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To Win the Battle

In 1915 the 1st Australian Division led the way ashore at Gallipoli. In 1916 it achieved the first Australian victory on the Western Front at Pozieres. It was still serving with distinction in the battles that led to the defeat of the German army in 1918. To Win the Battle explains how the division rose from obscurity to forge a reputation as one of the great fighting formations of the British Empire during the First World War, forming a central part of the Anzac legend. Drawing on primary sources as well as recent scholarship, this fresh approach suggests that the early reputation of Australia's premier division was probably higher than its performance warranted. Robert Stevenson shows that the division's later success was founded on the capacity of its commanders to administer, train and adapt to the changing conditions on the battlefield, rather than on the innate qualities of its soldiers.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. In the beginning; 2. Organising for battle; 3. Sinews of war; 4. Already half a soldier; 5. Into battle; 6. Learning the hard war; 7. Hitting the peak; 8. The year of victory; Conclusion.

About the Author

Dr Robert Stevenson served in the Australian Regular Army before joining the University of New South Wales. He has published several research papers on military fratricide for the Australian Army, journal articles for the Australian Army Journal and Wartime, and provided a paper for the Proceedings of the 2007 Chief of Army Military History Conference. His PhD thesis on the 1st Australian Division in the Great War (published as this book) was awarded the Army History Unit's CEW Bean Prize. He holds a Masters of Art (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (History) from the University of New South Wales. He is currently working on a study of the operational performance of the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front during World War One.


'... an impressive piece of scholarship and, in the Australian context, a brave book that attacks some of the pillars of the Anzac myth. It is among the finest modern studies of a British Empire division in the Great War, and deserves the widest possible readership.' Gary Sheffield, War in History

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