2 Pages


The author explores how military boredom has been dealt with and responded to through exploring the history of Australian soldier-audiences and their experiences of entertainment and education in three twentieth-century wars. Australian troops across social classes responded to these efforts in their own ways, using education and entertainment to serve their own needs. In both world wars, but particularly in World War II, captivity offered the greatest intellectual challenge to soldiers. Education and entertainment took on the sharpest meaning as an antidote to boredom and a means to psychological resilience and survival. Yet Australian service personnel largely turned to education for the purposes of focusing on life after the war and to entertainment for pure escape from military life and the war. Entertainment and education in the context of military forces at war have served a variety of functions beyond dealing with boredom and maintaining morale.