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Cold War thinking led to Anzac betrayal

cold war thinking led to anzac betrayal
Sergeant Peter McCracken from the Air Force Band plays the Last Post during the Bomber Command Wreathlaying Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Image via Department of Defence.

Defence Connect sat down with author Frank Walker to discuss his latest book, Traitors: How Australia and its Allies Betrayed our Anzacs and let Nazi and Japanese War Criminals Go Free.

Walker explained how – having previously served several stints as a journalist – his books tend to deal with the hidden or less well-known ins and outs of warfare.

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"This book Traitors looks at a side of the Second World War, which I think a lot of our leaders, even today, would rather we didn't examine," he said. "And that is the fact that we, our government and those of the Allies, betrayed the Anzacs who volunteered to fight evil in the form of Nazism and militaristic Japan."

Walker said that as the war was coming to an end, the victorious governments betrayed these service men by allowing scores of war criminals to go free or to have their sentences reduced.

"And even hiring them," he added. "Putting them on the payroll of intelligence agencies to act as spies for the Allies [studying] the Soviet Union."

Walker emphasised that this approach to the war criminals had been adopted in the name of fighting communism.  

"[An] incredible thing, if you can imagine turning on the one-time, wartime ally – the ally who had taken the brunt of the Second World War," he said.

To hear more from author Frank Walker, stay tuned for our podcast.

Cold War thinking led to Anzac betrayal
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