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The Lost Battalions

Narrated by: David Treddinick
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A battle that could not be won. An island that could not be defended. An ally that could not be trusted. 

A little known story of two Australian battalions abandoned in Java during World War II and the heroes who kept them alive in the worst of Japan's prisoner of war camps. 

They were thrown into a hopeless fight against an overwhelming enemy. Later, hundreds died as prisoners of war on the Thai-Burma Railway and in the freezing coal mines of Taiwan and Japan. Through it all, wrote Weary Dunlop, they showed 'fortitude beyond anything I could have believed possible'.  

Until now, the story of the 2,000 diggers marooned on Java in February 1942 has been a footnote to the fall of Singapore and the bloody campaign in New Guinea. Led by an Adelaide lawyer, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn VC, and fighting with scrounged weapons, two Australian battalions - plus an assortment of cooks, laundrymen and deserters from Singapore - held up the might of the Imperial Japanese Army until ordered by their Dutch allies to surrender. 

Drawing on personal diaries, official records and interviews with two of the last living survivors, this book tells the extraordinary story of the 'lads from Java', who laid down their weapons, but refused to give in.

©2018 Tom Gilling (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing

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Most Moving

"The Lost Battalions" is a subtle, but extremely powerful story of ordinary men surviving under the most brutal of circumstances. God bless the Aussies who fought and survived the Japanese labor camps. These men were tough as nails, and the most unassuming of men. Their modesty is on display throughout this book. Tom Gilling did the best job of compiling their stories. And there is no better narrator than David Treddinick. Thank you for a most absorbing listen.