At the beginning of World War II many Australian troops were posted to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. From the artwork on the packaging of this set, plus some of the poses, this group of figures is meant to represent them at one of their most famous battles - that of the defence of Crete in May 1941.
The battle for Crete was basically the defence of the island from German paratroops, and the Australians were a large part of the garrison. Two of the poses in particular put us in mind of that conflict. First, the man firing into the air could well be firing at paratroops descending above him, and indeed there are few other situations where such a pose would be likely. The surrendering pose reminds us that ultimately the island fell to the invaders, and many Australians were forced to surrender. The Australians and New Zealanders were famous for their bayonet charges, and the figure thrusting forward with bayonet seems in keeping with this reputation. All the poses are suitable and well executed, though we were not keen on the prone figure apparently throwing a hand-grenade.
Australian uniform and kit was much like that of the British at this stage of the War, with the obvious exception of the slouch hat. Some of these figures wear the British waist-length battledress blouse, while others still wear the thigh-length service tunic, little different from the Great War. This mix of uniform is entirely correct for this period. A mixture of slouch hats and helmets are worn, which is again correct and good to see. In all respects the uniform and kit are correctly done.
Most men are carrying rifles, though one has a Bren gun and a couple have Thompson sub machine guns. The group piece is of a water-cooled Vickers medium machine gun with operator and man feeding ammunition. Too many sets ignore this second figure, so it is very satisfying to see him properly included here.
This set was released to accompany the German Paratroopers set, but the difference in quality is enormous. Whereas the figures in that set are flat and poorly defined, these are properly rounded, well proportioned and well sculpted, with very little flash. Detail is first class and very clear, and is correct in all respects. Apart from our reservations on the prone man and the limited usefulness of the man firing skywards, we could find no fault with this set, which illustrated the high standard that many (but sadly not all) Revell figure sets were to attain.