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‘We have received our sailing orders, and inside of a few hours shall be in the thick of the greatest combined naval and military operation in history, with Australia in the pride of place. That we will succeed I do not entertain any doubt, but that I shall come through unscathed and alive is not so certain . . . with the full and active life I have had, I need not regret the prospect of a sudden end with dismay.’ John Monash, 24 April 1915
These extraordinary, intimate letters from General Sir John Monash to his wife and daughter, record his experiences throughout World War I, from landing at Gallipoli to leading decisive battles on the Western Front. Monash describes with great candour the challenges of ordering the lives of tens of thousands of troops and meeting with various dignitaries, including King George.
Regarded as the best allied commander of World War I, Monash writes with remarkable insight, providing one of the most moving personal accounts ever written of an Australian soldier at war.
This edition, reprinted in full for the first time since 1935, contains newly discovered letters, including Monash’s moving final missive to his wife before the Gallipoli landing. With an introduction and notes by historian A.K. Macdougall, and new photos, this volume provides unparalleled insight into the experience of Australians in World War I.
’Long before this letter can possibly reach you, great events which will stir the whole world and go down in history will have happened, to the eternal glory of Australia and all who have participated.’John Monash, 24 April 1915
Praise for War Letters of General Monash
‘His study of Law, Arts and Engineering greatly helped John Monash not only to provide brilliant, innovative leadership in World War 1 but also to write clearly and in an enticing way. His Superb war letters and account of the Western Front contain wonderful first-hand insights into this seminal period of world history.’ Tim Fischer former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and author of Maestro John Monash
‘Monash wrote 75,000 letters and this war correspondence selection reflects a calm, rational mind and demonstrates succinct descriptive skills to rival any professional writer . . . a potted personal history of one of two biggest wars by the most outstanding and eloquent general of the two biggest wars by the most outstanding and eloquent general of the conflict, who did more than anyone else to win and end it.’ Roland Perry author of Monash- The Outsider Who Won a War
’As a writer, Monash has a great eye.’ Les Carlyon author of Gallipoli
‘John Monash was one of the most remarkable men to rise from civilian life to high-level combat command in any war. The greatest general Australia has ever produced, and an equal of any during the world wars.’ Eliot A. Cohen Professor of Strategic Studies, John Hopkins University, and author of Supreme Command
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