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Monash's Masterpiece - Peter FitzSimons

Paperback Published: 24th April 2018
ISBN: 9780733640087
Number Of Pages: 432

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The Battle of Le Hamel on 4 July 1918 was an Allied triumph, and strategically very important in the closing stages of WWI. A largely Australian force, commanded by the brilliant Sir John Monash, fought what has been described as the first modern battle - where infantry, tanks, artillery and planes operated together as a coordinated force.

Monash planned every detail meticulously, with nothing left to chance. Integrated use of tanks, planes, infantry, wireless (and even carrier pigeons!) was the basis, and it went on from there, down to the details: everyone used the same maps, with updated versions delivered by motorbike despatch riders to senior commanders, including Monash. Each infantry battalion was allocated to a tank group, and they advanced together. Supplies and ammunition were dropped as needed from planes. The losses were relatively few. In the words of Monash: 'A perfected modern battle plan is like nothing so much as a score for an orchestral composition, where the various arms and units are the instruments, and the tasks they perform are their respective musical phrases.'

Monash planned for the battle to last for 90 minutes - in the end it went for 93. What happened in those minutes changed for the rest of the war the way the British fought battles, and the tactics and strategies used by the Allies.

Peter FitzSimons brings this Allied triumph to life, and tells this magnificent story as it should be told.


Monash the magnificent


I was impressed with Fitzsimons style. A little irreverent but stylish. His account is accurate and reflects Australia's significant contribution to the outcome of WW 1 by Monash' inventiveness and tactical planning, using and coordinating use of modern tools of war such as aircraft and tanks. He also highlights Monash as a caring General whose ultimate aim was to minimise the horrific human wastage then experienced on the Western Front. Monash was the ultimate general of WW1. Others such as Pershing for the Americans, who in effect did little but later eulogised as winning the war as far as they were concerned, Haig, and, T.E. Lawrence who again did very little and the latter eulogised by the British as having taken Damascus and evicted the Turks from the middle east which he did NOT. The ANZAC mounted corps under Chauvel did. Yet Monash was consigned by later history to a minor role. Absolutely wrong as Fitzsimons convinces us. See also Roland Perry," Monash and Chauvel"

Sunshine coast Qld


Outstanding narrative on Lt-Gen Monash, the man and soldier.


I am not sure what book "Mick from Tas" read but it can't have been the same book I just read. Peter's book, ably helped by his excellent researchers, covers the whole dynamic of the not only the Battle but the ensuing repercussions on the war. Peter brings together a myriad of threads of people, circumstances, behaviours, prejudices, politics and people, and take us through the lead up to the event, the political background, the media interference, the Battle itself, and the aftermath and impact it had on the result of WW1, in wonderful clarity. Intertwined with the stories of the men in the field and their absolute acts of heroism. Peter, at times you had me in tears. Thank you so much for helping to shine an even brighter light the man, and Great Australian, who did so much for our Country and the World at large.



Fitzy does it again


Monash's Masterpiece was written in a first person narrative which gave the book a personal touch. Victory at Villers Bretonneux again brought home the brutality of war and the bravery of Australian soldiers.



Great read


Great historical book enlivened with diary extracts from soldiers involved.



An Honest Appraisal. Surprising reception upon his return.


A good book that provides an honest appraisal of Monash. It provides a very interesting analysis of Monash's reception upon his return.


Monash's Masterpiece


Very pleased with my purchase. I find enjoyment in Peter Fitzsimon's style.

Pure Adelaide


Simplistic, ignores context and is ridddled with errors


There are many other, better books that deal with this battle and its place in WWI.



Monash's Masterpiece


I am now a Peter Fitzsimons fan, I have several of his books, all are brilliantly researched & written to be easily read - great work Peter.

Beaconsfiled, Victoria


All Australians should know this story! Essential reading.


Having inadvertently visited the Battle of Hamel memorial in France, I was gobsmacked to realise that most Australians do not know the extreme significance of the Battle or it's orchestrator, Sir John Monash, not only to Australia but to the world and modern warfare. Demonstrating the perfect storm of Australian innovation, ingenuity, determination and the qualities of absolutely outstanding leadership, this story deserves pride of place in our quintessential Australian history! This is a story that needs to be understood as a matter of national pride and understanding. The Battle of Hamel pales the Gallipoli experience, under British leadership, into a mere trifle. Peter Fitzsimons authoring and research brings the story alive in a manner this genre mostly fails to do.



Monash has no equal


Most revealing was the fact that as a nation we didn't really honour Monash for his brilliance in his lifetime.

Victoria Australia



4.4 12


...a gripping good read. - Weekend Australian

ISBN: 9780733640087
ISBN-10: 0733640087
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 24th April 2018
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.2  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.56
Edition Number: 1

Peter FitzSimons

About the Author

Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia's most prominent and successful media and publishing identities.

His busy professional life involves writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's The Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph as well, he is also in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.

For the past two decades, the much-traveled former Wallaby rugby international, who masters four languages, has interviewed some of the world's most famous figures, including former US President George Bush, Mother Theresa and football great Diego Maradona.

Writing is his passion. He is the biographer of World Cup winning Wallaby captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, war heroine Nancy Wake, former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and magazine queen Nene King.

In 2001 he was Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author with just under 250,000 sales. He duplicated that feat in 2004 with his book on Kokoda and had similar success in 2006 with his book on Tobruk.

Born on a farm in NSW's Central Coast, Peter FitzSimons attended Knox Grammar School in Sydney before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to live in Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an arts degree at Sydney University, majoring in government and political science.

A second-rower, he won Wallaby selection in 1984, later moving to France and Italy where he played rugby for the next five years. On his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies going on to play seven Test matches.

He launched his journalistic career with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989. Two years later he released two best-selling books, Basking in Beirut and Little Theories of Life and signed a contract with the Nine Network that resulted in him presenting current affairs and sports programs for the next four years. His association with Foxtel commenced in 1995 and continues to this day.

Considered one of the ten most popular after-dinner speakers in Australia, Peter FitzSimons is married to Nine Network personality Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

To read Peters's revealing answers to the Booktopia Book Guru's TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - and to leave a comment - CLICK HERE

Visit Peter FitzSimons's Booktopia Author Page

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