The 7th Australian Infantry Division fought in some of the most famous battles of Word War II. Yet, while these battles and the places they were fought – including Tobruk, Milne Bay and the Kokoda Trail – have remained well-known, few Australians would realise the part the 7th Division played in them. It is this lack of public recognition, even during the division’s active days, that led to its members coining it ‘the silent 7th’.
Now, historian Mark Johnston chronicles the history and achievements of the division in an illustrated hardcover volume: The Silent 7th. With over 200 photographs, some official but most unposed, the volume provides an in depth view of the conditions in which the soldiers fought and lived. As well as maps, there are two appendices which detail casualties suffered by members of the division and honours and awards won.
This is an important book, because it fills a gap in the written history of Australia’s military campaigns. It will be of interest to historians and military enthusiasts, but is also accessible to anyone with an interest in Australia’s past.
The Silent 7th: An Illustrated History of the 7th Australian Division, by Mark Johnston
Allen & Unwin, 2005