This study measures the Anzac legend against the actual experiences of one battalion that fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in World War I. It considers the diaries and letters written by soldiers of the First Battalion to both qualify and contradict the Anzac legend. "In Dinkum Diggers, Dale Blair compares these first-hand accounts by front-line infantrymen with unit diaries, operational records, service and repatriation records, as well as with interviews with family members and statistical analysis, to present a well-rounded picture of the complexities of the 1st Battalion's experience. By narrowing the focus of Australian war experience to a single battalion, he demonstrates nuances and subtleties, showing how the men viewed and reacted to their own officers and how both officers and men behaved in combat. He follows these war-damaged soldiers into civilian life, where they mostly kept quiet as conservative forces worked to enshrine and sanitise Australia's sacrifice." "This book makes a notable contribution to our understanding of World War I, offering a reality check on the glorified Anzac legend."--BOOK JACKET.