hawkeye (hawkeye7) wrote,

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Getting Personal

"Your blog -- it's like an essay on thesis writing. It doesn't contain any reviews of Tomb Raider II!".

No, it doesn't. Everybody's blog is like that. Mine is a little different.

This is a chronicle of an adventure.

The current chapter is on the Bulldog Road. This was a road constructed across the Owen Stanley Range in 1943. The Australians, Papuans and New Guineans who worked on the road lived at high altitude in cold and wet conditions. Much of the work on the road was down with hand tools and represented hard manual labour. The Bulldog Road has been described as "one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever undertaken by the Australian Army" but it has been largely forgotten. Like the road itself, overgrown with jungle.

When I spoke about the effort at The Chief of Army's History Conference, there seemed to be considerable interest in this forgotten epic and several people asked me where they could read more. As usual on this thesis, there are no books on the topic per se, although Colonel Reinhold, the man who was in charge of construction, submitted his official report as a lecture at the University of Queensland. This was published in brochure form and a copy is in the National Library. I also found a cut down version in the Australian Army Journal. General McNicoll used the lecture as the basis of his chapter on the road in history of the RAE.

I drove up to the University of Queensland and had a look through Colonel Reinhold's papers in the Fryer Library. Nice postgraduate library -- magnificently equipped and laid out. Very nice campus too, nicely laid out on a large site near the river in St Lucia, near where Adv LHQ was in the war years. Colonel Reinhold's papers were pretty extensive, but by far the best source of information on the road remains right here in Canberra in the War Memorial. I hope I can do the subject justice.
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