AUTHOR: CHRISTOPHER PUGSLEY

PUBLISHER: ORATIA BOOKS (2016 new edition.  Originally published 2004)

Lauded as one of the best works on Australasian military history, shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards 2005, The ANZAC Experience is a gripping account of the role played by soldiers from New Zealand, Australia and Canada in the First World War.

After its opening chapters, which analyse the concept of ‘Anzac’ and the contribution of colonial forces to the South African War, the book takes up the story of how citizen armies in the First World War steadily became professional – learning the lessons of Gallipoli and applying these to the battles of the Western Front in France and Flanders.  By trial and error, the New Zealand Division and its counterparts from Australia and Canada became expert in the business of war, so that by 1918 they were the fighting elite of the British armies.

Christopher Pugsley assesses how the crucible of war shaped the identities of New Zealand, Australia and Canada forever.  Replete with historical photographs and maps, The Anzac Experience is a fine blend of social analysis and military history, revealing not only the conduct of the war and its participants but the impact their actions had on the young societies they defended.

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