Colebatch, Hal GP: Australia’s secret war

Colebatch, Hal GP

Australia’s Secret War: How Unions Sabotaged our Troops in World War II, Quadrant Books, Balmain, NSW, 2013

Describes strikes and other industrial action on the waterfront during the war, its impact on the war effort and the efforts by government to deal with it. The story is advertised as previously largely suppressed but is not new to those who have studied the era in detail.

The book was reviewed by Peter Coleman and Ross Fitzgerald (both of whom were judges for the History section of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2014, see below) and Adam Brereton. There is a favourable note here by Miranda Devine but critical comment here by Rowan Cahill, examining the localised reasons behind industrial unrest. Further discussion with input from Industrial Relations Minister Abetz and Rowan Cahill. More recently from Cahill. Also here.

The book shared the Prime Minister’s Prize for History 2014. Mike Carlton wrote about this; and spoke about it; so did Andrew Bolt and those who posted to his blog; so did Tim Blair and those who posted to his blog; so did Peter Stanley. Stanley again at more length. A much earlier comment in New Matilda. A long biographical note on Colebatch by Tony Thomas. A later review from Bobbie Oliver.

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