Defence of AIF from 'lazy bludgers and thieves' claim





Historian Graham Wilson, whose new book has sparked a trans-Tasman row, says Australia's World War I army included its share of bad characters, as did every force, including New Zealand's.

However, the fighting record of the Australian Imperial Force was so well established there had never been a need to embellish that story, he said.

The Canberra author's comments were prompted by a New Zealand journalist, Jock Anderson, who labelled the Australian soldiers as ''lazy bludgers and thieves''.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith dismissed Mr Anderson's comments with ''the disrespect they deserved''....




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