The Australian Militia in New Guinea, 1940-1945
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 01:21 by John Harwood Moore
The essential thesis of this investigation is that the disparaged reputation of the Australian Militia in the South West Pacific campaign of 1942-45 was unwarranted. This underration of the Militia was held widely throughout the community and in the early stages of the war, even by the AIF itself. It had its origins in difficulties suffered by the Militia in pre-war days and although an analysis of these is outside the scope of this work and largely pre-dates it, they were to be compounded by the Militia's early reverses on the Kokoda Trail. These defeats were the first to be suffered by an Australian force so close to home and although they were not the first reverses suffered by the Australian Army in World War II, their close proximity to Australia aroused greater apprehension. The Kokoda reverses therefore contrasted detrimentally to the Militia 's image because whereas they occurred during its initial introduction to battle, they compared unfavourably with the immediate and spectacular successes won by the AIF in its introductory battles in the Middle East.