The Australian Imperial Force - Book Launch

| 31 May 2016

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On Tuesday, 31 May 2016, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM, Chief of Army, officially launched The Australian Imperial Force, written by Dr Jean Bou, The Australian National University and Emeritus Professor Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra. The Australian Imperial Force is the fifth and final volume of the series The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War edited by Professor Jeffrey Grey, UNSW Canberra, and published by Oxford University Press. 

"What the authors Jean Bou and Peter Dennis have produced in conjunction with the other volumes is a historic picture of the AIF as the dynamic, bustling and complex organisation it was. The volume also provides the first accessible explanation of what the AIF was and how it evolved." - Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM.



The Great War came at a terrible cost, be it in human, material or financial terms. For the young Commonwealth of Australia the raising, sending and maintenance of an expeditionary force that eventually totalled 330,000 men was a massive undertaking. This book examines the fruit of this endeavour, the Australian Imperial Force. In doing so it seeks to outline and analyse the institution from its inception to its disbandment after the war. The book considers the creation of the force, the way that it expanded, the organisation of its fighting units and formations, how it used its human resources, its command and its administration.

The book brings together for the first time a range of information regarding the AIF’s organisation and internal workings that could previously only be found by surveying a large number of disparate works. It also draws on up-to-date statistical information drawn from the AIF Database, a database created as part of a long-term research project undertaken at the University of New South Wales Canberra (located at the Australian Defence Force Academy).

The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War series has been commissioned by the Chief of Army to be released during the Centenary of the Great War. It provides authoritative, accessible and provocative accounts of all facets of the Great War, from the conduct of operations against Turkey and Germany and the political, social and economic dimensions of the war effort back in Australia, to the composition, nature and experience of the Australian Imperial Force overseas.


The series presents a wide-ranging accessible account of one of the formative events in Australian history for a new generation of readers at a time – the Centenary – when many people will want to delve more deeply into the events and their significance. Written primarily by UNSW Canberra historians it combines wide-ranging scholarship and extensive use of the archival record, including many sources unavailable to CEW Bean, Australia's official war historian in the 1920s and 1930s or previously not used by historians.

Other titles in this series that are published during the Centenary of the Great War include: 

Volume 1: Australia and the War in the Air, Volume 2: The War with the Ottoman Empire; Volume 3: The War with Germany; Volume 4: The War at Home; and 5: The Australian Imperial Force


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