Survival, heroism, courage and mateship in Ambon, a place of nightmares.
In February 1942 the Indonesian island of Ambon fell to the might of the advancing Japanese war machine. Key among the captured Allied forces was a unit of 1150 Australian soldiers known as Gull Force, who had been tasked to defend the island.
In one of the most monstrous acts of cruelty of the Second World War, some 300 of the Australian troops held captive were massacred. But it was only the start of a catalogue of horror that would see the men incarcerated, starved and brutalised for the next three and a half years. Sacrificed in pursuit of a military strategy doomed to failure, they endured sickness, bloodshed and death. And such was the trauma that officers and men turned against each other as discipline and morale broke down.
Yet their epic struggle also produced heroic acts of kindness and bravery. Just over 300 Australian soldiers lived to tell the tale of those grim days behind barbed wire. In AMBON they speak of not just the horrors, but of the courage, endurance and mateship that got them through.
The story of AMBON is one of both the depravity and the triumph of the human spirit. It is also one that's not been widely told. Until now.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 11 / 2015
- 155 x 234mm