© 2015

Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939–45

Queer Identities in Australia in the Second World War


Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 1-12
  3. The Scripts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 15-38
    3. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 39-65
  4. The Services

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 69-98
    3. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 99-125
  5. The State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 129-150
    3. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 151-171
  6. Epilogue

    1. Yorick Smaal
      Pages 172-178
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 179-250

About this book


Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45 explores the queer dynamics of war across Australia and forward bases in the south seas. It examines relationships involving Allied servicemen, civilians and between the legal and medical fraternities that sought to regulate and contain expressions of homosex in and out of the forces.


US forces Australian forces Homosexuality Second World War Queensland History South Pacific Australia dynamics Enzo Paci history Orient

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith UniversityAustralia

About the authors

Yorick Smaal is ARC DECRA Research Fellow at Griffith University, Australia. He is an Australian social historian with particular interests in sex and gender, war and society, and law and criminal justice.

Bibliographic information


“Smaal’s monograph … fulfills the aims of the Palgrave Macmillan series, Genders and Sexualities in History to ‘accommodate and foster new approaches to historical studies in the field of genders and sexualities’ and to focus on ‘interconnected themes of genders, sexualities, religions/religiosity, civil society, class formations, politics and war’… . read his book, engage with the characters and ideas. You won’t be disappointed.” (Diane Bell, Honest History,, March, 2016)

“The study appears in a series on ‘Genders and Sexualities in History’ and one of its strengths is its subtle treatment of this relationship. Smaal establishes the significance of gender performance in ‘homosex’ during the 1940s. … This book is a valuable addition to the international literature on queer sexualities. … Smaal has produced an exemplary work of social, sexual, and gender history that also contributes to our understanding of the relationship of war and society.” (Frank Bongiorno, Social History, Vol. 41 (2), March, 2016)

“The book is a great work and interesting for sexologists, ethnologists, and historians. A comprehensive literature list and index make it round.” (Florian Georg Mildenberger, Sexuality and Culture, Vol. 20, 2016)