“This is far and away the most accurate and authoritative account of the actual battle of Eureka. An outstanding job of sorting fact from myth.” Peter FitzSimons
Eureka Stockade: A ferocious and bloody battle, is the epic account of the battle for the Eureka Stockade, an iconic moment in Australian history.
On the chilly dawn morning of 3 December 1854 British soldiers and police of the Victorian colonial government attacked and stormed a crudely-built fortification erected by insurgent gold miners at the Eureka lead on the Ballarat Gold Diggings. The fighting was intense, the carnage appalling and the political consequences of the affair profound.
This book, for the first time, examines in great detail the actual military events that unfolded during the twenty minutes of deadly fighting at Eureka. Many of the old assumptions about what occurred that day are turned on the heads, raising in their places provocative questions. Were the intentions of the Eureka diggers as pacific as tradition insists? How was it that men supposedly poorly armed and taken completely by surprise in their sleep were able to deliver ‘sharp and well directed’ fire on their attackers? How close, in fact did the assaulting infantry come to failing in their task, and why has the pivotal part played by the police in the battle been ignored in every retelling of the Eureka story? Why have the Americans, who played a decisive part in the defence of the stockade been all but ignored?
The author argues convincingly that Eureka was not a wanton massacre of innocents, as it has been portrayed. Rather it was a hard fought military engagement. Eureka was a decisive moment in Australian history and in this book it comes alive in a rousing and original manner.
“Blake knows his stuff. By solid research and sound reasoning he not only establishes a new location for the stockade, but offers a series of maps showing the sequence of the action. This work corrects earlier authors including me again who accepted ‘’contemporary’’ maps as accurate. Blake’s careful research and analysis puts us all straight.” Peter Stanley
What readers are saying: “The story of the conflict at the Eureka Stockade has been hopelessly entangled in myths and untruths for generations. In the past it has been portrayed as little more than than a massacre of innocents by a vengeful and tyrannical government. This account reveals for the first time how inaccurate these myths and falsehoods are and that the fight for the Eureka Stockade was a serious military engagement. The level of detail and careful analysis of the military nature of the event is outstanding and the author is convincing in his conclusions. You get a real feel for the era, the participants and the action. After finishing this book you could never think of the Eureka Stockade in the same way again and cannot help but appreciate just what a significant event this was in Australia’s history. This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in Australia’s history.”
“As someone who had never heard of the battle at Eureka, this was a great opportunity to learn about the event. The author does a great job of drawing you into the conflict and why it happened. The miners certainly had reason to be upset. I now know why the Southern Cross is important, and where the flag comes from. It must have been a terrible shock to the soldiers when the first volleys came from the stockade.,,Great information in the appendix about the weapons of the time, bibliography and endnotes.”