Published: April 2004
'. . . Brune's book is a timely reminder that despite the warmest alliances, nations sometimes have to stand up and save themselves.' - The Weekend Australian Financial Review
'. . . A Bastard of a Place undeniably ranks as the best book ever written about the Aussie battles in Papua . . . Very highly recommended, and certainly one of the best books of the year.' - Bill Stone, Stone + Stone Second World War Books website
In 1942 and early 1943 Papua New Guinea was 'a bastard of a place' to fight a war. Peter Brune gives us the final, all-encompassing story of the five battles that changed Australia forever.
Peter's compelling narrative resonates with the voices of both the well-trained AIF volunteer, and the young Militia conscript who triumphed together. He interviewed hundreds of these soldiers and himself travelled the treacherous terrain and bloody battlegrounds where so many of their mates perished. Peter reveals the inside story of how Generals MacArthur and Blamey sacrificed many of the senior Australian field commanders as scapegoats to protect their own positions.
A Bastard of a Place restores Milne Bay, Gona, Buna and Sanananda to their rightful place beside Kokoda to what they should collectively be for all Australians sacred ground.