Armies of Empire uniquely reflects upon the experience of two divisions from different armies facing similar challenges in the Second World War. The 9th Australian Division and the British 50th (Northumbrian) Division both saw long service and suffered heavy casualties, and both encountered morale, discipline and battlefield effectiveness problems. In this illuminating, comparative study of Australian and British divisions at war, Allan Converse draws extensively on primary sources as well as recent scholarship on morale and combat efficiency. His fresh approach questions the popular mythology surrounding the Australian Digger and the British Tommy, and shows how it was a combination of leadership, loyalty and tactics, rather than intrinsic national qualities, which resulted in victory for Churchill's armies.
Allan Converse is Lecturer in History at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.
1. Morale and Battlefield Performance in the Second World War; 2. Operations and the Curve of Morale, 1939-45; 3. Organisation; 4. Other Ranks; 5. Leaders and Leadership; 6. Training, Weapons, and Tactics; 7. Discipline and Psychiatry; 8. Morale in Action; Conclusion: a New Paradigm of Morale.