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Australian Soldiers in Asia-Pacific in World War II

Dr Lachlan Grant
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Half a million Australians encountered a new world when they entered Asia and the Pacific during World War II: different peoples, cultures, languages and religions chafing under the grip of colonial rule. Moving beyond the battlefield, this book tells the story of how mid-century experiences of troops in Asia-Pacific shaped how we feel about our nation's place in the region and the world. Spanning the vast region from New Guinea to Southeast Asia and India, Lachlan Grant uncovers affecting tales of friendship, grief, spiritual awakening, rebellion, incarceration, sex and souvenir hunting.

Focusing on the day-to-day interactions between soldiers on the ground and the people and cultures they encountered, this book paints a picture not only of individual lives transformed, but of dramatically shifting national perceptions, as the gaze of Australia turned from Britain to Asia.