4 out of 4 stars
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The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater begins in Syria with the 2/5th Battalion of the Australian Army fighting the pro-Nazi, Vichy French. Lieutenant James Munro (Jaime) moves ahead of his battalion on a reconnaissance mission to narrow down the enemy’s position to coordinate aerial artillery attacks. In the process of this mission Jaime finds himself pinned down by enemy fire. Jaime is losing hope when Corporal Jack O’Brien (Jacko) makes his way to Jaime’s position. With amazing and unbelievable shooting skills, Jacko takes out the enemy shooter and saves Jaime from certain death. Jacko takes Jaime’s intel to the lines and Jaime continues to gather intel. While hiding behind some boulders waiting out the enemy soldiers the artillery strike commences. Jaime takes some shrapnel from the “friendly fire” artillery shells and loses consciousness. Upon awakening, Jaime learns that Jacko came back to find him and carried him to the hospital. Jaime’s intelligence and Jacko’s heroism helped to turn the battle in the favor of the Allies, leading to the Vichy French’s surrender and promotions for both Jaime and Jacko. Upon promotion to Captain, Jaime is informed that he will be transferred to a new detachment in Egypt. It is apparent that Cairo is swarming with duplicitous spies for the Axis powers and Allies alike. Jaime would be just another Australian Officer recovering from his wounds within the city. With Jacko as his trusted NCO, Jaime sets off to meet with the MI6 contact, Captain Johnny Cook and another Australian soldier, Sergeant Matt MacAulay. Through Johnny, Jaime and Jacko learn that the local British officers run around living the high life, throwing money around, partaking in the comforts of prostitutes and the steamier side of Cairo. Their best informants are those same prostitutes and belly dancers that have easy access to soldiers and officers. Their ultimate mission – to expose, seize, negate, and if necessary, dispatch any German spies that are in contact with Erwin Rommel’s "Afrika Korps". Jacko’s half Warramunga and half Irish heritage allows him to easily blend in with the locals and makes him a highly skilled tracker. Jaime quickly learns that many of the belly dancers and high-end escorts hate Germans and are more than willing to take the risk gathering as much information as they can.
During their time in Egypt, they make close alliances with local police, take out a handful of Axis spies, and become involved with finding a serial rapist and killer. When Matt decides that he is going back to his battalion in Australia to fight the Japanese the serial killings stop. Leading Jaime, Jacko, Johnny and the local police to suspect Matt is the culprit. Johnny sends word to the Australian police to pick Matt up when his ship arrives, but he has disappeared. Meanwhile, Jaime and Jacko are given the opportunity to join the Commonwealth Investigation Service in Darwin to work on “counter-espionage” activities to deal with other criminal investigations. While in this position, Jaime and Jacko are enlisted to track down a couple of “Americans” that are wanted for crimes of war and are said to be in the Australia. Jaime and Jacko travel all around the outback to find these people and in the process of their investigation, they learn that Matt may be with their suspects.
Just about anyone who studied history in school knows about World War II. We have learned about the significant battles that took place in Europe, the battles that took place in Russia, and, of course, the bombing of Pearl Harbor which lead to the United States entering the war. What most of us do not hear a lot about is the fighting that took place in the Middle East and how difficult a time it was to keep the Axis powers out of Northern Africa. The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater gives the reader a little more insight to the extent of the espionage that was perpetrated and required to stop the Axis troops from moving even further out of Europe. One of the details in The Warramunga’s War that I found particularly interesting was the fact that the high-tech radio equipment that was used by both the Allies and the Axis agents we purchased from the United States. As disconcerting as that detail was, I also know that realistically, the United States sold war materials to all sides. War is a booming business, and right or wrong, dollar signs help make decisions. Most of us (Americans) believe that if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States would have never entered the war. But what they fail to understand is that we were already involved, selling machinery, weapons, radios, etc. Just because we were not sending soldiers to the fighting lines does not mean that we were not already highly involved in the war. The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater helps the reader see past the highly censored information that we are taught in text books about World War II and to realistically think about the implications of what might have been.
The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater is the first book in a trilogy and I am looking forward to seeing what the next two books hold. I assume that the author intends to use the same characters in the next two books and that they will not be referencing World War II, as this book ends after the war has ended. I am extremely curious to see what kinds of adventures Jaime and Jacko encounter in the future. Will they stay in Australia or will their investigations take them to more exotic places? I will be on the look-out for Book 2 of the trilogy.
I read through this story very carefully and was unable to find more than one or two grammatical errors. The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater seems to have been very professionally proofread and edited and the easy flow of the story shows. I give The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater 4 out of 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed Krater’s writing style and ability to intermingle the historical aspects of World War II with enough fiction to keep a reader’s attention. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Fiction as well as Historical reads. I believe even those who find history to be boring would enjoy The Warramunga’s War by Greg Krater because the story itself is interesting and has many exciting scenes that would appeal to readers across many genres.
The Warramunga's War
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