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Thu, 14 Oct



The Australians in the Western Desert 1940 - 1942

Home, Hearth and Heritage (Lecture and Dinner) Reflections 80 years on Guest Speaker Professor Robin Prior (Visiting Research Fellow, Adelaide University)

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The Australians in the Western Desert 1940 - 1942
The Australians in the Western Desert 1940 - 1942

Time & Location

14 Oct 2021, 6:30 pm

Adelaide, 111 Hutt St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia

About the event

In October 1942 some 850 guns opened fire at Alamein in the Western desert. This was the beginning of the victory campaign in that theatre – one that would lead to the destruction of Rommel’s Afrika Korps. What is perhaps not appreciated is that in 1940 the Australian 6th Division had demonstrated exactly the methods that would eventually provide the British with a recipe for success. In that year the Australians had the difficult task of capturing the ports of Bardia and Tobruk from the Italians. This they managed to do with a well-thought-out plan which involved concentrated firepower. The 9th Division consolidated this success during the Siege of Tobruk, albeit a defensive battle, but once again well-planned and executed. When the Australians were brought home to face the Japanese menace in 1941 the methods they had employed were lost by the desert army which embarked on a two-year campaign of futility against Rommel that almost ended in disaster. This paper will discuss what the Australians had taught, why it was lost and how it was regained. I hope to demonstrate that in 1940 the Australians were at the very cutting edge of the military art.

Time: 1830 lecture begins; 1930 dinner

Members Price: $65.00; $15.00 lecture only

Non-Members: $75.00; $15.00 lecture only

Dress: Jacket and Tie

RSVP: By Monday 11 October

* This event is free seating (no table plan) *

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