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The recent concentration on Victoria Cross heroes as major ‘carriers’ of the Anzac legend has skewed Australian military history. AAP/Mark Graham

A hundred in a million: our obsession with the Victoria Cross

Australians now seem so fascinated by the Victoria Cross that such attention has begun to get in the way of a balanced perspective on its place in military history.
The Gallipoli campaign is frequently celebrated as the ‘birth’ of Australia as a nation, but were we already well on our way? AWM

How the Great War shaped the foundations of Australia’s future

Every country has its most symbolic year from each of the world wars, and can trace the consequences of the bloodletting that accompanied the global realignment of the last century.
The Anzac landings at Gallipoli in April 1915 marked the beginning of another instance of conflict in the war-rich region’s history. archivesnz/flickr

Gallipoli’s rich history of conflict started well before 1915

The history of the Gallipoli region enhances the story of the Anzac campaign and situates it in a notably rich cultural context.
Scrapbook, G. Roberts (John Garibaldi), Book 7 Vol. 7a. Museum Victoria, courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Ten kilos of first world war grief at the Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Museum’s World War I: Love & Sorrow exhibition, which opens this weekend, explores the various experiences of Victorians in the Great War, and the war’s effects on them. Museums have…
Bundling socks, ‘War Chest’ Sock Appeal, Sydney, May 1917, photographer G. A. Hills. State Library of NSW

One million pairs of socks: knitting for victory in the first world war

During the first world war in Australia there was a restriction of styles of clothing available to both men and women because of shortages in fabrics. Everyday dress became more sombre due to a lack of…
A French deserter or spy faces the firing squad in this photograph from 1914/15. Wikimedia Commons

Shell shock treatments reveal the conflict in psychiatry’s heart

One of the most iconic images of the first world war, the outbreak of which is being commemorated all over the world, is the deserter – heartlessly tried for cowardice, blindfolded and bound to a post…
The pandemic flu virus spread around the world in several waves, causing illness in 20% to 50% of infected people and death in 1% to 5%. British Red Cross/Flickr

World War One’s role in the worst ever flu pandemic

The great influenza pandemic of 1918-19, often called the Spanish flu, caused about 50 million deaths worldwide; far more than the deaths from combat casualties in the World War One (1914-18). In fact…

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