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Diggers and Greeks: The Australian Campaign in Greece and Crete

Little is known about the real reasons that Australia committed troops to Greece. Australian historians have, for too long, neglected the Greek and Crete campaigns and what has been written until now, has ignored the Greek side of the story. Never before has the impact of fifth-column activity on Australia’s military relationship with Greece been investigated. This compelling book combines details of the campaigns with an account of the response of Greeks and Cretans to the Allied forces on their soil. It reveals the personal relations that developed between Australian soldiers and Greek civilians and soldiers; these were sometimes hostile but in other cases developed into friendships that lasted decades after the war had finished. Maria Hill has trawled through archives in Athens and Canberra to show that while miscommunication between the Greek General Staff and the allied forces was frequent, the situation on the ground was far more complex. Her book also shows why the campaigns on mainland Greece and Crete compelled people to behave in altruistic ways, even when it meant placing themselves in danger. It proves that it is possible to form successful relations with people of a completely different culture in conflict situations, and that those relationships are important and should be nurtured, as they are vital to the wellbeing of all involved.

Maria Hill is a professional historian and is an accredited member of the Professional Historians Association (PHA) of NSW. She is currently Visiting Fellow at UNSW@ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy). Her primary expertise is in the field of Australian history, mainly twentieth century and specifically on the Second World War and Australian immigration. She also has extensive experience as an educator and has taught widely in NSW secondary schools as well as TAFE and at UNSW. As well as being a ‘content expert’ in history she is able to provide advice and assessment of educational programs for institutions and individual clients.
She has extensive oral history interview experience as part of her Honours and PhD research with her oral history interviews having passed the stringent requirements of the Ethics Secretariat at UNSW. Maria has written for the educational market and is willing to research and write history textbooks for all states and territories.

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