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COMBAT STRESS
RESOURCES FOR CHAPLAINS
AND HISTORY INSTRUCTORS
From around the world, resources are available for public domain download, to assist in developing Stress Management products.  Materials on this page include photos, war art, documents, and films.  Refer back to the "CH Hughes products" webpage, and note the "Combat Stress" PDF's and videos, to see how to incorporate these materials into a block of instruction.  Photos of soldiers in various types of terrain, battle, recreation, etc., are an excellent way to involve students in discussion.

There are also resources on this page Secondary School teachers can use with their students to enhance the study of World War I, II, and Vietnam.  Short videos and podcasts are available from the public domain, as well as primary source materials on this page. Consideration should be given to using the Kokoda Track, Battle of Singapore, POWs, and Vietnam sections as separate teaching modules.  Sections of instruction could also include terrain*, environment, native inhabitants, geography, weather, etc. that contributed to Combat Stress of soldiers.  Instructors can use these materials in PowerPoint presentations.
*A good example of combat stress involving Terrain is the Australian soldiers landing at Gallipoli where their leaders had faulty maps and the soldiers were faced with impossible objectives that could not meet.  They had been landed at the wrong place, and, as happened with U.S. troops in WW2 landing at Anzio, Italy, were bunched up at the beachhead and stalled, unable to advance due mainly to the terrain. Once past the beachhead, the terrain with it's sharp drop-off's, worked against any rapid advance. There are some excellent short films that outline these problems by historians who walked over the ground involved.

There is a music section for WW1 & 2, which covers the main pieces of music that were used to boost the morale of soldiers and those back home, in those two wars.  Instructors should consider using these videos to enhance the study of those historical periods for their students.

A brief section appears near the bottom of this page, dealing with Combat Stress in the Civil War.  The webpage, "The Old South" has much more that can be incorporated in a complete course on the Civil War.

Also, included on this page, there are brief general articles dealing with Combat Stress, Shell Shock, lack of sleep, and the role of weather and environment affecting troops.

A separate study of Pearl Harbor is available on the webpage "Jim & Joe in College" in the section that deals with Joe's graduate work at the University of Richmond on Pre-Pearl Harbor Intelligence. The research in that section covers not only American, but British, Australian, and Dutch intelligence assets.
WHY STUDY AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS is a good question. 
First, much of what you see, read, and hear on this page was unknown years ago when I taught history in public and private schools.  The whole truth about the cannibalization which was perpetrated on Allied soldiers, Australians in particular, by Japanese soldiers, was kept under wraps until well into the the 1990's.  It continues to be hidden from the schoolchildren in Japan who have never been taught the full history of their major role in pre-WW2 and WW2 itself.  Much of what we now know about the success and failure of intelligence prior to Pearl Harbor has now come to light.  We also know that FDR was the first President to wiretap his own White House office; long before Nixon. Much intelligence that came to assist the success of the Battle of Midway came from Australia, not Hawaii.  And while on the sidebar subject of U.S. Presidents, it is now a proven fact that Warren Harding had not one but two children out of wedlock.

Much of the fighting in the Far East was done by Australians, which is often overlooked in popular media which give much space to the Marines, who should not be discounted.  But the Australians certainly suffered more and died more horrific deaths at the hands of the Japanese than the Americans. The Japanese were the main opponent of the Australian Army in WW2.  And they are on record as saying that the U.S. Soldiers (not Marines) were timid and overly cautious when they landed on islands that were under Japanese occupation. The Japanese killed more than twice as many Australians in battle as other enemies combined in WW2.  More than three times as many Australians were captured by the Japanese then by other enemies, and thirty times more Australians died as prisoners of war of the Japanese than as prisoners of European opponents.  Most all of the Australians who wound up as POWs of the Japanese was due to the the bumbling British leadership in Malaysia and Singapore where thousands of Diggers were surrendered to a much smaller Japanese force. It was a disgrace.  One officer even fled from his command back to Australia.

After calculations are done, if troops who died from wounds as POWs are not taken into account, the figure was more than forty times higher in Japanese captivity.  Keep in mind that when in 1945, the Japanese commanders in charge of the POW camps, learned that they were going to lose the war, they ordered all POWs killed by any means before they could be released.

It is also my intention on this page to bring a more balanced view to the implication of some few historians who write that most soldiers found killing pleasurable.  That may have some ring of truth, in reference to U.S. Soldiers and Marines who fought in WW2, but that is not a fact concerning Australians, and is not borne out by a wider reading of Australian primary sources. Attitudes towards inflicting death varied greatly among the Australians and depended heavily on the identity of the enemy and the circumstances in which they met. "Taking no prisoners" only became apparent on the occasions when Diggers found their wounded Mates had been tortured and carved up and eaten by Jap soldiers who practiced cannibalism.  I would suggest you read 2 books, "At the Front Line" and "Fighting the Enemy" by Professor Mark Johnston for a more in-depth discussion of this point.  More in-depth discussion is offered about Japanese cannibalism is offered further down on this page.

Peter Pinney, a Digger who fought in the WW2 Pacific theater, summed up quite succinctly exactly why I am giving Australia the major focus on this page:

 

American war histories are notoriously frugal in their mention of Australian fighting men…the few references there, portray them as little more than camp followers.  General MacArthur’s communiques habitually refrained from any mention of Australian troops, and their successes were commonly assumed to be American victories.  American war histories tend to ignore the Australian offensives in New Guinea, and describe the Bougainville beachhead in November 1943 as the first important fight in the Pacific conflict.  They fail to mention that the war with Japan was already two years old before American forces played any major part in the islands campaign. 

 

“American public opinion, which is inclined to write 

off Australia as a fighting force for the remainder of the Pacific War, now sees the digger in the humblest of secondary roles..mopping up behind the real fighting slogging Yank.” (Sydney Morning Herald, quoted in P. Charlton, “The Unnessary War” (Melbourne: Macmillian, 1983).

This webpage features Australian and New Zealand soldiers at war; with some emphasis on British, Canadian, and U.S. Soldiers.

(Another webpage, "CH Hughes products" deals with stress issues faced by American service personnel.)
 
Many photos are courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Another great resource for instructors is The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Australia, where you will find many audio, visual, and written primary resources.  Photos and films are generally placed under specific categories. For example, "Fall of Singapore" has specific Australian photos and films about that event.  

In general, paying attention to the photos in each section on this page, will reveal many Diggers appear in groups with their Mates, generally smiling, with short haircuts, and are not self-conscious. This says much about their psychological and cultural makeup.  Mates did not leave their friends on the battlefield, especially when wounded by the Japanese, as will become apparent in subsequent detail below.  

It became especially important once they discovered that the Japanese were eating their wounded and dead Mates by cutting flesh from their dead bodies; in some cases, while the soldier was still alive. Newly discovered diaries and reports by survivors, not previously known, relate this in gruesome detail. This was a turning point for them in not wanting to take prisoners, already being practiced wholesale by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific theater of war.

In doing research for this page, I found a stronger bond of 'Mateship' between Australian 'Diggers' (as their soldiers are known) than between American Soldiers. Those from New Zealand were known as "Kiwis".  ANZAC is a term that refers to both Australian and New Zealand soldiers. (Australian New Zealand Army Corps).

I found a sense of comradeship between American Soldiers in the field, but it was not as strong and did not last long after returning home from rotation to a war zone; or after retirement, especially after the Vietnam and later wars. Other than the VFW and American Legion, plus a few disabled vet organizations, there are few permanent associations for U.S. combat veterans with ongoing organizations and public participation events.
 
Yet today, in the 21st Century, the average Aussie will refer to another as 'Mate.'  And the number of 'Digger' organizations and associations is numerous. They participate through annual ANZAC Day and Australia Day marches/parades in all the major and minor cities and towns. In addition, the children, wives, grandchildren, and extended family all turn out for these events and support their husbands, fathers, grandfathers and these associations, which hold their own individual events.  All the Australia media outlets cover these events 'religiously,' unlike the media in the U.S.  

The typical Australian sees the importance in supporting these events and associations.  They have a sense of pride and sincere desire for participation that is evident, even when the public events had to be scaled back due to the 2020 pandemic.  One website sums it up succinctly: "Our aim is to perpetuate the camaraderie that was generated amongst us when we served."  Well said.


While the U.S. Vietnam-era vets had numerous websites run by individuals and small groups post-the Vietnam war,  they have been in decline since 2008.  Most of these websites are now extinct and no longer exist.  Some sites have 'changed hands' or have attached themselves to other larger sites; many have been 'watered down'.  This is unfortunate, as they were once a rich resource for research.

I have also included a section about Australian Chaplains in WW 1 & 2, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
Before continuing, a word to the instructor concerning the need to do careful research. I have discovered numerous websites what have outright false information, either by design or by careless unintentional error. There is one site that has a high-sounding name that supposedly gives 
the correct information about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; but that website has a hidden agenda of pushing their own philosophy, which is incorrect.

Here is another example of careless handling of information that can be found on many websites.  The website in question tried to make a list, with photos, 
of all underage boy soldiers:
Several years ago, I did extensive research on the Royal Flying Corps and corresponded with the high school Albert Ball attended.  He is remembered as one of the first 'Aces' of WW1.  Here are some pictures of him, including one on the cover of a book about
WW1 flying:
The researcher must also be careful about some authors who have a subrosa agenda.  They have attempted to disprove the truth of a particular battle, army group, or concept.
 
Here is one online report concerning this problem:
Another fictional recounting of history was exposed concerning the Kokoda Track:
Another recent investigation into the battle of Midway, notorious for turning the tide of the war against the Japanese, has come under intense scrutiny.  The resultant investigation of primary sources has revealed that one of the 'sources' previously taken for granted for at least 60 years, is completely wrong.

I am talking about the memoirs of Commander Fuchida who wrote about the battle of Midway, but did not tell the truth about one important facet of the battle.  A historian, Jonathan Parshall, dug into the original Japanese records and produced an astonishing revelation which he noted in his book, "Shattered Sword."  He relates what happened in the following excerpt from a recent podcast:
INTRODUCTION
Glossary of Australian Terms
Identification of Diggers and Kiwi's in combat photos can be made by looking 
at dog tags (called 'meat tickets' by the Diggers); hats, short haircuts, shirtless, and wearing shorts.
Another Digger with the Australian-type of 
dog tags, which are round and octagonal shaped:
This American GI has rectangle-shaped dog tags, encased in a black rubber holder to silence them while moving in enemy territory.
Here's a song about the Digger hat, from the film "The Digger":
Digger in new video describes his authentic WW1 uniform:
Digger in a new video tells the history of the Australian flag:
Digger in new video discusses the Australian coat of arms and national anthem:
Soldiers from Scotland also participated 
in WW1 and had their own uniforms:
ACTUAL PICTURE OF TWO SOLDIERS FROM SCOTLAND STANDING IN THE SNOW ON THE WESTERN FRONT.  PHOTO HAS BEEN 'COLORIZED':
New Zealand ANZAC soldiers also had a special way of greeting their Mates; no sexual implication is implied; it is a cultural aspect of their lives:
The first Australian awarded the 
Victoria Cross

The Aussie way of Discipline

A Mob in Uniform
WAR RECRUITMENT POSTERS
Discipline within the AIF 
on the Western Front
Diggers also show their pride in serving by use of Tattoos.  But not just any type; the designs are chosen with specific intent.

Here are some films which describe the rationale behind the tattoos, followed by some examples:
AUSTRALIAN "SLANG"
When the Battle of Kokoda is discussed 
further on this page, it is referred to as the "Kokoda Track," not 'trail.'  Diggers used the term "Track" to refer to a 'trail.'
Diggers grew up on a continent surrounded by water and were, therefore, used to swimming.  That becomes apparent in the descriptions 
and photos on this page, when they go with their unit to the field.  

The also came from a country with animals that were unique to Australia.  Here are two films that describe them:
The Virtual War Memorial is an excellent resource site for Instructors.  Here is an example of what you can find:
MAIN SECTION

"SPIRIT OF THE ANZACS"

He's a drover drifting over Western plains

He's a city lad, a clark down Flinder's Lane

They're in the trenches at Lone Pine

And on the Flander's firing line

A willing band of ordinary men

He's all of them

He's one of us

Born beneath

The Southern Cross

Side by side

We say with pride

He is all of them

He is one of us

He's a pilot on a midnight bombing raid

He's an Able Seaman on the Armidale

She's a nurse in Vietnam

They're on patrol in Uruzgan

Sons and daughters rising to the call

She's all of them

She's one of us

Born beneath

The Southern Cross

Side by side

We say with pride

She is all of them

She is one of us

The spirit of the ANZACs

Proud and strong

Spirit of the ANZACs

Will live on and on and on

He's all of them

He's one of us

Born beneath

The Southern Cross

Side by side

We say with pride

He is all of them

She is all of them

They are one of us

They are one of us

As previously stated above, 
The number of 'Digger' organizations and associations are numerous, and they participate through annual ANZAC Day and Australia Day marches/parades, in all the major and minor cities and towns. Thousands (yes, thousands) of people come out and support these marches. (See examples below, of the 2022 
ANZAC Day marches).

In addition, the children, wives, grandchildren, and extended family all turn out for these events and support these associations, which hold their own individual events.  Their media outlets cover these events 'religiously,' unlike the media in the U.S. which barely cover our national holiday, July 4th.  

The typical Australian sees the importance in supporting these events and associations.  They have a sense of pride and sincere desire for participation that is evident, even when the public events had to be scaled back due to the 2020 pandemic.  One website sums it up succinctly: "Our aim is to perpetuate the camaraderie that was generated amongst us when we served."

Here is some of what occurred in Australia and overseas on this year's ANZAC Day, 25 April 2022:

Dawn Services and Marches are held in all major cities and towns in Australia, as well as in Gallipoli, Turkey.  Here is part of one from Melbourne:
Special postage stamps were issued in honor of Australian involvement in WW1:
Here is an overview of the Gallipoli battlefield, which observes ANZAC Day every April 25th:
What doest it mean to be an ANZAC soldier?  "Life of Young ANZAC Soldier" 
is a film series that helps answer the question and would be useful to high school teachers.  The young man wears the typical New Zealand uniform and hat.
Highly recommended: "The Spirit of the Digger" as an introduction to understanding what it means to be an Australian 'Digger':
Donald Tate went to anti-war rally and spoke in favor of going into Vietnam; reminded the crowd that he was a wounded vet from that conflict:
At the Front Line by Mark Johnston is highly recommended.  Here is an excerpt from the main points covered:
"Australians at War" - Vietnam - Film Series
STORIES FROM 110 SIGNAL SQUADRON
"AUSTRALIANS AT WAR: THE THIN KHAKAI LINE"
(A TEACHING MODULE FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS)
ADDITIONAL TEACHER RESOURCES:
Some who knew the intimate details of what went wrong in the planning and execution of the Gallipoli campaign, wrote about it afterward:
Additional films for use in the classroom:
ORAL HISTORIES -
THE VETERANS WHO WERE THERE:
THE KOKODA TRACK CAMPAIGN:
THE NEW GUINEA CAMPAIGN:
THE POW EXPERIENCE:
BATTLE OF TOBRUK:
BOMBER COMMAND:
VIETNAM:
"The Last Enemy" A film series
JAPAN JOINS THE AXIS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCED
Prior to Pearl Harbor
there was one man who predicted 
a war in the Pacific: 
Hector C. Bywater.
Bywater was a profilic writer of news stories.  Here are some samples:
"Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor"
is a special BBC film series in public domain, that I highly recommend. 

As mentioned in the introduction, additional resources about Pre-Pearl Harbor intelligence can be found on the 
webpage "Jim & Joe in College" which has more audio & visual aids to teach a section on Pearl Harbor. Those resources cover U.S., British, Dutch, and Australian military information.
AUSTRALIAN COMBAT RATIONS, ILLUSTRATED:
Additional audio resources from the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Australia:

Wodonga Regional Lecture: Spirit of the Digger 

Shrine of Remembrance

Tuesday 20 May 2014 - Mr Patrick Lindsay

 

The Anzac spirit forms the bedrock of the Australian and New Zealand national characters. It was forged from a mateship which grew into something greater than the shared experiences of brothers-in-arms.

 

The Gallipoli Campaign was a kind of crusade and a national rite of passage for three of the countries involved:  Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.  Each emerged from the devastating losses with an enhanced international reputation and its image clarified in its national consciousness.

 

Patrick Lindsay is one of Australia’s leading non-fiction authors. He spent 25 years as a journalist and TV presenter before he began writing full-time in 2001.

 

Since then he has written 20 books, including the best-sellers, The Spirit of Kokoda, The Spirit of The Digger, The Spirit of Gallipoli, Fromelles, Our Darkest Day, Cosgrove …Portrait of a Leader, The Coast Watchers and True Blue.

 

Much of his work explores the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up what it means to be an Australian.  He sees the Anzac Spirit as a key piece of the puzzle.

Mr. Lindsay also presented another lecture: "The Spirit of Kokoda":
Consider Monuments to past leaders as 
a visual aid in teaching history.

Monument to William Wallace:

Wallace in this monument at Glasgow, Scotland is....
the standard-issue freedom fighter of the imagination with:     

* The Give ‘em hell whiskers,
* The Save-me-Jesus eyes, and
* The hamstrings from hell.


Wallace was not a one-man campaign. We don’t know if he could have been a stuntman for Mel Gibson in the movie “Braveheart,” but his epic romance refuses to go away.


It is important for young officers, as Patton once said, to 

study the biographies of great and near-great military 

leaders of history in order to learn and add to your storehouse-knowledge of tactics, strategy, and leadership.

Photographs from the field of battle tell us a lot about a soldier, either as an individual or as a group. Their expressions tell a lot about individual and group cohesion and character. 
The Berserk soldier is often identified in these.

It is thought that wearing a bearskin into battle is the origin of the word berserker. The word likely means “bear-shirt.” The Middle English word “serk,” meaning shirt, supports this idea. Another theory is that berserker actually means “bare-shirt,” suggesting that the berserkers fought completely naked.


One example of a U.S. Soldier who went naked and berserk:

Another berserk soldier:
Soldiers and Marines who went berserk had different ways of showing it. Some American GIs collected ears off of dead Japanese and wore them as badges of achievement. Another GI extracted gold teeth.  One GI in WW2 Germany, literally scalped the hair from a dead enemy soldier who had blond hair. Many Marines mailed home Japanese skulls.

I did not find any documentation that Diggers were involved in this extreme misconduct, except isolated cases where the Aussie would come across a Mate who had been cannibalized and partially eaten by Japanese soldiers; but not on the industrial scale of Americans.
What follows is first, three articles about human skull collecting by Americans and Allies, then a photo study of its practice.
This next picture shows a South Vietnamese soldier abusing a Viet Cong:
Some American GI's got so numbed by the war, they could sit and eat lunch surrounded by dead VC:
During WW2 and Vietnam, U.S. Soldiers and Marines would pose with the dead enemy or their body parts, for what became known as 
"Trophy War Pictures":
American GI in WW2:

The next photo below has an interesting background:

On May 22, 1944, Life magazine published a photo of an 

American girl with a Japanese skull sent to her by her naval officer boyfriend. The image caption stated: "When he said goodbye two years ago to Natalie Nickerson, 20, a war worker of Phoenix, Ariz., a big, handsome Navy lieutenant promised her a Jap. Last week Natalie received a human skull, autographed by her lieutenant and 13 friends, and inscribed: "This is a good Jap – a dead one picked up on the New Guinea beach." Natalie, surprised at the gift, named it Tojo. The letters Life received from its readers in response 

to this photo were "overwhelmingly condemnatory" and the Army directed its Bureau of Public Relations to inform U.S. publishers that "the publication of such stories would be likely to encourage the enemy to take reprisals against American dead and prisoners of war". The junior officer 

who had sent the skull was also traced and officially reprimanded. This was, however, done reluctantly, and the punishment was not severe.

On June 13, 1944, the press reported that President Roosevelt had been presented with a letter-opener made out of a Japanese soldier's arm bone by Francis E. Walter, a Democratic congressman. Supposedly, the president commented, "This is the sort of gift I like to get", and "There'll be plenty more such gifts".

Captured VC by Diggers; some are being given medical treatment:
Captured VC by U.S. soldiers:
In the picture below:

A Vietnamese girl, 23 years old, was captured by an Australian patrol 30 feet below ground at the end of a maze of tunnels some 10 miles west of the headquarters of the Australian task force (40 miles southeast of Saigon). The woman was crouched over a World War II radio set. About seven male Viet Cong took off when the Australians appeared—but the woman remained and appeared to be trying to conceal the radio set. She was taken back to the Australian headquarters where she told under sharp interrogation (which included a “waterprobe”; see her wet clothes after the interrogation) that she worked as a Viet Cong nurse in the village of Hoa Long and had been in the tunnel for 10 days. The Australians did not believe her because she seemed to lack any medical knowledge. They thought that she may have possibly been the leader of the political cell in Long Hoa. She was being led away after interrogation, clothes soaked from the “waterprobe” on October 29, 1966. (AP)

Diggers with captured Japanese:
British soldiers with captured Japanese:
General Westmoreland inspects Australian soldiers (Note that they still go shirtless due to the heat)
Checking on wounded Japanese:
The next photo of "Bull" Allen, illustrates "Mateship" from an Australian perspective.  One's "mates" or as an American would say, "comrades" was important to the Diggers.  Bonding between Mates, i.e, friends, would last 
a lifetime.
The Bull Allen story:
The photo of Bull Allen was chosen for the cover of a book that detailed the horror of war:
Taking care of one's Mates has a long history in the Australian Army.  Here, a World War 1 soldier carries a wounded soldier off the battlefield:
Other photos from WW2, WW1, Vietnam:
Before Kokoda and New Guinea, Australian involvement in World War 2 began the Middle East, Greece, and Crete; then in the Far East, with the loss of thousands of troops taken prisoner 
by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore. Hong Kong fell to the Japanese resulting in British and Canadian troops' execution and some in POW camps. 
British leadership was a shambles.
THE JAPANESE HELL CREATED IN 
HONG KONG
"Christmas at the Royal Hotel" tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.  It is PG and has no sexual scenes nor nudity.

In 1941, Hong Kong was the Casablanca of the East, a city full of war refugees, profiteers and spies. With the sudden attack by Japanese troops, a Canadian soldier's Christmas promise is broken during the Battle of Hong Kong.

As the British/Australian troops moved toward Singapore, we now know that an early massacre and murder of Australian and Indian troops occurred.  Here is that story:
A THREE PART SERIES EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENED:
Singapore was the location of the famous 
Raffles Hotel home of the 'Singapore Sling' and host to the rich and famous British 'upper crust':
Japs march into Raffles Square by the hotel:
HIGH STREET, SINGAPORE, BEFORE WW2:
When the Japanese were forced to surrender at Singapore, an unusual thing occurred. General Itagaki, commander of Singapore's garrison of 70,000 men, ordered his generals and senior staff that they would have to obey the Allies and keep the peace until they arrived.  That was on August 22nd.  That night, 300 Japanese officers committed suicide at the end of a 'well-lubricated' Sake farewell party at Raffles Hotel.
Japanese troops are marched into captivity after their surrender in Singapore:
A British spy had, some years before, correctly predicted where the Japanese would land in order to eventually take Singapore. This is detailed in the film series, "The Fall of Singapore" which is on this website. Here is a picture of that landing site:
British soldiers also captured by the Japanese:
British soldiers placed in prison at Singapore, where they would be starved, mistreated, medically ignored, and some later moved to other camps and used as slave labor:
One general fled Singapore when the Japanese moved in and was forever 'shamed' for that action:
Thanks to two British aviation experts who gave military secrets to Japan, the fall of Singapore and attack on Pearl Harbor was inevitable.  
The following
film series, now in public domain, explains what happened starting 
as early as 1920:
Japanese atrocities first recorded and committed on Australian soldiers began with the fall of Singapore.  Jap soldiers attacked the local hospital and murdered many doctors and patients.  Here is the story:
Two BBC radio programs in public domain, describe what happened during the fall of Singapore, with eyewitness accounts:
From "Frontline" 
a Defense Service Journal:
"A BITTER FATE"
TEACHING MATERIALS FOR HIGH SCHOOL INSTRUCTORS.
(Australia in Malaya and Singapore December 1942-February 1942)
A SPECIAL RADIO PRODUCTION, COURTESY OF AUSTRALIA BROADCASTING CORP.
OUTRAM ROAD, below, is duplicate:
Many do not realize that Germany occupied New Guinea prior to World War One.  After war was declared, Australian troops were dispatched to wrest control away from Germany, as Australia and New Zealand were now officially at war with Germany.
Germany also occupied Samoa before World War One.
Royal Australian Air Force over New Guinea
Diggers unload fuel drums onto a beach at New Guinea, 1942:

Peter Pinney (1922-1992) always craved adventure. He had some early schooling in Port Moresby, New Guinea, but he grew up in Sydney. As a teenager he had been known for dangerous escapades, including hanging upside down on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He liked hiking in the Blue Mountains. He hitched ride in trains and trucks, to Grafton and Albury and north to Cairns.

 

He enlisted in the Australian army in July, 1941, for WW2. He served in the Middle East for a few months. Then he was a signaller in New Guinea. He took part in the Wau-Salamaua Campaign in 1943. In Australia, in September 1944, he was court-martialled for striking an officer. From November, 1944, he served on Bougainville as a commando.


He had always kept diaries, and did so during the war, in secret. These were used for his three-volume series of books featuring his autobiographical character, Signaller Johnston: The Barbarians (1988), The Glass Cannon (1990), and The Devils’ Garden (1992).

-Simon Sandall

Peter Patrick Pinney was invited to speak at a writer's conference in Australia.  Here is his address:
Japanese captured in New Guinea campaign:
Digger carries out an injured Mate:
How the Diggers used a rope to cross a river:
PTE Allan of 2/14 Australian pauses for a drink:
RABAUL - 
FALLS INTO JAPANESE HANDS
Japanese pilots and natives with float plane at Rabaul, from a captured photo:
AUSTRALIANS IN VIETNAM
Digger washes his socks:

News from home - Soldiers of the 1st Btn, Royal Australian Regiment listen to a shortwave radio set 

at Bien Hoa Airbase, Vietnam June 1965:

Sorting Mail for the Diggers
Christmas celebrated by Reconnaissance unit, Binh Ba, 1966:
New Zealand sent soldiers to support 
the effort in Vietnam. 
Some photos and films of 
161 Battery RNZA 
and 4 Troop NZSAS:
Russell Gathercole-Smith, New Zealand:
Padre conducts field service:
Wounded NVA enemy soldier:
US soldiers removing their dead:
The book, "Vietnam Vanguard" is now online for free at the National Australian Press website: 

https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n6124/html/cover.xhtml?referer=&page=0#

2 Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR/NZ) ANZAC


3RAR -  1971 TOUR SECTION:
As previously mentioned in the introduction to this page, there are very few U.S. unit associations still active and online with their own websites.  But with the Diggers, it's different.  Here is information from one website which gives you an idea of what life was like in Vietnam, the 3RAR.  
Pictures from their 1971 tour:
American soldiers, who would take time 
for a swim while on patrol.....
....did not usually take off their uniforms for a swim, as did the Diggers:
Films from the 3RAR, 1971 tour:
END OF 3RAR 1971 TOUR SECTION
Australian Soldiers in Jungle Warfare
In Australia, Diggers loved to swim and play in the surf.  From national surf carnivals and cultural events to family holidays by the sea, Australians love spending time at the beach.  With its unique history, rituals, language and customs, Australia's beach culture has been well documented across film, literature, sound, and art since the late nineteenth century.

Because of this, those who served in WW1&2 and Vietnam did not hesitate to take advantage of any available beach, bomb crater, or swimming pool.  Even during WW2, they found time for swimming carnivals in war zones that had been cleared of enemy Japanese.

We found the Diggers less self-conscious with no inhibition or hesitation in stripping off and diving into the water.  Professor Mark Johnston said in his book "At the Front Line," that those Diggers who were not self-conscious and adapted to outdoor army life easily, made the best soldiers and had few incidents of shell shock/PTSD. 
Bondi Beach, 1930:
Bondi Beach, 1938:
Bondi Beach, Surf Carnival, 1938:
Bondi Beach, 1940:
50 Yards Backstroke Race:
And the winner is: Pte Hanson
AFTER WW2, DIGGERS ORGANIZED SWIM COMPETITION IN DUTCH EAST TIMOR AND JAPAN:
Diggers would take every opportunity, no matter the circumstances, to swim.  In the next photo we see them at Brooketon, Borneo, June 13, 1945.
MEMBERS OF HQ 20 INFANTRY BRIGADE SWIMMING AT YELLOW BEACH. THEY ARE DIVING FROM A JAPANESE PILE DRIVER BUILT ON THREE RAFTS.
IN THE NEXT PHOTO, BELOW:
BROOKETON, BRUNEI. 1945-08-21. WHEN THE FORMER HOBART PLEASURE CRAFT ARCADIA TIED UP AT BROOKETON ON BORNEO'S WEST COAST, CARRYING A PARTY OF RAAF MEN ON A PICNIC AFTER HOSTILITIES CEASED, THEY TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY OF HAVING A SWIM FROM THE WHARF. THE DIVERS ARE: 138355 LEADING AIRCRAFTMAN (LAC) DOUG PERRY, AUBURN, NSW; 88287 LAC LES ALLEN, ELECTRONA, TAS; 146421 LAC ATHOL TAIG (?TAIT), BENDIGO, VIC.
BRUNEI, NORTH WEST BORNEO 1945-11-24. TWO MEN OF THE 2/15TH BATTALION SUNNING THEMSELVES BESIDE A DEEP POOL WHICH WAS A POPULAR SWIMMING SPOT FOR AUSTRALIAN TROOPS IN THE AREA. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT F. A. C. BURKE) Seen in the next photo:
BUT, NEW GUINEA. 1945-04-02. TROOPS JUST OUT OF ACTION BATHE IN THE SEA NEAR THE AIRSTRIP. THESE PLEASANT SURROUNDINGS CONTRAST SHARPLY WITH THE RAZOR BACKED TORRICELLI MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND WHERE NERVE RACKING "HIDE AND SEEK" FIGHTING IS TAKING PLACE.  Seen in the next photo:
CAIRNS, QLD. 1943-08-27. TROOPS OF THE 16TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE COOLING OFF AT TRINITY BEACH AFTER THEIR AMPHIBIOUS TRAINING EXERCISES, IN THE NEXT THREE PHOTOS:
IN THE NEXT PHOTO, BELOW:
Baqubah (Baquba), Mesopotamia. 1918. Drivers of No. 2 Station, 1st Wireless Signal Squadron, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, swimming in the Diala (Diyala) River. The wagon acted as a general communications control station for the Force during 1918 and January 1919 connected to Squadron Headquarters (SHQ) by an old Turkish landline.
IN THE NEXT PHOTO, BELOW:
BEIRUT, SYRIA. 1942-06. AUSTRALIAN LINESMEN OF THE SURF LIFE SAVING TEAM FROM THE "HAPPY VALLEY" A.I.F. LEAVE CAMP AT BEIRUT, DURING THE RESCUE OF A SWIMMER.
The British soldiers also took advantage of swimming while deployed:
Even a younger Prince Charles came to Australia's internationally known Bondi Beach:
Surfing is also good on the western coast of Australia:
When the Diggers had to work in 
a Jungle environment which was hot, dirty, disease-ridden, and dangerous, they went shirtless, and were not 
self-conscious about being naked like many of their contemporary American counterparts. Many, if not most, could swim, having grown up on a continent that was surrounded by water. Many brought their speedos with them on deployment. They would frequently cool off and take a bath in a nearby stream or river.
Tropical heat in the Pacific jungle was so intense, that even senior leaders went shirtless:
LIVING CONDITIONS FOR AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS IN NEW GUINEA AND VIETNAM, WERE PRIMITIVE.  DIGGERS HAD TO WASH THEIR CLOTHES BY HAND. NO MAYTAG WASHER AND DRYERS HERE:

Diggers bathe in Malaya, New Guinea, by crocodile infested waters, albeit not in the water, but just 

out of it! (Australian War Memorial):

Shirtless Australian soldiers? Wearing floppy hats and shorts? Naked in a stream or lake? It's really no big deal for Australian Diggers. But it seems so for some in the U.S. Army; and that's what I found doing research for this webpage, and on the "CH Hughes products" page, which is exclusively about U.S. Soldiers.  From first-hand modern-day research, there were always some AIT (Advanced Individual Training) U.S. Soldiers sent to the Chaplain about this and related issues, such as 'open-bay barracks.' Most recruits adapted and didn't whine about wanting a private room. But many, however, wouldn't make it in the Australian RAR units, much less the SAS units:
One former U.S. Sergeant put this advice online to Basic trainees concerned about taking a shower:
A Marine takes a Bubble Bath

The next photo shows a Pontoon supporting of foot bridge near Da Nang Republic of Vietnam on April 29, 1966, serves as a bathtub for Sgt. Richard Mccloud (Aiea, Hawall of the 2nd BN., 9 Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. While other Marines are washing with soap, Richard has a Bubble bath.  The Bubble bath was sent by a girl friend. The Bridge links the company’s positions.

U.S. soldiers had creative ways 
to shower (next 2 photos):
British "Tommy" takes his first bath after a 
10-day patrol:
British soldier jumps into a man-made bathtub in Afghanistan:
Diggers can be seen swimming in the river below the bridge in the next photo:
A Bomb Crater made a good swimming pool:

New book, "Charlie Don't Surf, But Aussies Do" tells the story of the Peter Badcoe Club, 1ALSG, Vung Tau, especially the surfing beach lifesaving recreation side of things, and even strays off-target as far as the bars of Vungers and the Victoria Cross awarded to Major Badcoe. It brings together veterans' stories and records from the Australian War Memorial archives, most never before opened. It is packed with photos, most in colour. Available online from:

https://www.radschool.org.au/Books/books.htm


(Here is a low resolution scan pdf of the book; higher resolution is on the above mentioned website):

Diggers also had their own swimming pool to relax in:
U.S. Soldiers, more discrete, also headed to their own designated beaches; next 3 photos:
But, did U.S. Marines and Soldiers take 
an opportunity to bathe during WW2/Pacific Theater? Yes, as indicated in the next pictures:
Diggers associated with locals; 
some who worked on their base:
Motion Picture Films made in Australia are excellent resources to understand each theater of conflict in which their soldiers served.
The Australian film, "The Odd Angry Shot" for a good view of how Aussie soldiers dealt with this and other issues, including death of a mate, the environment, and interaction with their Padre (Chaplain).  It's not as tense or graphic as "The Battle of Long Tan," but still covers many issues of how the Diggers got along with each other from start of their tour to return home and can be found in Youtube online.

Here are two film reviews of "The Odd Angry Shot":
There are several other excellent films produced by Australian film companies that deserve a look:
"The Digger" is one film that is a must-see.  It explains the culture behind the name given to the Australian soldier and is outstanding in taking the viewer on a tour of every major battlefield where their influence was felt.  It is worth the investment and is an excellent resource for both military and secondary school instructors.  My highest recommendation.
Kokoda is another good film concerning Australian soldier involvement in the Kokoda Track campaign which kept the Japanese from invading their country. It is discussed more fully in the section below dealing with Kokoda.
For an Australian produced TV drama series set before and during WW2, I suggest "The Sullivans" which follows a family with sons who go off to war:
"Spy Force" was a great Australian drama TV series set during WW2 and dealt with Australian-based intelligence operatives in the Southwest Pacific.  Very realistic.
For a not-so-intense TV series about U.S Soldiers, "Tour Of Duty" was realistic:
Diggers also served in SAS units where they were given dangerous assignments:
Australian Diggers didn't operate like U.S. Special Forces, seen here in live footage:
DIGGERS DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH 
OF A BATTLE: ENEMY DEAD
KOKODA:
THE BATTLE THAT SAVED AUSTRALIA FROM JAPANESE INVASION
The Kokoda campaign definitely saved Australia from Japanese invasion, in spite of what two 'revisionist' writers may say (aka Karl James and Peter Stanley). The Japanese had plans on file to use for an invasion.  It is akin to the plans they had to invade the Hawaiian Islands had they not had significant losses at the Battle of Midway.
Men of the 39th Battalion, Australian, preparing to move out to the Kokoda Track:
Surviving a Japanese sniper bullet:
There are 14 men camouflaged on the Kokoda Track in this picture.  Can you spot them all?
KOKODA - A PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDY:
"Kokoda" is a play was written to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle that is credited with saving Australia from invasion by the Japanese. One version is here: https://vimeo.com/326249964
A second version of the play appears below and can be located here:

https://vimeo.com/244497755

Diggers clearing brush and obstacles from the Kokoda airstrip:
Scenes from the Kokoda Track and the Fuzzy Wuzzy's carrying the wounded Australian soldiers and supplies:
Photo of "The Golden Stairs"; part of the Kokoda Track, 
made up of 2,000 timber steps:
An interesting article found in public domain about the 
Kokoda campaign:
Diggers captured by Japs, in next two photos.  Many of these were executed and cannibalized:
3 Mates rest along the Track.  The terrain was rough; notice the torn pants worn by Digger on the right:
SOLDIER IN ABOVE PHOTO, SECOND FROM LEFT, WAS ARNOLD FORRESTER, WHO LIVED TO 100.
Arnold Forrester:
Prior to the Kokoda Campaign, 
Lt. F.W. Winkle, Corporal Theo Wyatt, and Private Geoff Rowlands, spied out the area:
Diggers strip off uniforms to transport a jeep and supplies across a jungle river in New Britain:
Other photos of Diggers in the Shaggy Ridge battle:
Battle for Lae, New Guinea
AUSTRALIA'S 
'PEARL HARBOR'

Just before 10am, on 19 February 1942, World War II forced itself onto Australia’s mainland for the first time, when formations of 188 Japanese aircraft mounted a deadly air raid on Darwin, dropping more bombs than were used in the attack on Pearl Harbour. On that fateful day at least 235 people were killed, more than 400 were wounded, 30 aircraft were destroyed, 11 ships were sunk and many civilian and military facilities were damaged. This attack marked the first of at least 64 air raids on Northern Australia and attacks continued until 12 November 1943. The devastation suffered was profound.

AUSTRALIA WAS A TARGET FOR JAPANESE INVASION.  MARK FELTON EXPLAINS:
May 1942: Jap subs invade 
Sydney Harbour, Australia,
 and bomb the area.
One Midget Sub is raised:
2022 MARKS THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY 
OF THE BOMBING OF DARWIN
REENACTMENT OF THE BOMBING 
ON DARWIN
OLDEST SURVIVING VETERAN OF THE BOMBING OF DARWIN, BRIAN WINSPEAR, AGE 101:
BRIAN, ON THE LEFT, AGE 23, SERVING IN NEW GUINEA IN 1943:
RARE CAPTURED JAPANESE FILM, WITH SUBTITLES, OF THE ACTUAL BOMBING OF DARWIN, AUSTRALIA, FEBRUARY 19, 1942:
MEN MANNING THE GUNS DURING THE FIRST AIR RAID:
Customs House, Darwin, bombed by Japs:
Other damage.by Japanese attack:
DIGGERS USE DAMAGED TELEPHONE AFTER AIR RAID:

World War 2 Arrived on the Australian Mainland: Thursday 19th February 1942

By Dennis J Weatherall JP TM AFAITT(L) LSM – Volunteer Researcher, Naval Historical Society of Australia.

Defense of Australia 
becomes critical in 1942
Australia had to deal with German U-Boats in the Pacific, as described by Professor Mark Felton:
Australians also served in the dangerous job of Coastwatcher:
Stories of Service, courtesy of the Australian Government, Veterans Affairs:
A hidden observer in the tree:
Digger kneels next to dead Jap soldier:
Other photos of Diggers with dead Jap soldiers near Borneo, courtesy of WWII website:
Searching dead Japanese soldiers for any documents and information that could be 
used for intelligence:
On the Road to Mandalay
It happened as the Japanese were retreating across Ramree Island during the Burma campaign, that they 
ran into serious trouble:
EVEN A HORROR WAR MOVIE HAS BEEN MADE BASED ON THE EVENT:
PRIOR TO THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN IN VIETNAM.....
Private Errol Noack becomes the first national serviceman and member of 1ATF to die from enemy action. Private Noack was conscripted into the army for service in Vietnam. He was killed by enemy fire during Operation Hardihood on 24 May 1966 after only ten days service in Vietnam. Photo: The funeral of Private Errol Noack in Adelaide in 1965:
The Battle of Long Tan
Vietnam
The Cross at Long Tan battlefield
honoring Australian soldiers
4th Anniversary service at Long Tan: