This Part contains works of fiction or part-fiction that are considered suitable for inclusion in that they illustrate RAR operations and attributes.
10 Battalion RAR
A humourous, but accurate take off of the range of imposters wearing veteran paraphernalia including Service medals. 10 RAR is the name used for such people. Accessible at https://veteranweb.asn.au/news/10-battalion-rar/
MANSFORD, George – The Mad Galahs
George Mansford 1999
The author enlisted as a private and retired 40 years later as a brigadier. Half of his service was spent in the battalions of the RAR. The Mad Galahs weaves historical fact into a stirring tale of Australian Infantrymen at war generally in Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.
PARRY, Bill – A Walk Through Life
Winston Oliver Parry 2001
The story of Jack Rand a soldier of 35 years, based on the author’s experience in the RAR.
JAPAN AND KOREA 1946-53
COURTNEY, Bryce – Brother Fish
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Melbourne, 2004
The story of a 3 RAR soldier captured in Korea who survives
internment with the help of an black American serviceman fellow-captive. Their bond of friendship survives beyond the war and captivity together, and later in a white Australia (Tasmania) where the two are re-united after the war.
HARRIS, AM – Grains of sand: the brutal dynamic novel of a desperate commando mission
Cassell & Co, Sydney, 1969
ISBN-10 : 0304930776
A fictional story of a special forces patrol operating behind enemy lines in Korea.
HARRIS, AM – The tall man
Cassell & Co, Sydney, Sydney.1958
Fictional story of patrolling behind enemy lines in Korea to gather intelligence. Multiple publishers.
HOLLAND, DJ – The dead, the dying and the damned
Cassell & Co Ltd, London, 1956 also Corgi Children’s, 1976
Novel about the Korean War. While a true story, the characters are functional. Describes the defence of The Hook until the Armistice from the point of view of the soldiers and their immediate commanders. Australians involved included 2 RAR in a battle also known as the Battle of Samichon which is now an RAR battle honour.
SOUTH EAST ASIA 1950-current
(includes Malaya, Borneo, Singapore & Malaysia)
BRADDON, Russell – When the enemy is tired
Sphere Publishing, London, 1969 (Multiple different publishers)
ISBN 10: 07221544984
ISBN 13: 9780722154984
Fictional novel centred on an Australian officer (Major Anthony Russell) captured by the Chinese Communists. Book addresses how the enemy might have handled POWs and engaged in associated psychological warfare. No Australia was really a POW in the Malayan Emergency, or any other time post-WW II in that theatre.
BISHOP, Daryl A – Operation Snakebite
Sidhata Books and Print, Glen Waverley, VIC, 2021
A fictional novel based on a National serviceman, Tom Duncan, who was a changed man when he returned from Vietnam. His father, a successful New England fine wool producer, stating that he’d not have the family’s good name tarnished any more, banishes his second son to the god-forsaken country west of the Bogan River in northwest NSW after he’d fallen foul of the law one too many times. Far from being the intended punishment, Tom flourishes in the scrublands. When tragedy strikes, Tom acts compulsively, reverting back to a time in his past he had been convinced he’d left behind. When you tread on a snake you can expect to be bitten.
BOJTSCHUK, Ronald – Operation Sea Dragon
Ryebuck Publications, Nerang QLD, 1986
Fictional story of Australians in Vietnam.
BRAMMER, Graham J – Uncertain fate: an SAS patrol in Vietnam
Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998
A fictionalised story based on real events. Refers to various RAR battalions in Vietnam.
CARROL, John – Token Soldiers
Wildgrass Books, Boronia VIC, 1983
The myths of heroism and glory are made from pain, futility and death. This is
the side of war – the only real side, which soldiers have as memories, wounds and lasting bitterness.
CLANCY, Bernard – Best we forget
Indra Publishing, Australia, 1998
Fictional story based on a character called Donkey Simpson, a typical young Australian, who are a conscript sets out on an adventure to Vietnam. A horror story laced with black humour. Modelled on an RAR soldier.
COTTONE, David – Vietnam… Viet-Bloody-Nam
P.I.E. Books, Chelmer QLD, 2015
ISBN: 9780992529314 (pbk)
A novel about two friends – one a volunteer and the other a conscript, who serve together in Vietnam. The author explores the various experiences and tolls that the Vietnam war in particular took, including how many of the returning soldiers were treated at the time.
COURTNEY, Bryce – Smokey Joe’s Café
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood VIC, 2001
Glossary; 237 pages.
A fictional account of the remnants of a platoon that fought at Long Tan and their exploits on their return to Australia to save a young girl from death.
CUNNINGHAM, John – The way the dice fall
Zeus Publications, Burleigh QLD, 2006
ISBN: 1 921118 86 5
Bibliography; 242 pages.
Fiction based on a group of young soldiers serving in an RAR battalion in Vietnam. Mentions several real RAR individuals in the Acknowledgements, and the author himself served there in 1968/69. Depicts life for young soldiers during that war.
DENNIS, DJ – A Day at a Time: a Vietnam Diary
University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1992
Map, photos;161 pages.
The story of one day at war. It is based on interviews and D.J Dennis’s own wartime diary. It tells of young men fighting an unpopular war, pitting their high-spirited indifference against fate and military authority.
FOLEY, Col – Cut off
Booktopia Publishing, TBC, 2019
Fictional story written by a 7 RAR veteran of Vietnam about (US) soldiers cut off and their bid for escape and survival.
FRAZER, Michael – Nasho
Aries Imprint, Melbourne, 1984
Glossary; 296 pages.
The author was a National Serviceman between 1969-1971 and during that time he spent 253 days in Vietnam.
KHAN, Adib – Homecoming
Harper Collins, Australia, 2003
Fictional story about a Martin Godwin who is a man alone: divorced, in an uneasy relationship with his son, and with complicated guilty feelings towards his lover, he is also a veteran of Vietnam and haunted by his memories.
KLEMM, Barry – Running dogs
Black Pepper Publishing, North Fitzroy VIC, 2000
Fiction set largely in 1967-8 and based on 7 RAR, telling of Australians in the Vietnam War, dealing with ambushes, attacks, pressure, and loyalty. Tells of the way in which the stress and tension of war affects the soldiers and their relationships with each other. The author served in Phouc Tuy province, South Vietnam, during the time when the novel is set.
KRASNOFF, Stan – Freefall
USQ Press, Toowoomba QLD, 1992
Glossary, maps; 189 pages.
The wives and children of Vietnam veterans may find in these pages some idea of the trauma their husbands and fathers faced in Vietnam, and some
explanation of why so many veterans who left Australia as typical young men, were somehow different men upon return after their Vietnam experience.
McAULAY, Lex – When The Buffalo Fight
Century Hutchinson Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney, 1980
236 pages, glossary
Fiction based on fact. The story is based on author’s service with 1RAR in South Vietnam during 1965-1966. Multiple editions.
McKENNA, T. P. – Vietnam: We Fought and Served: what price courage,
valour and honour?
Seaview Press Henley Beach SA, 2000
Short stories set in South Vietnam involving the Australians.
METZENTHEN, David – Dreaming the enemy
Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2016
Written specifically for young 15-18 year old readers, this book addresses the Vietnam War. Fictional work, it focuses on two characters, one from each side. It can be safely assumed that both are combatants. Researchers will readily associate these experiences and the aftermath as the two veterans come home to many that RAR veterans and others will have had.
NAGLE, William – The Odd Angry Shot
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1975
ISBN: 0207131538 (hbk) 0207131546(pbk)
This is the author’s account of his participation as a professional soldier in a
discredited war (Vietnam).
O’CONNOR, Mary-Anne – War Flower
Harlequin, Sydney, 2017
No Index or references, 208 pages.
A fictional and stylised romance set in the Vietnam era involving twin sisters and one of their loves, a soldier who deploys to Vietnam. Indicative of the lifestyle and relationships involving many RAR men of the time.
POLLARD, Rhys – Ambush
Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 2002
ISBN: Not identified
Author spent eight months in Vietnam in 1968 as a national serviceman. Fictional novel set in an RAR battalion in Vietnam.
POLLARD, Rhys – The cream machine
Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 2002
Fictional novel set in an RAR battalion in Vietnam. Author spent eight months in Vietnam in 1968 as a national serviceman.
ROONEY, Roger – True North
Volcano Mountain Publishing, Australia, 2018
Maps, illustrations, Index; 289 pages.
Story of LT Jack Burns (RAR) in the AATTV and a North Vietnamese Army female soldier Tran. Although fiction, it covers much of the war to which RAR veterans say they can relate.
ROWE, John – Count Your Dead: A Novel of Vietnam
Angus & Robertson (and others), Sydney, 1968, 2003, 2006 ISBN: 0207950229
A fictional novel of the Vietnam war by a Vietnam veteran, based primarily on an American officer and his difficulties dealing with (what he terms) the senseless destruction approach taken by the Americans. A useful source which illustrates both the destruction and the psychological impact many RAR veterans will relate to.
RYAN, Jim – An Aussie pledge
Oracle Press, Montville QLD, 2000
Fictional novel set in the Vietnam war, involving a typical young infantryman sent off to the war.
RYAN, Merv J – Vietnam Conscript
Access Press, Northbridge WA, 1992
The author served in the Vietnam conflict and has drawn on his knowledge and experience to present this powerful story of two young men, one militant and aggressive, the other basically a pacifist, who are conscripted and sent to fight in the jungle.
SABBEN, Dave – Through Enemy Eyes
Allen & Unwin Australia, Sydney, 2005
Index, maps, bibliography; 380 pages.
Based on detailed research by Dave Sabben, one of the 6 RAR Australian platoon commanders in the Battle of Long Tan. A fictionalised account
of the events leading up to the battle as seen through VC and NVA eyes.
PEACE KEEPING & PEACE MAKING OPERATIONS
(Somalia 1992-93, Rwanda 1994-95, Cambodia 1994-95, Papua New Guinea 1946 to 1975, East Timor 1999-2012, Bougainville 1994, The Solomon Islands 2000 -2008, all remaining deployments not covered by UN or above (Rhodesia, Uganda)
IRAQ 2003-09 and 2014–ongoing
HUMANITARIAN/DEFENCE AID TO THE CIVIL COMMUNITY
(Civilian Humanitarian Disaster ops (incl Darwin 1975 and other cyclones and floods, overseas eg PNG, Indian Ocean, and lately, Border Operations, and DACC (non-disaster) eg Olympics and Commonwealth Games and other government support eg APEC, G20)