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Publisher's Summary

The Battle of Le Hamel on 4 July 1918 was an Allied triumph and strategically very important in the closing stages of WWI. A largely Australian force, commanded by the brilliant Sir John Monash, fought what has been described as the first modern battle - where infantry, tanks, artillery and planes operated together as a coordinated force.

Monash planned every detail meticulously, with nothing left to chance. Integrated use of tanks, planes, infantry, wireless (and even carrier pigeons!) was the basis, and it went on from there, down to the details: everyone used the same maps, with updated versions delivered by motorbike despatch riders to senior commanders, including Monash. Each infantry battalion was allocated to a tank group, and they advanced together. Supplies and ammunition were dropped as needed from planes. The losses were relatively few. In the words of Monash: 'A perfected modern battle plan is like nothing so much as a score for an orchestral composition, where the various arms and units are the instruments, and the tasks they perform are their respective musical phrases.'

Monash planned for the battle to last for 90 minutes - in the end it went for 93. What happened in those minutes changed for the rest of the war the way the British fought battles and the tactics and strategies used by the Allies.

Peter FitzSimons brings this Allied triumph to life and tells this magnificent story as it should be told.

©2018 Peter FitzSimons (P)2018 Hachette Australia

What listeners say about Monash's Masterpiece

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Wonderful story.

Just finished listening to Monash's Mastermind. As good as the Petwr FitzSimons books I have read. Fascinating well researched books by a great author. Thanks Peter!

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant history lesson

A fantastic story and lesson into the deeds of Sir John Monash. Brilliantly written and fantastically narrated this is another Peter Fitzsimmons book that’s hard to put down.

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All high school student in Australia should read this!

In Australia we have always known about Gallipoli through study and folklore. I for one think we as Australians should celebrate or victories more then our losses and the story of Le Hamel should be at the forefront.

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An interesting story with lots of detail

An interesting story but it was a bit of a slog at times with near endless talk of logistics etc. Great narrator though.

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Romantic historic yarn

Often it is difficult to read history books as they are often full of monologues of facts connected by rather droll opinion. Such a description cannot be levelled at Peter FitzSimons’ ‘Monash’s Masterpiece’. He has colourfully connected the political to the battlefield with his telling of the story of a significant Great War battle. It is an easily understood story about Australians and their subordinate partners, the Americans. Aside from a very romantic episodic portrayal of Monash, the story describes the value of constructive and decisive leadership, if at times calculating; and the significance of initiative and freedom of action for battlefield diggers to achieve battlefield success. All of this was underpinned by quality detailed planning. From the evolution of armour and infantry in the attack to the dedication to deception, in describing Monash’s battle plan FitzSimons provides a light on the art of battle as well as the mathematics of combat. A view that any ardent or novel reader of military history can understand and appreciate. The historical cameo opinions of the Black Jack Pershing, Rawlinson and Charles Bean are particularly revealing. In the case in Pershing it reveals a very reluctant nationalistic and uncooperative coalition partner (a criticism that could continued to be levelled at US military leaders.) It is a very different portrayal to the largely American view of a great military leader and victor. For Rawlinson, he describes a great publicist of an Army commander who is quick to claim credit for doing very little rather being described as the great military commander with cavalry like eland that Rawlinson wishes he was remembered for. Lastly Bean, the Great War historian, is presented as the great political underminer rather than the great digger diarist. These interesting portraits add depth to this romantic portrayal of a significant battle in the closing months of the Great War. Monash’s Masterpiece is an enthralling read on an important point of time in the Great War. Important for it speaks to role Australian nationalism played in the ANZAC efforts, the art and science of battle and the digger character, a character valued by a nation and its would be long term partner in global affairs.

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Wow!

Fantastic read! I could not stop listening to this and now the author is on my list to go through and read all of his works. an absolute must read for any Australian

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An important story

I read this book when it first come out and enjoyed it a little more in the reading rather than the listening. Nothing at all against the narration which was well done. Good story about a great man and a great, albeit little known, battle of WW1.

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terrific book

Another excellent story by Peter Fitzsimons. I really enjoy the way he writes an expertly recited in Audible

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a truly excellent book

I really enjoyed reading this excellent rendition of Australia greatest general and if not the greatest in World war 2. shows true tribute 2 not only a great man general Monash but also to the great Australian diggers they carried forth his vision of Southern ports that'll help and the war fast then expected.

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We all should know the story of General Monash

Peter has provided us with the most elegant account of the work of the greatest general of the modern era - General Monash. I have read other authors biographies but this is the best by a country mile. My lower rating is because the manuscript requires major editing. There is repetition, throughout the text. I am not certain if this is deliberate. The problem it makes the book too long & takes the reader back to a place to start again. I am a great admirer of the authors work this problem is not evident in all his books but certainly a problem in Monash & Kokoda but not in Mutiny.

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