The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia

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This landmark book follows the stories of 15000 Australian prisoners of war from the moment they were released by the Japanese at the end of the Second World War. Until the 1980s official policies and attitudes towards Australian POWs were equivocal and arbitrary. A defeated soldier held prisoner by people of a different race did not sit well with the mythology of Anzac. Australian POWs had to struggle to rehabilitate themselves and to win compensation - the 'battle within' was both a personal and a national one. A grateful nation ultimately lauded and commemorated POWs as worth veterans, but the real story of the fight to get there has not been told until ow. Draing on the records of the Prisoner of War Trust fund for the first time, prize-winning historian Christina Twomey presents the struggle of returned prisoners in their own words.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney NSW Australia
PublisherNewSouth Publishing
Number of pages302
ISBN (Print)9781742235684, 9781742244099
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • prisoners of war
  • World War II
  • Trauma
  • Australia-Asia
  • Veterans

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