An awkward truth : the bombing of Darwin, February 1942 by Peter Grose

By Peter Grose

Darwin was once a conflict Australia may really put out of your mind. but the japanese assault on 19 February 1942 was once the 1st wartime attack on Australian soil. the japanese struck with an analogous carrier-borne strength that devastated Pearl Harbor in simple terms ten weeks past. there has been a distinction. extra bombs fell on Darwin, extra civilians have been killed, and extra ships have been sunk. The raid resulted in the worst demise toll from any occasion in Australia. The attackers bombed and strafed 3 hospitals, flattened outlets, places of work and the police barracks, shattered the put up place of work and communications centre, wrecked executive condo, and left the harbour and airfields burning and ruined. the folk of Darwin deserted their city, leaving it to looters, a number of anti-aircraft batteries and a handful of dogged defenders with single-shot .303 rifles. but the tale has remained within the shadows. Drawing on long-hidden files and first-person debts, Peter Grose tells what quite occurred and takes us into the lives of the folk who have been there. there has been a lot to be pleased with in Darwin that day: braveness, mateship, choice and improvisation. however the darkish part of the tale includes looting, desertion and a calamitous failure of management. Australians ran away simply because they didn't understand what else to do. soaking up, lively and fast paced, an ungainly fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day battle relatively got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of infantrymen and civilians who have been left to protect the kingdom.

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Japan’s foreign policy never wavered throughout the first decades of the 20th century. The Japanese felt there should be an Asian nation among the great powers of the world, and they nominated themselves for the task. By the 1930s they were hinting at plans for a Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, though they did not formally announce the project until 1 August 1940. They even offered to include Australia and New Zealand in the package. The five colonial powers concerned greeted this with less than acclamation, as did the Australians and New Zealanders.

Having been given an inch, the Japanese took a mile. The French were powerless to stop them. An Awkward Truth 30 ◆ 9/1/09 12:59 PM Page 30 A N AW K WA R D T R U T H Next the Japanese had a stroke of luck. On 10 January 1941 the Thais, noting the ease with which Japan had pushed back the French in Vietnam, struck at the French colonies of Laos and Cambodia, quickly capturing most of Laos. The Japanese stepped in as mediators between the Thais and the Vichy French. The upshot was agreement with the French that Japan should ‘station’ troops in the whole of northern IndoChina.

Tiger! Tiger! ’), the signal to begin the attack. So far I have found only one tiny dissenting voice from this otherwise unchallengeable narrative: Fuchida’s own. If $135-million movies have to be re-shot and thousands of books and articles have to be withdrawn and rewritten as a consequence of what follows, all I can do is apologise for the inconvenience and press on with the story. m. ’ The 51 Val dive-bombers now climbed and prepared to strike, while the Kate torpedo bombers dropped towards the packed lines of ships in Pearl Harbor.

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