By Peter Grose
Darwin used to be a conflict Australia might relatively omit. but the japanese assault on 19 February 1942 was once the 1st wartime attack on Australian soil. the japanese struck with an identical 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 loss of life toll from any occasion in Australia. The attackers bombed and strafed 3 hospitals, flattened outlets, places of work and the police barracks, shattered the publish place of work and communications centre, wrecked executive residence, 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 records and first-person debts, Peter Grose tells what rather occurred and takes us into the lives of the folks who have been there. there has been a lot to be pleased with in Darwin that day: braveness, mateship, decision 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 recognize what else to do. soaking up, lively and fast paced, a clumsy fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day struggle rather got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of squaddies and civilians who have been left to guard the kingdom.
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Extra info for An awkward truth : the bombing of Darwin, February 1942
In 1925 he was elected to Federal Parliament for the seat of Gwydir. In 1928 he joined the government as Minister for Home Affairs. The Northern Territory became part of his responsibilities. He lost the Gwydir seat in the 1929 election. The Great Depression now struck, with its attendant social unrest. According to the Australian Dictionary of National Biography, Abbott appears to have responded by becoming an organiser for the New Guard, a loony right-wing paramilitary group that was as near as Australia ever came to Britain’s Blackshirts or Mosleyites.
Miller appears to have been more successful this time. The results, according to Miller, were ‘excellent’. At this point Miller felt the burden of two jobs was beyond him, and he recommended the appointment of a Permanent Officer in charge of ARP. He had his way. P. work was covered. This even provided for the evacuation of the female population and children, and the aged and infirm. Estimates of the requirements were prepared and forwarded. ’ This burst of activity rapidly went the way of earlier schemes.
If the Americans got a warning, or just got lucky, Japan could lose the war in a day. ◆ ◆ ◆ An Awkward Truth 36 ◆ 9/1/09 12:59 PM Page 36 A N AW K WA R D T R U T H On 5 November 1941, two days after the fateful meeting between Yamamoto and Nagumo in Tokyo, the Japanese government decided that if the negotiations currently taking place in Washington had not produced an acceptable result by 30 November then Japan would go to war. Essentially, the Japanese wanted all sanctions against them lifted and all assets unfrozen, while still being allowed to hold on to their current conquests and continue their program of expansion.