BATTLE FOR AUSTRALIA

The Battle for Australia Historical Society presents an illustrated history of the Japanese attack on Australia in 1942

"The fall of Singapore can only be described as Australia’s Dunkirk…The fall of Dunkirk initiated the Battle for Britain. The fall of Singapore opens the Battle for Australia."

The Honourable John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia, (press release dated 16 February 1942).

Text and Web-site by James Bowen initiated 9 May 2001. Last updated 30 January 2013.

WHAT WAS THE BATTLE FOR AUSTRALIA 1942-43?

The term “Battle for Australia” describes the clash of Japanese and American strategic war aims with Australia as their focus that produced a series of great battles in 1942 across the northern approaches to Australia, including the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Kokoda Campaign, and the Guadalcanal Campaign. It was Australia's wartime Prime Minister John Curtin who first used the term "Battle for Australia" in the press release above to describe the impending massive struggle to defend Australia against Japanese military aggression. Continued..

- BATTLE FOR AUSTRALIA BRIEFINGS -

FORMER SENIOR HISTORIAN AT THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, DR PETER STANLEY, DENIES THE GRAVITY OF THE JAPANESE THREAT TO AUSTRALIA IN 1942

Before his sudden resignation from the Australian War Memorial in 2006, Dr Peter Stanley claimed that the Japanese were not planning to make themselves masters of Australia in 1942 and that any Japanese threat to Australia in 1942 was greatly exaggerated by wartime Prime Minister John Curtin to serve his own political ends. When challenged, Dr Stanley was unable to produce any credible historical evidence to support his controversial claims. Pacific War historian James Bowen argues that Dr Stanley reached incorrect conclusions about the gravity of the Japanese threat to Australia in 1942 and Prime Minister Curtin based upon inadequate knowledge of the Pacific War and flawed research. See chapter "Challenging a denial of the Japanese threat to Australia in 1942 promoted by Dr Peter Stanley" .


WAS THE JAPANESE HIGH COMMAND CONSIDERING AN INVASION OF AUSTRALIA IN 1942?

Drawing extensively on important historical sources, including Japanese, Bob Wurth throws new light on Japan's hostile plans for Australia in 1942 in his new book

See the Foreword to this book by distinguished Australian historian Professor David Day


A SUPERB NEW KOKODA CAMPAIGN DOCUDRAMA DEALS WITH THE BLOODY CAMPAIGN TO EXPEL JAPANESE INVADERS FROM AUSTRALIAN SOIL IN 1942

Japan's second attempt to capture Port Moresby, isolate Australia from the United States, and blockade Australia into surrender.

On 21 July 1942, an advance force of 2,000 Japanese troops landed on Australian soil at Gona in the Australian Territory of Papua. Their purpose was to prepare the way for a much larger invasion force comprising Japan's elite Nankai Shitai (5,586 troops of the 144th Regiment) supported by 3,845 veteran troops of the 41st Regiment. Drawing extensively on high quality archival cinematic footage that has been skilfully blended with dramatised re-enactments of important aspects, including numerous battle scenes, this splendid new docudrama provides a truly riveting account of the bloody Kokoda Campaign. At times, I found myself so absorbed in the story that I forgot that I was watching a docudrama. Continued....

MIDWAY - THE BATTLE IN 1942 THAT SAVED AUSTRALIA FROM JAPANESE OCCUPATION

THE FAMOUS FOUR MINUTES by R.G. SmithThis superb painting by a master of aviation painting, the late R.G. SMITH, depicts one of the defining moments of the Pacific War when the tide turned against the Japanese aggressors at America's Midway Islands. Lieutenant Richard Best and his two wingmen in their Douglas Dauntless SBD dive-bombers have just launched a successful attack on the Japanese flagship aircraft carrier Akagi. The crushing defeat inflicted on the Imperial Japanese Navy by the very much smaller United States Pacific Fleet at Midway put an end to Japan's ambition to dominate the central Pacific region, and deprived Japan of the capability to mount a full-scale invasion of the Australian mainland and bombard Australian cities from the sea. How the Battle of Midway saved Australia from Japanese invasion and occupation is explained at the MIDWAY section of this web-site.


INTRODUCTION AND DEDICATION

On 7 December 1941, the Japanese launched a devastating surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base in Hawaii. The attack was not preceded by a declaration of war, and took place while Japanese diplomats were in Washington discussing American concerns about continuing Japanese military aggression in East Asia. These diplomatic discussions were intended by the Japanese to distract the attention of Americans while Japan secretly positioned a powerful aircraft carrier striking force off the Hawaiian islands. While the Japanese Imperial Navy was striking at Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops were invading British Malaya and being resisted by British, Australian and Indian forces. On 23 January 1942, Japanese troops landed at Rabaul in the Australian Territory of New Guinea and overwhelmed the heavily outnumbered Australian garrison. When Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, the British government was not prepared to assist Australia to resist a Japanese invasion, preferring instead to allocate all available British and Australian military resources to the defence of India. Having been abandoned by Britain to a likely Japanese invasion, Australia turned to the United States for help, and it was generously given. Thereafter, the Americans, the Australians, and the Dutch fought together as allies to stem, and ultimately repel the Japanese military onslaught in the South-West Pacific.

This web-site is one of two linked web-sites that trace the history of Japanese military aggression in the Pacific War. At the Battle for Australia and Pacific War web-sites, the viewer is taken from Pearl Harbor to the great naval Battle of Midway in the central Pacific which destroyed Japan's naval supremacy over the United States Pacific Fleet and put an end to Japan's capacity to invade Australia. The viewer will then be taken to the Kokoda and Guadalcanal Campaigns that brought Japanese military aggression to a halt in the South-West Pacific, and forced Japan on the defensive.

This internet web-site is dedicated to the courageous Australians who resisted, and ultimately repulsed the Japanese military attack on their country in 1942-43. It is also intended to honour the Americans and the Dutch who gave their lives and their service in the defence of Australia in 1942-43.


Permission to illustrate the Battle for Australia and Pacific War Web-sites with "The Famous Four Minutes" painting by internationally acclaimed aviation artist, the late R.G. Smith, was generously given by his daughter Mrs Sharlyn Marsh. History enthusiasts who are interested in acquiring an R. G. Smith signed aviation print or lithograph may contact Sharlyn Marsh at: Sharlynmarsh@aol.com
Quick access to topic Index:

PEARL HARBOR----AUSTRALIA FACES A THREAT OF JAPANESE INVASION----JAPAN'S LEADERS DEBATE AUSTRALIA'S FATE----JAPAN INVADES AUSTRALIAN TERRITORY----THE JAPANESE ATTACK DARWIN----THE JAPANESE ATTACK EASTERN AUSTRALIA---BOLD AMERICAN COUNTER-ATTACKS----BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA---THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY----THE KOKODA CAMPAIGN ---GUADALCANAL ---JAPANESE WAR CRIMES---IMPERIAL JAPAN'S PATH TO WWII---HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF JAPAN'S MILITARY AGGRESSION---WAS THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF JAPAN JUSTIFIABLE?

The FULL site index may be accessed from the "ENTER" button below.


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