Flip Side War
by Ean McDonald
ISBN 0 85905 353 9, (2005 New), soft cover, A4 175pp, illustrated, 485grams
$30* + POST
“Flip Side War is an easily read series of anecdotes covering much of World War Two in the Royal Australian Navy, being the experiences of a young man, cum sailor, cum officer caught up in that part holocaust, part puzzle and part circus. It does not set out to be strictly historical, or zealously serious, but rather records an intermixing of some of the lighter moments whilst roving many seas among some of the famous battles and campaigns.
It begins with the author’s call to arms as a Junior Reserve Signalman on day one of his war, swiftly taking the reader to sea to adventure aboard the famous H.M.A.S. Sydney, thence to rare service aboard every one of the Scrap Iron Flotilla destroyers,to Tobruk, Greece and Crete, and moving through his dive bombed sinking in Waterhen and on through the great Fleet battles of Calabria and Matapan.
His tales embrace many facets of a rare six years of fully seatime service including four years with a little known cloak and dagger group working beyond Pacific Island front lines, pathfinding the reef strewn waters leading our armies back towards Japan.
Always there is a sense of humour even to the ironic penalty of seven days stoppage of leave for stepping back in line in his first posting as an officer. It all ends with a young father returning and beginning life in the peace that followed.