Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

It was by accident that I first encountered the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit (NTSRU). There in the library lay the abridged narrative of the force, tucked away in a tiny book next to a thick book about Aboriginal people in the Second World War. From that tiny book my investigation grew — first informally and then formally. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction: Reading Colonialism and Indigenous Involvement in the Second World War

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pp. 1-34

December 1941. Australian defense forces were engaged in the Middle East and North Africa as Germany and Italy continued their war in Europe, and Adolf Hitler’s army advanced in the Soviet Union. Japan, still engaged in a bloody war with China, was organizing an assault on American and European allies at Pearl Harbor, ...

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1. An Exception in the Equation? Donald Thomson and the NTSRU

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pp. 35-66

Arnhem Land, on the north coast to the east of Darwin, was one of the most vulnerable regions of the Northern Territory at the outbreak of the Pacific War. In addition to the usual non-Indigenous population woes, Arnhem Land also had a small Aboriginal presence. ...

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2. Allies at War: De Facto Yolngu Soldiers

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pp. 67-98

In 1946 the Northern Territory administration proclaimed: “From enquiries made it appears that no Northern Territory aboriginals served with the Australian Defence Forces. A number of aboriginals actually worked for the Army in the Northern Territory, but they were employed under conditions prescribed by the Aboriginals Ordinance ...

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3. Black Skins, Black Work: Papuan and New Guinean Labor

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pp. 99-134

Papua and New Guinea were the only buffers that stood between Japanese expansion and Australia. The colonies were fragmented; white settlement was sparse; and despite strict regulations regarding labor and movement, Australian administration was minimal. There were only about 4,400 white residents of New Guinea and 1,500 in Papua; ...

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4. Guerillas for the White Men: Formal Papuan and New Guinean Fighters

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pp. 135-168

One of the most enduring images of the Second World War from Papua New Guinea is the George Silk photograph of a wounded Australian soldier, Pvt. George C. Whittington, being escorted by a Papuan named Raphael Omibari (see illustration 11 in this volume). ...

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5. The Navajo Code Talkers: Warriors for the Settler Nation

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pp. 169-194

At a July 2001 ceremony honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, U.S. president George W. Bush stated, “Regardless of circumstances, regardless of history, they [Navajo Code Talkers] came forward to serve America.”4 Bush’s speech, through use of the word “regardless,” reflects a significant aspect of the Code Talkers’ history. ...

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6. When the War Was Over: Forgetting and (Re)membering the Code Talkers

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pp. 195-220

The mere proposal for the Navajo Code Talkers had multiple hurdles to overcome. As the last chapter describes, the first hurdles were military approval and acceptance within the Navajo community itself. The strong war mobilization and the support of key commanders in the U.S. Marine Corps resulted in the successful implementation of a training program ...

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Conclusion: The Soldier-Warrior in Modern War

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pp. 221-232

Ideas of exploiting indigenous people for colonial militaries have a long history. For instance, in a published September 1880 journal article entitled “Military Colonization of the Indians” Capt. H. C. Cushing of the U.S. Army wrote of Native Americans: “The Indian is naturally a warrior. ...

Source Acknowledgments

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pp. 233-234

Notes

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pp. 235-270

Bibliography

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pp. 271-296

Index

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pp. 297-304