Australian newspaper photographers have always been forbidden to show military failure or fragility.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Although more than 100,000 Australians have lost their lives as a result of war service, photographs of our dead have never been published in newspapers.Perhaps we should reconsider this.
Drape ‘Anzac’ over an argument and, like a magic cloak, the argument is sacrosanct – even though it shouldn’t be.
AAP/Alexander Turnbull Library
Never has the Anzac tradition been more popular and yet never have its defenders been more chauvinistic, bellicose and intolerant of other viewpoints.
Activists trying to bring attention to the issue of rape in war were arrested for protesting at Anzac Day services in the 1980s.
ACT Heritage Library
Protests on Anzac Day, rather than being 'utterly alien to Australians', have a long tradition and embody the democratic right to dissent for which the troops fought.
What is obscured in our understanding of returned servicemen’s problems is the private pain of families who bear the brunt of these psychological strains.
Australia has continually faced a returned soldier crisis. This is something that marked men returning from all the wars of modern memory – from the Great War to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
We are used to thinking of Gaza as a war-torn stretch of ground. A place where life goes grimly on in the face of an intractable conflict. A graveyard not only for civilians caught in the crossfire, but…
A ‘view from tower’ reveals the long rows of huts at Holsworthy internment camp, where Germans were interned during the First World War.
Paul Dubotzki/Dubotzki Collection
The story of the German–Australian community offers an alternative view of Australia’s history as a nation.
Protesters attend a huge anti-conscription rally at Yarra Bank in Melbourne, 1916.
National Library of Australia, n6487142
The democratic freedoms Australians hold dear today – freedom of the press, assembly and speech – were won on home soil by courageous women and men who sacrificed much, but rarely recognised for it.
The recent concentration on Victoria Cross heroes as major ‘carriers’ of the Anzac legend has skewed Australian military history.
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?
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.
Medical opinion soon came to regard symptoms of ‘shell shock’, as exhibited by the solider at bottom left, as psychological in origin.
For contemporaries and later for historians, shell shock came to encapsulate all the horror of a new form of industrialised warfare.
Silent tributes at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, representing more than 100,000 men and women lost in war.
Why did it take three-quarters of a century beyond the first world war for Australians to build our own tomb of the unknown soldier, remembering the 23,000 Australians who died with no known grave?
Anzac soldiers line up for water parade, Gallipoli 1915.
The appalling conditions at Gallipoli indicate the wholly inadequate planning and response of the British and Allied military authorities to basic human needs.
The idea of the Anzac soldier, as crafted by Australia’s official historian at Gallipoli, Charles Bean, has dominated historical memory.
Charles Bean made editorial decisions to eliminate the bloody realities of war in favour of a specially crafted and idealised construction of the Anzacs and the Gallipoli campaign.
Had hundreds of thousands of young Turkish men not joined the army and headed to Gallipoli, it’s without doubt modern Turkey would not have been formed.
What is rare in Australia is an adequate explanation and understanding of the Turkish perspective of the Gallipoli campaign.
For nurses going on active service, to have the close friendship of at least one other woman was of primary importance.
State Library of South Australia
The diaries of army nurses during the First World War are unsurpassed sources for discovering the nature of friendship during war.
The Anzac landings at Gallipoli in April 1915 marked the beginning of another instance of conflict in the war-rich region’s history.
The history of the Gallipoli region enhances the story of the Anzac campaign and situates it in a notably rich cultural context.
On the rack. Are news editors falling into their own trap?
What do stuffed crust pizza and terrifying newspaper headlines have in common? Our hard-wired evolutionary responses hold the answer.
The FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile is the sort of ‘lethal defensive weapon’ the US may consider supplying to Ukraine.
Wikimedia Commons/US Army
Barack Obama is considering supplying "lethal defensive weapons" to Ukraine. But how meaningful is that description? There are simply "weapons", all of which can be used for defence or for aggression.
The Allied bombing of Dresden, which killed 25,000 civilians, during the Second World War is but one example of state terrorism.
German Federal Archive
To overcome the kind of relativism captured by the cliché “one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter”, we need to define terrorism independently of who is employing it. Here is the definition…
A war footing for business?
The turmoil of 2014 was a timely reminder to businesses that they need to be prepared and have contingency plans for global conflict. The crisis in Ukraine brought Russia and the West to the brink of military…