The unseen victors: the Royal Australian Engineers in the forgotten New Guinea campaigns
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeHonours thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2018 Francis Alexander Barton Stewart
This thesis argues that the road, bridge and overall infrastructure creation undertaken by the Royal Australian Engineers during World War Two were crucial to the success of the New Guinea campaigns, particularly the Lae-Salamaua (22nd April 1943 - 16th September 1943) and Huon Peninsula campaigns (22nd September 1943-15th January 1944). The roads and bridges built by the Royal Australian Engineers were vital to the movement of supplies and troops through the jungles and mountains of New Guinea and this infrastructure also enabled the successful deployment of both tanks and artillery in the jungle. The thesis further argues that, despite the importance of these engineering efforts, army engineering and the ingenuity it involved, has been ignored in Australia's military history which instead focuses on narratives of sacrifice and glory.
KeywordsWorld War Two; army engineering; Royal Australian Engineers; New Guinea; Lae Salamaua; Huon Peninsula; jungle infrastructure; army supply; Australia in World War Two; tanks; Australian military history; army logistics; Australian military historians
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