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The Eureka Stockade is the epic account of the battle for the Eureka Stockade, an iconic moment in Australian history.
On the chilly dawn morning of 3 December 1854 British soldiers and police of the Victorian colonial government attacked and stormed a crudely-built fortification erected by insurgent gold miners at the Eureka lead on the Ballarat Gold Diggings. The fighting was intense, the carnage appalling and the political consequences of the affair profound.
This book, for the first time, examines in great detail the actual military events that unfolded during the twenty minutes of deadly fighting at Eureka. Many of the old assumptions about what occurred that day are turned on the heads, raising in their places provocative questions. Were the intentions of the Eureka diggers as pacific as tradition insists? How was it that men supposedly poorly armed and taken completely by surprise in their sleep were able to deliver 'sharp and well directed' fire on their attackers? How close, in fact did the assaulting infantry come to failing in their task, and why has the pivotal part played by the police in the battle been ignored in every retelling of the Eureka story? Why have the Americans, who played a decisive part in the defense of the stockade been all but ignored?
The author argues convincingly that Eureka was not a wanton massacre of innocents, as it has been portrayed. Rather it was a hard fought military engagement. Eureka was a decisive moment in Australian history and in this book it comes alive in a rousing and original manner.