Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Making sense of the war (Australia)

posted on 2017-08-18, 00:00 authored by Bart ZiinoBart Ziino
This article examines Australians’ attempts to make sense of a war on the other side of the world, in which they were involved primarily as a member of the British Empire. It interrogates the processes of understanding and meaning-making among Australians from 1914 to the Second World War, and it argues that despite distance from the main fronts, Australians expressed a series of practical and sentimental rationales legitimating their involvement in the war. That reasoning was never uncontested, however, and it was tested during two public debates on conscription, which highlighted more regional concerns about the effects of involvement. The cultural power of the Anzac tradition helped to paper over those differing conceptions, but it too was never absolute in its capacity to define the meaning of the war.


Title of book

International encyclopedia of the first world war


1 - 11


Freie Universität Berlin


Berlin, Germany

Place of publication

Berlin, Germany



Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

[2017, Bart Ziino]


P Stanley