Drums & Symbols

Drums & Symbols

No. of pages: 140
Size: A4
sBook: AUD$5.99 Paperback: AUD$19.99 plus delivery.

The Boer War was a bitter and controversial conflict that extended over the period 1899 and 1902. Out of a total of 16,175 Australians that served in South Africa, 518 died and 882 were injured. Five Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians.

Otherwise known as The South African War, it proved to be a cultural and national watershed in Australian history, destined to shape the culture of Australia's soldier.

Drawing upon his academic background and his military experience in Viet Nam, Dr Coe has written a provocative argument that the Boer War laid the foundation ethos of the ‘Digger’ and the beginnings of Australian foreign policy.

At home the war was controversial. Dr. Coe examines these arguments and carefully dissects the trial and subsequent myth of ‘Breaker’ Morant.

Moreover, from these arguments he raises a number of valuable ethical questions pertaining to later Australian military engagement, such as Viet Nam and Iraq.

The Australian contribution to the Boer War however attracts limited interest among writers and military historians. Furthermore the nexus between the South African War and the culture of the Australian Army is much misunderstood. This work is a valuable contribution to our understanding of some of the moral dilemmas about the Boer War and our appreciation of the ethical foundations of the Australian army.


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