16 FEBRUARY 1945, Page 22

The Australian Army at War, 1939-44. (H.M. Stationery Office. 9d.)

Shorter Notices Tins short booklet is published for the Australian Army Staff and contains an impressive record of the services of the Australian army during the present war. No attempt is made to compete with the future Official History—one remembers how well done was the Australian Official History of the last War. In simple language there is set out a list of the many theatres of war where Australians have fought, with sufficient explanatory matter to enable the reader to picture the nature and extent of the Commonwealth's military con- tribution. The part played by the Australians in Greece, the Near East and the Middle East is already well known ; the booklet is therefore especially valuable for the light it throws on the Pacific campaign. There are useful sections on the organisation and equip- ment of the Australian Army. Here it is made abundantly clear that the man-power problem is an extremely critical one, and sufficient information is given to enable us to see the Austra:ian achievement in its correct proportion. With a total population of seven millions, it can have been no easy task for the Commonwealth Government to decide the allotment of man-power to each of its various commitments. Those commitments have just been in- creased in the South-West Pacific area, but this booklet leaves no doubt of the Australian' Army's ability to meet them.