Rotary Club of Adelaide Central Inc Rotary International District 9510 South Australia
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Convoys up the Track


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Published in 1991 and republished in 2000 by our dear friend
and 40+ year Rotarian, the late Alan Smith OAM

Convoys up the Track is a hard cover quality book of 300 pages with over 300 fascinating, captioned, historical photographs.

It is the story of 121 Australian General Transport Company (AIF) which served across a vast expanse of Australia from Adelaide to Eucla, Mt Gambier to Oodnadatta, Alice Springs to Larrimah and Darwin, and from Truscott in North-West Australia to Mt Isa in Queensland from 1941 to 1946.

Early in World War II Australia had no east-west or north-south trunk roads; its rail system was hampered by breaks in rail gauges; there was no continuous rail connection between the southern states and Darwin and coastal shipping services were slow, inefficieent and vulnerable to Japanese attack.

Army transport units were responsible for the mammoth haulage of essential supplies, equipment and personnel. They were the vital link between the railheads of Alice Springs, Mt Isa and Larrimah. Their work has been hailed as one of the greatest transport efforts of World War II.

Convoys up the Track tells of the life of the convoy drivers, the north-south and east-west roads, black American drivers, loads carried (including trioops-in-transit), the progression from petrol-driven trucks and semi-trailers to Mack-Lanova diesels and more.

There are humorous tales, names of all Unit members and over 300 photographs of historical interest.