The Principles of War Podcast
Australian Special Forces
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50 – The Birth of Australian Special Forces

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We look at the genesis of SF in the Australian Army.  Why were they formed in the first place?  What was the detailed planning process that saw the formation of the Independent Companies and what were the likely tasks that they would undertake.

We discuss the agreement between Dill and Brudenell White that lead to the birth of Australian Special Forces.

This is the first part of our study of the raid on Salamaua.  To get to Salamaua, we need to start with the formation of our Independent Companies.  The ‘Commando Concept’ was looking for people with “the dash of the Elizabethan pirate, the Chicago gangster, and the frontier tribesman, allied to a professional efficiency and a standard of discipline of the best regular soldier.”  This led to the development of the 104 Military Mission.

We discuss Mawhood, Freddy Spencer-Chapman, the author of “The Jungle of Neutral” and Mike Calvert – Mad Mike, the destruction fanatic, who went on to lead a Brigade of Chindits – a likely group who could easily be mistaken for Nazi spies.

We look at the decision making that lead to the demise of the Australian Commando School was closed down.  With no role and no one in the Army who could see a role for strongly armed and highly trained infantry companies, the school was closed once the British instructors left.

We discuss the use of Australian forces to shore up the Gaullist government in New Caledonia and how the 2/3rd Ind Coy was deployed there.  How was the logistic support managed for the deployed force?

This is the first part in our look at the Salamaua Raid by the 2/5 Independent Coy.

Have a listen to the podcast as we discuss these details and more in the this podcast.

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1 comment

95 - A militia Battalion on the Kokoda Track | The Principles of War Podcast February 6, 2023 at 5:01 pm

[…] We learned from Freddy Spencer Chapman, the author of the Jungle is Neutral when we looked at the Birth of Australian Special Forces.  It is neutral in that the jungle hates everyone […]


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