OFFICIAL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA IN THE WAR OF 1914-1918 Volume X – The Australians at Rabaul


This is the tenth volume in the series, written by Seaforth Mackenzie. It presents the background to, and a detailed account of, the capture of German New Guinea, the first Australian fighting in September 1914, while the AIF was still being formed. The Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force under Colonel William Holmes had captured Rabaul and, within three months, Holmes’s forces had garrisoned the remainder of Germany’s Pacific possessions south of the Equator, stretching from north-east mainland New Guinea to the Admiralty Islands, New Ireland, Bougainville and Nauru. Clearly different from the other volumes of the series, volume ten records only one skirmish between the Germans and the Australians. In a war that was one of the largest in history, the conflict in New Guinea was far-flung, short and minor; an episode that was of little importance in battle history but of major importance in the military and general history of Australia.