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Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918  
Author C.E.W. Bean (editor)
Country Australia
Language English
Subject(s) Military history of Australia during World War I
Genre(s) Military history
Publisher Australian War Memorial
Publication date 1921–1943
Followed by Australia in the War of 1939–1945

The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 is a 12-volume series covering Australian involvement in the First World War. The series was edited by C.E.W. Bean, who also wrote six of the volumes, and was published between 1920 and 1942. The first seven volumes deal with the Australian Imperial Force while other volumes deal with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force at Rabaul, the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Flying Corps and the home front. The final volume is a photographic record.

Unlike other official histories which are often aimed at military staff, Bean intended the Australian history to be accessible to a non-military audience. The relatively small size of Australia's forces enabled the history to be presented in great detail, giving accounts of individual actions that would not have been possible when covering a larger force. For example, Bean dedicated over 100 pages to the Battle of Fromelles, a relatively small action intended as a diversion during the Battle of the Somme that lasted one night and involved a single Australian division (the 5th). However, Fromelles was also the first time that the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) saw action on the Western Front, and was very costly for the Australians, with 5,533 killed, wounded or captured.

Following the publication of the final volume, Charles Bean compiled Anzac to Amiens, a condensed history in a single volume aimed at the general public, which was published in 1946.



C.E.W. Bean studying Army documents while working on the official history in 1935

Other volumes

The following volumes are: 'Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914–1918' also considered to be Volumes XIII, XIV & XV of the Official History.

See also


External links



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