Unlike other official histories which have been aimed at military staff, Bean intended the Australian history to be accessible to a non-military audience. The relatively small size of the Australian forces, enabled the history to be presented in great detail, giving accounts of individual actions that would not have been possible when covering a larger force. Bean devoted over 100 pages to the Battle of Fromelles, a relatively small action intended as a diversion during the Battle of the Somme, which lasted one night and involved the 5th Australian Division. Fromelles was also the first time that the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) saw action on the Western Front and was very costly for the Australians, with 5,533 men killed, wounded or captured.
Following the publication of the final volume, Bean compiled Anzac to Amiens, a condensed history in one volume aimed at the general public, which was published in 1946.
Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918
Military Operations – 29-volume British official history of the war on land, edited by Brigadier-General Sir James Edmonds, part of the 109 volumes of the History of the Great War based on Official Documents by Direction of the Committee of Imperial Defence (1922–1949).
Bean, C. E. W. (1970). "The Writing of the Australian History of the War of 1914–1918: Sources, Methods, and Some Conclusions". In Higham, R. D. S. Official Histories. Essays and Bibliographies from Around the World. Kansas. State University Library Bibliography: 8. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State University Library. OCLC500573764.
Dennis, Peter (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553227-9.
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