War is never, ever a good thing; the tragedy and destruction created in so many ways leaves an eternally lasting imprint on the fabric of society. Nothing that is said, written or discussed can ever remove the traces recoded, in what eventually becomes history, to be revered or reviled depending on your viewpoint.
Within the history of Australia, Vietnam would have to rate as the most unpopular war the country ever became embroiled in, and was, until recently, the longest war Australia had even been involved with, continuing from 1962 to 1975.
Each of the nine essays which make up Vietnam Remembered looks at a specific aspect of the conflict, beginning with Australia’s Road to Conflict 1945-1965, by Gregory Pemberton which, although it commences some years before the large Australian involvement in Vietnam, sets the scene for future events.
Conscription and Dissent follows in the second chapter written by Ann Mari Jordens where she takes a very detailed look at the controversy that dogged Australia’s involvement throughout the ten years, shedding fresh light on the political decisions of the day. The conclusion to this chapter some 52 years later is damning as to the effects of meddling in other countries politics, for whatever reason is touted at the time.
Peter Cochrane looks at the effects of War at Home – Australian Attitudes During The Vietnam Years. History remembered has a habit of tidying up all the loose ends, all the little oddities that at the time made some sort of bizarre sense, but history revisited is a very different situation. In this segment the changing face of Australia, both politically and socially, is under consideration.
Australia’s Legacy by Jane Ross which is followed by After The War Was Over by Nancy Viviani offers a compelling conclusion to this incredible work, which shakes off the myth and legend which strangely, seems to grow around the historic events which ultimately shapes a nation.
Black and White images rub shoulders with coloured in images; sections of newspaper reports and articles have been used as excerpts, all presented in a clear and informative manner to highlight the chapters content. Poetry and lyrics have also been used to help illustrate cohesively, this component of Australian history in a manner which makes much of the information stark in extreme, but does more for the storyline than thousands of words will ever achieve.
Presenting the politics of the day, the very prosaic manner in which Australia took up the request to join America in Vietnam, the changing face of Australia during the years from 1950 to 1980 and the massive impact this small, but significant time in the history of Australia has had on the formation of modern day political and social attitudes prevalent in Australia today, has been collated in such a way that this work should be considered as one of the foremost documentations of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
New information is always coming to light, being released from archives. Therefore, it should be considered that no work is ever complete, it is only a current analysis based on the information available at the date of writing. History never changes, only the way in which is it viewed
This work has been updated to include the names of the all the Australian soldiers who died as a result of their service in the Vietnam War, as well as the Active Service Register, which lists the names of all servicemen who served in Vietnam, including members of the Nursing Corps.
More than 61,000 Australian personnel served in Vietnam, made up of regular and conscripted servicemen. The number of Australian servicemen killed or injured over the ten years in Vietnam totals 3,692 (500 of these were deaths).
Those who returned faced a life that had irrevocably changed for ever.
Lest We Forget.
|Publisher||New Holland Publishers|
|Distributor||New Holland Publishers|