Occasional Paper Series No. 8 - Why did Australia go to the Great War

The Great War, in which hostilities formally ended just on a century ago, remains a subject of active interest in Australia, both among academic historians and even more among a substantial minority of the population which researches family history, visits battlefields and cemeteries, purchases (and perhaps reads) popular histories and watches documentaries.

The significant academic interest in the Great War generally and UNSW Canberra’s work in particular explain why we held a symposium under the auspices of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW Canberra on 8 May 2018.

The paper includes the following contributions:

  • Peter Stanley – Introduction
  • Greg Lockhart – Effacing the nation: the imperial romance and its persistence in Australian Great War history
  • John Mordike – Outlining national-imperial tensions in the development of the Australian Military Forces, 1901-14
  • Douglas Newton – Choosing war, and choosing war aims: British and Australian decision-making, 1914-1918
  • Gerhard Fischer – The Little Welshman’s dream: the war aims of William Morris Hughes
  • John Moses – Between truth and polemic: comprehending imperial Germany’s war-aims 1914-18
  • Robert Stevenson – ‘Why Australia Went to the Great War’: Commentary

Read the full paper →

Publication Year: 
Peter Stanley