Tuesday, 24 April 2018

John Monash, WW1 and all that

Everyone is now becoming a Monash fan it appears.

I first became aware of him when I was in primary school when my teacher made an offhand remark which quirked my curiosity. I was then and still am an avid reader of military history. Finding no books on him at the school library I went to Ryde library that afternoon/night It must have been a friday.
I gained two books I think and began my reading of his life which continues even now.
I think his military  genius came from two things.

His mathematical precision  ( he was an engineer and built umpteen bridges in Victoria.)
His innovative tactics. He was the first to use tanks and to overcome the noise of tanks he had aeroplanes in the sky to drown out their noise.

He was Jewish and faced quite a bit of antisemitism yet possibly because of this he was a superb net worker. He had the King as his biggest fan and received his knighthood in the trenches.You do not get to command allied troops as a jew unless some important allied Generals are in your camp!

The men under him had great confidence in his ability. The men killed under him was significantly less than  other Generals statistically speaking.

However we must acknowledge he engaged in adultery without any shame at all during the war and after.
To give him a posthumous promotion to Field Marshall is simply absurd. Yes he should have been promoted at the time but he was a Jew, a colonial and a part-time soldier. He missed out. Them;s the brakes.

This leads into whether Australia was threatened or not in WW!. I say no indeed I doubt if Australia would have changed all that much if Germany had won the war and not the Allies. Remember the social Democrats were in charge of the Bundestag  and they would have demanded a country fit for heroes. Not much money for colonial possessions particularly when they did not need any.

( I am in the camp of allowing Hitler to have Poland and thus leading eventually to a war of attrition between Germany and the USSR where the Allies could then come in and democratise both counties)

Indeed there are few wars Australia has been in where our land was threatened. This is not to say we should not have been in Korea, Vietnam etc  but our soldiers were not defending our liberties so to speak.

What we are getting these days is a silly view of our armed forces where they can do no wrong. When highly credible accusations were made against our sailors some time ago by asylum seekers taken back to Indonesia the was never a thought of investigating the claims. They were simply brushed off because they were our sailors!  Australians are human beings prone to evil acts as any nation.
Anzac day has become the religious day for most in Australasia and we are poorer for that.