The Principles of War Podcast
23 Long Tan 1 Readiness Conscription and the Nashos
Long TanPodcast

23 – Long Tan 1: Readiness, Conscription and the Nashos

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We start our look at the Battle of Long Tan, which occured on the 18th August 1966, 4km east of the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat.  Outnumber 20:1, the Australians took 18 KIA and 24 WIA in one of the most important and most famous battles of the whole Australian involvement in Long Tan.

Our guide through Australian Military’s History most famous rubber plantation is Dave Sabben.  Dave was the Platoon Commander of 12 Platoon, Delta Company on that day at Long Tan.

Conscription has been used by many countries through history as they rapidly increase the size of their defence forces in response to changing strategic circumstances, circumstances that have changed quickly and require a faster response than could be achieved with the full time Defence Force.

How did the Australian Defence Force mobilised for operations in Vietnam?  We look at conscription and the history of professional armies.

We start by looking at some of the components of a professional army and what the role of conscription is within the concept of National readiness.  Professional armies are very expensive to maintain and so we look at 2 components of readiness that are used to decrease the cost of having a large standing force.

How was conscription for Vietnam different to conscription in Australia during World War 2?

Dave starts by talking us through the conscription process and his initial training at Kapooka.

We look at the reason for the conscription in the 1960’s.

Dave discusses what the aim of the training program was and the skills that officers were to receive at Scheyville.

How was the training program designed and how were leadership skills developed at OTU Scheyville?


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