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#1 landownunder

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 06:11 AM

i just dont like seeing only Great Britian being explained by it self when there are many small countries that played a big part in the overall sceme of things. for example the Australian and New Zeland forces. were the ones who held Tobruk slowed and then pushed back the Japanese in PNG.

#2 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 06:50 AM

You have a good point but the Commonwealth effort is not totally overlooked.

Most books ( certainly the recent ones ) about, for example, the Battle of Britain or Bomber Command give full credit to the contribution of Autralia, New Zealand and Canada. And during the war itself much publicity was given to reassure the public that Britain was not 'alone'.

Among the first to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday parade last week were representatives of all the Commonwealth countries.

But I agree that 'the public' today, and many general or less-well informed books overlook this.
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#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 07:27 AM

Although not the overall scheme of things, the Dambusters Raid is a good example for Bomber Command. I just opened my favourite book about the raid ( Sweetman ) and read : -

'Of the 21 pilots who initially joined Gibson for the operation, twelve were RAF ( including one Australian ), three RAAF, five RCAF ( including one American ) and one RNZAF...'

So some ( British ) historians do try to give credit where it's due.

For Tobruk and the Pacific ( especially New Guinea etc ) maybe some other members can comment...?

[ 15. November 2002, 01:28 AM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
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#4 Sniper

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 10:51 AM

Most decent historians will acknowledge the role of Commonwealth forces throughout the war, but unfortunately sometimes you do get the impression (especially in the movies) that;

The Americans were the only people fighting the Japanese in the Pacific,

North Africa was solely a British/German conflict (what Italians??),

D-Day was an American invasion of Europe, maybe with a little British (for Canadian read British) help, etc.

With books, I think this stems from the availablility of photos. The US seems to have had photographers just about everywhere, and although the British, Canadians, Australians etc had their photographers, I think because the US archive system is easier accessed, most of the pictures used are of US forces.

I can remember feeling amazed, and proud, when I saw the end of the movie "Battle of Britain", when it first came out, and they listed all the nationalities that had fought in the battle. I know I was still young then, but I didn't know that there were Aussies in there. I think that that was probably the first time I had ever seen an acknowledgement of the contribution of Commonwealth forces to the war effort.

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#5 Kiwi Ace

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 07:56 PM

I don't think we do get overlook that much, but I have to agree that sometimes I still feel we do.

Did you know that Keith Park (a New Zealander) commarned the RAF fighter wing through Dunkirk (I cant spell it!) and the BOB. After the war it was said by the British Minister of Defence that if one man could be credited for winning the BOB it was Park.

And of course there is Charles Upham.

Just to name some of the Kiwis
:cool:
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#6 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 08:20 PM

Several key figures in the Battle of Britain were from the 'Dominions' eg Al Deere and Colin Grey from NZ and 'Sailor' Malan from SA.

Later, of course, there was Air Marshal Sir Arthur ('Mary') Coningham, who for good measure was born in Australia and brought up in New Zealand !
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#7 Kiwi Ace

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 11:22 PM

Hi Martin,

One more interesting thing I found was NZ's Casualty rate.

NZ's was 24 per 100 (per 1000? may be a typo in my info) of population! (Only the Russains were higher)
compared to

Australia - 13 per 1000
Canada 9 per 1000
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#8 Friedrich

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 03:51 AM

My grandfather has expressed very, very good about the British and the Commonwealth men as soldiers. The Australians, the New Zealanders, the Canadians and let's not forget the brave Indians!!! :cool:
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#9 Panzerknacker

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Posted 18 November 2002 - 03:38 AM

Roden Cutler VC
Edward Sheehan MID-should have been awarded the VC
Edward Kenna VC
William Newton VC

They are never overlooked when I talk of the war-I guess as long as I speak of them, people know...
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#10 Brad T.

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 04:55 AM

Although not the overall scheme of things, the Dambusters Raid is a good example for Bomber Command. I just opened my favourite book about the raid ( Sweetman ) and read : -

'Of the 21 pilots who initially joined Gibson for the operation, twelve were RAF ( including one Australian ), three RAAF, five RCAF ( including one American ) and one RNZAF...'

I'm a little confused, I just read 27 Canadians died in the Dambusters raid??
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