Fighting Australia’s Cold War

Fighting Australia’s Cold War

The Nexus of Strategy and Operations in a Multipolar Asia, 1945–1965

Edited by: Peter Dean, Tristan Moss

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In the first two decades of the Cold War, Australia fought in three conflicts and prepared to fight in a possible wider conflagration in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In Korea, Malaya and Borneo, Australian forces encountered new types of warfare, integrated new equipment and ideas, and were part of the longest continual overseas deployments in Australia’s history. Working closely with its allies, Australia also trained for a large conventional war in Southeast Asia, while a significant percentage of the defence force guarded the Papua New Guinea–Indonesian border. At home, the Defence organisation grappled with new threats and military expansion, while the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation defended the nation from domestic and foreign threats. This book examines this crucial part of Australia’s security history, so often overlooked as merely a precursor to the Vietnam War. It addresses key questions such as how did Australia achieve its security goals at home and in the region in this new Cold War environment? What were the experiences of the services, units and individuals serving in Southeast Asia? How did this period shape Australia’s defence for years to come?


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ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: History; Social Sciences: Military & Defence Studies
Australia; Southeast Asia

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Fighting Australia’s Cold War »

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Part 1. Strategy and the postwar military

  1. Australian strategic policy in the global context of the Cold War, 1945–65 (PDF, 0.2MB)Stephan Frühling
  2. doi
  3. Australia’s military after the Second World War: Legacies and challenges (PDF, 0.2MB)John Blaxland doi
  4. The ‘fourth arm’ of Australia’s defence: ASIO and the early Cold War (PDF, 0.2MB)David Horner doi
  5. The Korean War (PDF, 0.2MB)Thomas Richardson doi

Part 2. Planning for and fighting in Southeast Asia, 1955–65

  1. Planning for war in Southeast Asia: The Far East Strategic Reserve, 1955–66 (PDF, 0.2MB)Tristan Moss doi
  2. The Malayan Emergency (PDF, 0.2MB) – Thomas Richardson doi
  3. Australia’s Confrontation with Indonesia and military commitment to Borneo, 1964–66 (PDF, 0.2MB)Lachlan Grant and Michael Kelly doi
  4. Defending Australia’s land border: The Australian military in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 0.2MB)Tristan Moss doi

Part 3. Retrospective

  1. The Australian way of war and the early Cold War (PDF, 0.2MB)Peter J Dean doi

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