By Douglas Newton
Most histories of Australia’s nice battle rush their readers into the trenches. This background is particularly diverse. For the 1st time, it examines occasions heavily, even hour-by-hour, in either Britain and Australia over the last days of peace in July–August 1914.
London’s selection for struggle was once a really close-run factor. on the top of the diplomatic obstacle resulting in conflict, it seemed a great deal like Britain would select neutrality. in simple terms very overdue within the night of Tuesday four August did a small clique within the British cupboard ultimately engineer a announcement of battle opposed to Germany.
Meanwhile, Australia’s political leaders, deep within the throes of a federal election crusade, competed with one another in a love-of-empire public sale. They leapt sooner than occasions in London. on the top of the diplomatic challenge, they provided to move the brand-new Royal Australian army to the British Admiralty. most significantly, on Monday three August, an internal team of the Australian cupboard, egged on through the governor-general, provided an expeditionary strength of 20,000 males, to serve wherever, for any aim, less than British command, and with the entire expense to be borne through Australia — a few 40 hours earlier than the British cupboard made up its brain.
Australia’s leaders thereby misplaced the opportunity to set limits, to weigh ambitions, or to insist upon session. They needlessly uncovered Australian infantrymen and their households to the total horror of the mechanised slaughter that was once to return. They have been hell-bent — and so they acquired there.