nice little man".
What is a
A pull through is a piece of equipment necessary
for the correct maintenance of a rifle. It is a weight connected to a
strong cord with a loop at the end of the cord. The weight is dropped down
the barrel of the rifle from the breech end. A piece of oiled cloth (fourby) is inserted in
the loop and pulled through the rifle several times to clean and oil the barrel.
||A .303 pull through for the Lee Enfield
rifle, rolled for storage.
In the SLR the pull through could be stored in the
- A Lee Enfield .303 pull through
(rolled for storage) and an oil can as supplied to each soldier.
What is fourby?
Forby is a slang term to describe the
felt cloth used to clean and oil a rifle. It is used in conjunction with a
pull through (see above). It is so called because it was 4 inches wide and
one could tear off what ever length was required. The resulting piece as
therefore 4 by ??? (fourby)
What was Lend/Lease?
The Lend-lease Act of
March 11, 1941 permitted the President of the United States to "sell,
transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of, to any
such government [whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of
the United States] any defense article". It thus extended Cash and
Carry and obliterated any sense of neutrality. The value of the items to
be lent were not to exceed $1,300,000,000 in total. US President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt approved US$1 billion in Lend-lease aid to the Soviet
Union on October 30, 1941.
The act is generally known as lend-lease
in the US but lease-lend in the UK. In fact neither term appears in the
true title of the act, which is "Further to promote the defense of
the United States, and for other purposes."
Churchill called the Lend-Lease
Bill the "most un-sordid act in all of recorded history"
Lend-lease was a critical factor in the
eventual success of the Allies in World War II, particularly in the early
years when the United States was not directly involved and the entire
burden of the fighting fell on other nations, notably those of the British
Commonwealth. Although Pearl Harbor brought the US into the war in
December 1941, the task of recruiting, training, and equipping US forces,
and then transporting them to the war zones could not be completed
overnight: through 1942, and to a lesser extent 1943, the other Allies
continued to be responsible for most of the fighting, and the supply of
military equipment under lend-lease was a major part of their success.
Even after the United States forces in
Europe and the Pacific began to reach full-strength in 1943-1944,
lend-lease continued. Most remaining belligerents were largely
self-sufficient in front-line equipment (such as tanks, escort aircraft
carriers and fighter aircraft) by this stage, but lend-lease provided a
useful supplement in this category even so, and lend-lease logistical
supplies (including trucks, jeeps, landing craft, and above all the
Douglas DC-3 transport aircraft) were of enormous assistance.
What is the military
meaning of "Cash & Carry"?
Originally, cash and carry
simply designates a method of making purchases where the customer pays the
purchased goods immediately and takes them away himself -- as opposed to
having the goods delivered and paying a bill later. In that sense, most
retail shops are "cash and carry".
Cash and carry also has more
specific meanings in certain fields:
- in history: The policy of Cash
and Carry established at the onset of World War II in 1939
revised the Neutrality Acts so any ship could come to United States
ports and carry away anything they could buy. This policy aided the
United Kingdom and France.
What is a "pam"?
Pam is the nickname for a Training
Pamphlet as used by Army to ensure a standard level of training for Drill,
Weapons handling and various other matters that EVERY soldier needs to be
What is the meaning of IA?
IA is the "Immediate Action"
that a soldier is trained to take when his weapon fails to operate. The
most common reason for weapon stoppage is lack of ammunition. The
addresses that. If the weapon still fails to operate another, the
"Second IA" takes
further steps to remedy the situation. These are drilled into every
soldier endlessly so that in the heat of battle he responds
What is the goose-step
It is a form of marching. Surprisingly
it is favoured most often in hard left or hard right totalitarian regimes.
The British, Australian, US style of march is a form of controlled and
regimented walking. The knees bend, the arms swing to a natural degree and
the head is held erect but not stiff. The soldier stays upright but not
stiff. On the other hand goose stepping involves locking the head position
a little higher than natural, the legs are kept stiff with no bend in the
knees at all, the back is kept artificially stiffened and the arms are
swung artificially high to shoulder level or kept motionless by the side.
The German Army used to goose step with the left arm motionless and the
right arm raised in the "Hitler" salute. The NAZI regime is the best
known of the goose steppers but the USSR and North Korea are another 2
countries that have or do favour it.
Some dictionaries describe it as a symbolic
stomping of the enemy. Norman
Davies, author of Europe: A History, traces the origins of the
march back to the Prussian army in the 17th century. The body language of
goose-stepping, he wrote,
"transmitted a clear set of messages. To
Prussia's generals, it said that the discipline and athleticism of their
men would withstand all orders, no matter how painful or ludicrous. To
Prussian civilians, it said that all insubordination would be ruthlessly
crushed. To Prussia's enemies it said that the Prussian army was not
made up just of lads in uniform, but regimented supermen. To the world
at large, it announced that Prussia was not just strong, but
After WWII, the goose-step was outlawed
in West Germany, making it the only human gesture to be officially banned
by a state.
What was Japan's goal in
Japan knew from the beginning that she could
not beat the USA and that only a slim chance of NAZI Germany beating the
British Commonwealth and then turning on USA existed. Japan hoped to force
the USA to the negotiating table with 1 massive strike and success
elsewhere. As we know all they did was to get the Yanks cranky. (Osama,
Saddam etc will you never learn?)
Japan planned a "Sphere of
Living" for the "Greater East Asia New Order". The
countries and territories to be invaded and made part of this grand plan
|The former mandated German
|French Pacific Islands
|Dutch East Indies
|Australia inc PNG
Why were the
Anzacs landed at the wrong place?
While it is both well known and
true that the original landings at what we now call Anzac Cove were over a
mile north of where they were supposed to be nobody
knows for sure how or why it happened. The most common theory is that a
strong current pushed the boats north. Remember that the landing boats
were under the control of Royal Navy Midshipmen as young as 14. However
that theory may well be incorrect. for
How many Anzacs were
executed in WW1?
Five (5), all New Zealanders. Australia
had 170 men convicted of offences that could lead to execution but as they
were all volunteers the Governor-General refused to sign the orders. 1
Aussie was convicted of murder of a British civilian, in a civil court and
- Desertion and the Death
Penalty; According to Section 98 of the
Commonwealth Defence Act 1903, no member of the Defence Force
shall be sentenced to death by any court martial except for
- desertion to the enemy; or
- traitorously delivering up to the enemy
any garrison, fortress, post, guard, or ship, vessel, or
boat, or aircraft; or
- traitorous correspondence with the
- Significantly, this sentence could not be
carried out until it was confirmed by the Governor-General.
Executions First World War:
||Including one Unit that was
"decimated", (i.e. every tenth man was shot), for
failing to hold a position.
||[Includes Commonwealth troops]
||[For non-military offences - e.g. murder and
||[all now officially pardoned]
25 Aug 1916 No 24/1521 (desertion)
John Joseph Sweeney 2 Oct 1916 (born
Tasmania) No 24/2008 (desertion)
John Braithwaite 29 Oct 1916 No
John King 19 Aug 1917 (born
Australia) No 8/2733 (desertion)
Victor Manson Spencer 24 Feb
1918 No 5/1384 (desertion)
||for military offences. At least 1
maybe more (by civilian authorities) for civilian crimes inc
murder of civilians in UK.
None known or recorded
How big was the
ANZAC area at Gallipoli?
It varied over the time they were there
but about 400 acres is acceptable as a generalisation. That is about the
total area of 2,000 houses in a modern housing estate. The suburb I live
in has over 4,000 houses.
What is a lackie
It is Aussie slang for an elastic band
used to hold the bottom of the trouser leg tightly bloused over the top of
the boot. When I joined the army in 1965 they were technically illegal,
frowned upon in some units and allowed in others. (Of course the Officers
who thought it was "character building" for a Digger to have to
keep his trousers ballooned properly by just poking the bottom of the trouser
legs into the top of a pair of gaiters didn't have to wear them. They wore
slacks.) As the years have gone by the "brass" have relented and
now "lackie (or lacky) bands are in full use.
||A pair of elastic
bands with quick release clips as currently used .
Australian Army have a war cry?
"Imshee" is the Arabic
for go away." The Australasian Corps, which had so far employed it
only to street hawkers in Cairo, used this war cry on April 25, 1915.
Other than that I don't know of any that were used on a regular basis.
Was Gallipoli fairly
blamed on Winston Churchill?
In my opinion, NO. Winston Churchill has
been vilified over the years by some (not all) people with a small
understanding of the real situation. Here are the facts.
Churchill was the original architect of
the "Mediterranean Campaign" and remained it's staunch supporter
even after it went wrong.
His vision was for a NAVAL action to
force the Dardanelles. He did not originally suggest an armed landing at
Gallipoli or anywhere else. He was First Lord of the Admiralty. He saw it
as a campaign that the Royal Navy could handle.
Churchill had no say in the appointment
of Kitchener, who appointed Hamilton, who stuffed up the whole campaign
from the word go and who appointed men who were not capable of doing the
job. Men like Stopford ( who was quite old and in his first ever
command of troops at war) and Hunter-Weston who was a butcher of Divisions
equaled only (later) by Haig.
The Dardanelles Campaign might not have
started without Churchill but there is no evidence to suggest that he had
any hand in it's flawed execution.
I've heard the Anzacs
went ashore at Anzac Cove without ammunition. True or false?
Totally false. Each man carried 200
rounds. In the normal Army tradition the rifles were not loaded while the
landing was taking place and the troops had been told not to indulge in
rifle fire until dawn. Both of those practices make sense. The first
prevents accidental discharge while clambering over the side of a boat
into a pinnace and the second because firing blind at night time reveals
your position without damaging the enemy. Keep in mind that it was planned
as a "surprise attack".
What did the
troops carry when they landed at Anzac Cove ?
The men were heavily loaded. Each had 200 rounds of
.303 ammunition, rifle and bayonet, an entrenching tool with two empty sandbags wrapped around it, a heavy backpack and
two white bags containing two days' extra rations, which included can of bully beef, biscuits, tea and sugar. The rifles were
unloaded. There was to be no shooting before daybreak. Warfare had been turned back a couple of centuries. Before the sun was up the
enemy could die only from stab wounds.
I have heard that
Aussies elect their Officers. Is that true?
No. Australian military Officers have to
go through a long and involved training program equal to any in the world.
However before Australia became a nation some of the Colonies had
volunteer units. They were unpaid, got almost no Government support and in
a lot of cases supplied their own horse, rifle and time and paid for their
own uniforms. Those Units often elected their Officers.
"The Allies" and when did they enter the war?
major brunt of the war effort on the Allied side was borne by
France, Great Britain and her four Dominion nations, Russia, Serbia
and Belgium. These five nations alone of the twenty-six Allies
accounted for over 91% of the 16.2 million Allied military
casualties. While fifteen more nations joined the Allied cause
during the course of the war, the only two additions that had
substantive military impact on the ultimate Allied victory were the
entry of the Kingdom of Italy in May 1915 and the United States in
These details & 2 following postcards from http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/
propaganda postcard. One of the few that recognize the Dominions.
Mostly Australia, Canada, New Zealand (& South Africa) get
lumped in with Great Britain.
postcard showing first use of Welt-Kreig (World War)
you please tell me the meaning of "Cadre".
In it's most common usage
it refers to a (usually small) group of trained men sent to or posted to a
unit where the current training level is not high. For example all
through the 1950s, 60 and 70s all Citizens Military Forces (CMF) units had
an Australian Regular Army (ARA) cadre. They acted as advisors and worked
WITH the CMF but not as part of the unit. More or less overseers. In
other situations the Cadre would be the full time trainers as other troops
came and went from the training establishment. In that case the word cadre
could probably be replaced with "staff" but the Army don't talk
English, they talk Army.
are Army braces?
are an old fashioned way of keeping your trousers up. (See
photo). The single strap attached to
the inside back of the trousers. The straps went over the shoulders and
attached to the inside left and right hand side. They were worn over the
shirt and under the jacket. They were issued in WW1 and were still on
issue when I was in the Army in the mid 1960s. Our RSM had a habit of
doing a dress inspection just before leave. Anyone not wearing braces had
his leave cancelled.
Copyright © 2003 Ted Harris. All rights
reserved as per Legal page.
Revised: February 12, 2013