Semut: The Untold Story of a Secret Australian Operation in WWII Borneo

Author(s): Christine Helliwell

Audio Books

March 1945. A handful of very young Allied operatives are parachuted into the remote jungled heart of the Japanese-occupied island of Borneo, east of Singapore, there to recruit the island’s indigenous Dayak peoples to fight the Japanese. Yet most speak next to no Borneo languages and know little about Dayaks, other than that they were once headhunters who might kill them on arrival. For their part, some Dayaks have never before seen a white face. This is the story of Operation Semut, an Australian secret military operation launched by the organisation popularly known as Z Special Unit in the final months of WWII. Anthropologist Christine Helliwell has called on her years of first-hand knowledge of Borneo, interviewed more than one hundred Dayak people and all the remaining Semut operatives, and consulted thousands of military and other documents to piece together this astonishing story. Focusing on two of Borneo’s great rivers – the Baram and Rejang – the audiobook provides a detailed military history of Semut II’s and Semut III’s brutal guerrilla campaign against the Japanese.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781867544920
  • : Bolinda/Penguin Audio Australia
  • : Bolinda/Penguin Audio Australia
  • : July 2021
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Christine Helliwell