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Ambon : The Truth About One of the Most Brutal POW Camps in World War II and the Triumph of the Aussie Spirit - Roger Maynard


The Truth About One of the Most Brutal POW Camps in World War II and the Triumph of the Aussie Spirit


Published: 29th July 2014
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RRP $35.00

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Published: 29th July 2014
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Survival, heroism, courage and mateship in Ambon, a place of nightmares.

In February, 1942, Ambon, an Indonesian island north of Darwin, fell to the Japanese army and the Allied forces defending it were captured. Over a thousand of these soldiers were Australian. By the end of the war, just one-third of them had survived and Ambon became a place of nightmares, one of the most notorious of all POW camps the war had seen. Many of the men captured were massacred, and of those who initially survived, many later succumbed to the sadistic brutality of the Japanese guards. Starvation also took a fearful toll, and then there were the medical 'experiments'. It was a place almost without hope for those who held on, made worse by the fact that the savagery inflicted on them wasn't limited to their captors but also came from their own. One soldier described their hopelessness towards the end with the bleak words: 'The men knew they were dying.'

Yet astoundingly there were survivors and in Ambon they speak of not just the horrors, but the bravery, endurance and mateship that got them through an ordeal almost impossible to imagine. The story of Ambon is one of both the depravity and the triumph of the human spirit; it is also one that's not been widely told. Until now.

About the Author

Roger Maynard is a former BBC reporter and correspondent for The Times, The Independent and CNBC. A past president of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Australia, he has been a journalist for nearly five decades. He is the author of six books of true crime and military history.


Excellent read!


Great book with lots historical facts to back it up.

Traralgon Vic


Ambon slow going


Interesting to read about another side of life in the army during WWII.



Learn the Truth... A must read.


AMBON is an honest, eye opening story about the atrocious loss of life of our own servicemen. Young rookies sent off to defend the coast of Australia with no concern for human life. They were poorly equipped and lacking numbers. Superiors willing to send them to their fate to save face. Harsh reality of men in positions of power.

Stanley. Tasmania Au



4.3 3


ISBN: 9780733630484
ISBN-10: 0733630480
Series: Hachette Military Collec
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 29th July 2014
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.5  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1