The Australian Army at War 1976-2016...

... from Osprey Publishing

Title: The Australian Army at War 1976-2016

Author: Leigh Neville

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2632-9

This new book is number 526 in the Men-at-Arms series and adds to a couple of earlier titles that Osprey have previously published on earlier periods. This one does start with a brief history of the Australian Army though the book picks up on the story from after the end of the Vietnam War, which had involved Australian Army forces.

So the main elements of this book start off with a long period of peace, between 1873 and 1993, during which time the Australian Army had not needed to fire a shot in anger, though they did begin to get involved in various UN Peacekeeping missions starting in the early 1990's. These include deployments to Cambodia, Somalia and Rwanda. This is followed by some tougher missions in East Timor between 1994 and 2005. These were followed by more high profile deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq, where more important lessons about modern styles of warfare were to be learnt.

The results of these experiences have led to plans to re-organise the structure of Australian Army units, and these changes are set out. In terms of uniforms and equipment there have been more changes. In terms of uniforms, this leads on to several pages of fine colour artwork displaying a variety of different uniforms worn over the years, snipers, vehicle and aircraft crews, basic infantry and more.  As ever with these books, there are detailed notes in a final section of the book which provide the detail of what is seen in each illustration.

Add archive photos to illustrate the period throughout the book, there are also some showing vehicles such as the Australian examples of the LAV, the M113AS4 and the Bushmaster among others.

A fine addition to the series which will attract anyone with an interest in the history of the Australian Army, and with detail that will also be helpful to modellers in particular.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin