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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

The Men Who Came Out of the Ground: A gripping account of Australia's first commando campaign

Paul Cleary

4 Reviews

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Australia, c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2), Biography: historical, political & military, True war & combat stories, Prose: non-fiction, History, Australasian & Pacific history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Military history, Second World War, Irregular or guerrilla forces & warfare

The gripping story of a small force of Australian Special Forces commandos that launched relentless hit and run raids on far superior Japanese forces in East Timor for most of 1942. Now part of the HACHETTE MILITARY COLLECTION.

'Breathtaking in its scope and riveting in its research.'

It was early 1942, Australia was in dire straits. The seemingly all-conquering Japanese military forces had rolled over south-east Asia. Singapore had Fallen. Only a few hundred men remained in Timor. These
soldiers, the 2/2 Australian Independent Company - Sparrow Force - were all that stood between Japanese forces and Papua New Guinea.

A Special Forces unit set up to fight a different kind of war, many were bushmen and crack shots, and all were trained to fight behind enemy lines. Mobilising the support of the locals, they adapted their bush skills to become the masters of this new kind of commando warfare.

Always greatly outnumbered but relentless in their harassing campaign of skirmishes and ambushes, Sparrow Force tied down thousands of Japanese in a fierce guerrilla war - not just matching them but beating them. The Timor campaign became a defining moment Australia's military history.

Expertly researched by Paul Cleary, THE MEN WHO CAME OUT OF THE GROUND is now part of the HACHETTE MILITARY COLLECTION.

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Praise for The Men Who Came Out of the Ground: A gripping account of Australia's first commando campaign

  • Paul Cleary has brought to life one of the great success stories of World War II. - DAILY TELEGRAPH

  • breathtaking in its scope and riveting in its research. - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

  • A cracker of a read - THE AGE

  • A throat-gripping, blow-by-blow account of the skirmishes of hand-picked elite fighting impossible odds what happened, the victories, the stuff-ups and official cover-ups. - WEST AUSTRALIAN

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Paul Cleary

Paul Cleary is a senior writer with THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper and a researcher in Indigenous development at the Australian National University. His work on the Timor Sea resource negotiations led to his first non-fiction book, SHAKEDOWN: AUSTRALIA S GRAB FOR TIMOR OIL. He speaks several languages, including Vietnamese and Tetum.

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