The second in the Sword and Baton series, this volume is a collection of 106 biographies representing every Australian Army officer to reach the rank of major general between 1939 and 1962. Like the previous volume, this book includes chaplains general and surgeons general, along with many officers largely neglected in Australian military history.
In portraying the careers of these officers, author Justin Chadwick shows how their range of skills and capabilities helped further military interests throughout times of transition. The lean interwar period had tested the dedication of officers with limited opportunities exacerbated by the Great Depression and defence cuts. While during the Second World War Australian forces proved themselves in combat, Australian officers developed the logistics and production of materiel required to support them, and to satisfy the ongoing needs of the military. Then during the post war period and increasing Cold War tensions, force structures were fundamentally altered, with a move to a professional field force and deployments to Korea and Malaya.
As well as a series of biographies, Sword and Baton continues to explore the development of the Australian Army into a professional organisation, shaped by the various contributions of its officers during peacetime and war.