The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

HAV­ING just fin­ished read­ing his In­vad­ing Aus­tralia , I can only ap­plaud Peter Stan­ley’s coura­geous ef­fort to get at the truth (‘‘ Bat­tle lines’’, Re­view , Au­gust 30- 31). As a sol­dier of a later gen­er­a­tion than World War II with a deep in­ter­est in Aus­tralian mil­i­tary his­tory, I be­lieve the rel­a­tively mod­ern predilec­tion to ven­er­ate the myth rather than re­mem­ber the re­al­ity of Gal­lipoli, Kokoda and now re­gret­tably Long Tan has for too long ob­scured the ter­ri­ble sac­ri­fices on the West­ern Front, the hard, slog­ging bat­tles of 1943- 44 in the moun­tains and jun­gles of New Guinea, and the end­less, un­spec­tac­u­lar and danger­ous coun­terin­sur­gency op­er­a­tions in Phuoc Tuy, to name but a few. Of course, the myth suits the agenda of pop­ulist politi­cians and or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the RSL much more eas­ily than the re­al­ity. John Dean Ear­lville, Queens­land THE word fem­i­nist may be out of favour but I don’t be­lieve the prin­ci­ples are (‘‘ Girl power’’, Re­view , Au­gust 30- 31). Fem­i­nism is alive and well, it’s just that the many women who fight for fem­i­nist prin­ci­ples do so un­der a guise of ac­tivism or lob­by­ing. As an ex­am­ple, child­birth is an area where women have in­suf­fi­cient choices and con­trol. Along with many other women ( and some men), I spend a lot of my free time try­ing to re­dress the bal­ance. If you were to ask th­ese women whether they de­scribed them­selves as fem­i­nists, many would say no. A few years ago I would have agreed. Then it occurred to me that that was ex­actly what I was. So am I a fem­i­nist? Too right I am. Debbie Slater Church­lands, West­ern Aus­tralia IN re­sponse to Michael Strang­ways Price’s let­ter as to what is the cor­rect spell­ing of the Bris­bane Writ­ers Fes­ti­val ( Your View , Au­gust 23- 24), the cor­rect an­swer is without a pos­ses­sive apostro­phe. It isn’t the Bris­bane Writer’s Fes­ti­val or Bris­bane Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val be­cause we don’t con­sider that the fes­ti­val be­longs to the writer/ s. It has rel­e­vance to ev­ery one of us, in ev­ery as­pect of our lives. It is a fes­ti­val of writ­ers, for every­one who reads ( in­clud­ing writ­ers). Michael Camp­bell Di­rec­tor, Bris­bane Writ­ers Fes­ti­val South Bris­bane IN his re­view of Will Davies’s In the Foot­steps of Pri­vate Lynch ( Re­view , Au­gust 16- 17), Michael Sex­ton says the 45th Bat­tal­ion suf­fered 28,000 ca­su­al­ties in the Somme of­fen­sive of 1916. Since a bat­tal­ion at full strength con­sisted of 1000 men, this was at­tri­tion in­deed! Could Sex­ton have been re­fer­ring to the to­tal ca­su­al­ties of 1 An­zac Corps at Pozieres and Fromelles? Erich Lu­den­dorff’s Michael of­fen­sive of March 1918 had run out of steam in front of Amiens by April rather than Au­gust. The Bri­tish were the first to build and de­ploy tanks ( in Septem­ber 1916, not 1918). Sex­ton in­dulges in the usual swipe at unimag­i­na­tive Bri­tish com­man­der- in- chief Dou­glas Haig, but Haig led his armies ( and the Al­lies) to a great and vi­tal victory. Peter Edgar Gar­ran, ACT

re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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