In the Footsteps of Ghosts: With the 2/9th Battalion in the African Desert and the Jungles of the Pacific

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Allen & Unwin, 1999 - World War, 1939-1945 - 262 pages
The soldiers of thge Australian 2/9th Battalion participated in a succession of battles from Giarabub and Tobruk in North Africa to Milne Bay, Buna, Sanananda, Shaggy Ridge and Balikpapan in the Pacific.

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Contents

Depressions child
1
To the moneychanger
13
A change of face
34
Maps and illustrations
35
Like rats in a trap
47
Tobruk
50
Tobruk 34 May 1941
61
Sandshoes at midnight
75
The buggers gone
145
Sanananda
146
The Junction Attack 29th and 212th Battalions
153
Away in the highlands
164
Shaggy Ridge
173
And I was glad
194
Balikpapan
198
On the vigil feast
215

Turning the tide
90
Milne Force dispositions 31 August 1942
101
A day we will remember
114
To the beachhead
115
Buna
123
Bibliography
226
29th Battalion
229
List of casualties 29th Battalion 193945
255
Index
257
Copyright

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Page 224 - To-morrow is Saint Crispian." Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day." Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in...
Page 65 - The Australians, who are the men our troops have had opposite them so far, are extraordinarily tough fighters. The German is more active in the attack but the enemy stakes his life in the defence and fights to the last with extreme cunning. Our men, usually...
Page 65 - Enemy snipers achieve astounding results. They shoot at anything they recognize. Several NCOs of the battalion have been shot through the head with the first bullet while making observations in the front line. Protruding sights in gun directors have been shot off, observation slits and loopholes have been fired on, and hit, as soon as they were seen to be in use (ie when the light background became dark).
Page 65 - ... fighters. The German is more active in the attack but the enemy stakes his life in the defence and fights to the last with extreme cunning. Our men, usually easy going and unsuspecting, fall easily into his traps especially as a result of their experiences in the closing stages of the Western Campaign (campaign in France).
Page 65 - In using every means of taking us by surprise. Enemy snipers achieve astounding results. They shoot at anything they recognize. Several NCOs of the battalion have been shot through the head with the first bullet while making observations in the front line. Protruding sights in gun directors have been shot off, observation slits and loopholes have been fired on, and hit, as soon as they were seen to be in use (ie when the light background became dark). For this reason loopholes must be kept plugged...
Page 73 - Samson asked who they were, where they had come from, and where they were going.
Page 65 - German soldier: i. in the use of individual weapons, especially as snipers ii. in the use of ground camouflage iii. in his gift of observation, and the drawing of the correct conclusions from his observation iv. in every means of taking us by surprise . . . The enemy allows isolated individuals to come right up to his positions, then fires on them.
Page 79 - Repulse and the Prince of Wales off the coast of Malaya that day.
Page 21 - We were chauffeured everywhere, going to a fair in the night at the racecourse and overstaying our leave. But we managed to get a ride out to the Stratheden on a native boat. We waited until a sling full of cargo was leaving the loading barge, then grabbed the net and made our journey up in the air and down into the hold.

About the author (1999)

Bill Spencer served with the Australian 2/9th Battalion in World War Two, taking part in each and every campaign from Giarabub to Balikpapan. This is his first book.

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