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Men of Mont St Quentin: Between Victory and Death by Peter Stanley (2010-03-30)

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Book Men of Mont St Quentin: Between Victory and Death by Peter Stanley (2010-03-30)

Men of Mont St Quentin: Between Victory and Death by Peter Stanley (2010-03-30)

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Original name book: Men of Mont St Quentin: Between Victory and Death by Peter Stanley (2010-03-30)

Pages: Unknown

Language: Unknown

Publisher: Scribe Publications Pty Ltd. (1687)

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Format *An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose. *Report a Broken Link

PDF
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Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
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Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Category - Other books

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Customer Reviews
  • By Robbo on June 23, 2014

    In "Men of Mont St Quentin" Peter Stanley looks at the Australian victory at Mont St Quentin from a different angle. In it he follows the life of Private Frank Roberts in the years before the Great War, and his participation in it. As part of this journey Stanley also traces the activities of Nine Platoon, 21st Battalion, 2nd Australian Division, which by this time had been reduced to 12 men, during the weeks leading up to and during the battle. In a poignant finale Stanley relates the fortunes of the survivors, and Frank’s family, after the war.This is a nicely written book that provides a wonderful insight into the Roberts family, and of the men who fought alongside Frank. As such, it is a social history of the battle, through the lens of one small group of men who participated in a feat of arms that that has been hailed as one of the finest achievements of the Great War. "Men of Mont St Quentin" reminds us that battles are fought by individuals who have families, loved ones, feelings, thoughts on issues, and who care about their mates. It reminds us of the human dimension of battle, without hammering the well trodden path of casualties and drama.Central to the story is Frank’s father, Garry, who gathered an amazing amount of material about his son’s last action. Wracked with the grief of losing Frank, Gary sought to understand what happened to him, and over the years built up a scrap book on Frank’s life, filled with information on about his son, his letters from the front, and from his mates who survived the war. This has enabled Stanley to craft a moving story of one small group’s experience before and during the fighting to secure the summit of the Mont; and the impact that experience had on their families and their later lives. War veterans will recognise much of what these men went through when they returned. Especially interesting are Stanley’s revelations on Frank Roberts’s association with items held in the Australian War Memorial, the Mont St Quentin diorama, the original 2nd Division Memorial on the Mont and with Monash himself.The public have largely forgotten the myths of Mont St Quentin; Stanley reminds us of them and then quietly demolishes each in turn.Less satisfactory is his evaluation of the battle, and of Monash’s performance during it. One wonders why Stanley seeks to make an evaluation of the battle of Mont St Quentin and capture of Perronne, involving three Australian Divisions, based on the experience of one tiny group of participants who fought on one small part of the battlefield. One cannot but feel that he seeks to diminish the amazing success and hard fighting that many experienced. His criticism of Monash in particular seems mean spirited and, to this reader, it reveals a lack of understanding of a Corps commander’s role, and the responsibilities of subordinate commanders in modern war. The evaluation is unnecessary and shallow, and detracts from an otherwise marvellous human story."Men of Mont St Quentin" is a thoughtful and engaging read that offers an insight into the Australian soldiers who fought in that bitter battle, without the jingoistic nationalism that mars too many books on Australian military history. it stands stands as a fine tribute to one father’s quest to know the details of his son’s last days, and ensure his memory was not forgotten.

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