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Guarding the Periphery
The Australian Army in Papua New Guinea, 1951–75


Part of Australian Army History Series

  • Author: Tristan Moss, University of New South Wales, Canberra
  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107195967

£ 47.00

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About the Authors
  • Based around the Pacific Islands Regiment, the Australian Army's units in Papua New Guinea had a dual identity: integral to Australia's defence, but also part of its largest colony, and viewed as a foreign people. The Australian Army in PNG defended Australia from threats to its north and west, while also managing the force's place within Australian colonial rule in PNG, occasionally resulting in a tense relationship with the Australian colonial government during a period of significant change. In Guarding the Periphery: The Australian Army in Papua New Guinea, 1951–75, Tristan Moss explores the operational, social and racial aspects of this unique force during the height of the colonial era in PNG and during the progression to independence. Combining the rich detail of both archival material and oral histories, Guarding the Periphery recounts a part of Australian military history that is often overlooked by studies of Australia's military past.

    • Richly detailed, drawing on archival material and oral histories
    • Explores an area of Australia's military and colonial history that is often overlooked
    • Introduces readers to the social, cultural and linguistic diversity of the Australian Army
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107195967
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. An 'experimental establishment': the re-raising of the Pacific Islands Regiment, 1951–1957
    2. A 'fools paradise': the disturbances, 1957–1961
    3. 'Real duty': confrontation and the creation of PNG Command, 1962–1966
    4. From 'native' to national: Papua New Guinean soldiers, 1960–1975
    5. 'A new task': laying the foundations of a national army, 1966–1970
    6. The 'Black Handers': Australian soldiers and their families in PNG
    7. 'A different world': the rush to independence, 1970–1975.

  • Author

    Tristan Moss, University of New South Wales, Canberra
    Tristan Moss is a researcher on the Official Histories of Australian Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor at the Australian War Memorial, and is an adjunct lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

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