From: Dismal Seepage Indiana
I believe the comments on "Diggerhistory" an attempt to make a story out of nothing.
The entire 30 Brigade was disbanded, not just 39 Bn. The Brigade was only formed in January 42, while attached to 6th Div at the time it was the "odd man out" The imminent return of 19 Bde to its parent Division saw the understrength 30 Bde the perfect canditate for disbandment.
At this time Australia was suffering a manpower shortage, keeping some 15 Divisions plus a growing Air Force & Navy plus the inevitable "REMF" could not be continued. Losses in 40 odd months of combat were biting as well.
Prior to May 1943, 5 Infantry & 12 Light Horse/Motor Bns were disbanded or merged, In this mid 1943 period there was a shake up of the Armoured/Motor Divisions, some of the Infantry Divisions converted to a Jungle TOE and the Australian base changed from a defensive stance to becoming a base for counterattack into Papua New Guinea and places North.
I may be showing an amount of prejudice here.
When looking at that units' valorous history and their deeds in combat, for me, (a combat vet with EXTREME experience), it is very acceptable for me to think a unit just might go "over the hill", (for a time anyway), when finally allowed out of that harsh arena.
This has nothing to do with cowardice, as it does with sanity.
From this standpoint, you might understand why the claim might be credible. In the end, I was not there.It is not MY claim.
The problem I have is the comments were posted with little research as to their accuracy. I dont mean to imply you are being malicious in your post, but if I posted about a US Army unit deserting (without basis for the comment) you would rightly get your back up.
Both Reg and I have posted comments which bring this article into doubt and are trying to set the record straight.
You can get Dunnigan & Nofi's book in pdf form, its hundreds/thousands of articles have no sources quoted, the book has a very limited list of "Suggested books to read". It looks like a collection of S&T FYI articles.
In this case, the Battalion, Brigade & Division War Diaries do not mention such an occurance, the 39 Bn Association website does not mention it or any "desertion" or conspiracy about its disbandment. I have a few more books to check but most end their story on the Bns relief at Gona.
We have no argument.
It was not my claim, and as you have observed, I posted the source.
As for your comment that I would "get my back up" had you posted something about an American unit...it proves you know little about me.
I could tell you thing about the 24th Infantry Rgt in Korea and why they were called the "Chines Quartermaster"...or the alleged reason the First Cav has its' patch...and its' meaning....but I digress, LOL
My posting of these trivia notes drew too much problem to merit a continuation.