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Wheels Across The Desert

On June 28, 1914, when on the other side of world, a Serbian assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, not a single person in Australia could have possibly imagined the energy and inventiveness that would form the First Australian Imperial Force over the next several months. By 1915 over 18,000 volunteers of the Australian 1st Division had traveled across the Indian ocean and the Suez Canal to reach Egypt and await their first campaign.

World War I was Australian’s first major war since becaming a federation in 1901. The Australian Army College, Royal Military College-Duntroon, had to graduate their first ever class early so young officers could ship out with the Australian 1st Division. The first classes to graduate from Royal Military College-Duntroon were all tested to the utmost. With 110 of 158 young officers from the first few years of the schools existence being either killed or wounded in the Great War.

The lack of rigid adherence to the past allowed the Australian army in World War One to be early adopters of new tactics and technology. The fusion of the daring new outlook on war can be seen by the exploits of the 1st Light Car Patrol. During Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the soldiers of this unit would be the eyes and ears of the army, often operating far beyond other reconnaissance forces.

Even today, when the armies of the world call upon supersonic aircraft and spaced based imagining platforms for battlefield intelligence, the men and women that conduct long range reconnaissance are still viewed as the most elite soldiers in the armies across the world. How more so for the men of the Australian 1st Light Car Patrol that were some of the earliest soldiers to conduct long range reconnaissance in the dawn of mechanized warfare.

John Jenkins Designs has again displayed his brilliance and knowledge of the armies of yesteryear. Even here at Trains and Toy Soldiers, where we handle military miniatures every day and over seventy five percent of long term staff in military veterans, we know that John Jenkins Designs latest offering will expand our knowledge and appreciation of military history.

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