Cruel Conflict is the story of the men who served in HMAS Perth between 1939 and 1942. The courage and humour of those who were taken as prisoners of war, who endured the hardships of the camps and laboured on the Burma-Thailand railway is a story of triumph and tragedy.
Kathryn Spurling has interviewed the survivors and their families as well as mining thousands of documents to weave together a moving tale. It is ultimately a story of chance, endurance and the power of the human spirit.
About the Author
Kathryn Spurling served with the Australian Navy. After attaining her PhD she taught history and strategic studies at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. Dr Spurling has lectured extensively overseas and was the first Australian invited to speak at NATO HQ Brussels on the subject of women in the military, and the first Australian Summer Military History Fellow at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Dr Spurling is the author of Cruel Conflict: the triumph and tragedy of HMAS Perth, published by New Holland in 2008. Dr Spurling is currently a Visiting Scholar, School of History and Social Sciences, Australian National University (ANU) Canberra, Australia.