By Peter Grose
Darwin used to be a conflict Australia may really disregard. 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 basically ten weeks prior. there has been a distinction. extra bombs fell on Darwin, extra civilians have been killed, and extra ships have been sunk. The raid ended in the worst demise toll from any occasion in Australia. The attackers bombed and strafed 3 hospitals, flattened retailers, 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 bills, 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, selection and improvisation. however the darkish facet of the tale consists of 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 moving, an ungainly fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day conflict particularly got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of squaddies and civilians who have been left to shield the kingdom.
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Additional resources for An awkward truth : the bombing of Darwin, February 1942
In the future, aircraft will be the decisive factor. ’ The Imperial Japanese Navy came to the same radical conclusion. Japanese shipyards raced to produce aircraft carriers as well as battleships. However, the emphasis remained on quality: Japanese aircraft carriers needed to be the best. Deep divisions remained, particularly between the Army and the Navy. Whatever the frustrations of the war with China, the Army was spoiling for a fight with Russia. The Navy was less sure. It saw the United States as the logical enemy.
75 minutes after Fuchida. m. Fuchida heard Shimazaki give them the order to attack. Shimazaki personally led a force of 54 Kates to devastate the airfields, while Lieutenant Commander Takashige Egusa led 80 Vals to mop up in the harbour. They were escorted by 36 Zeroes, but this was overkill: by now Japan had complete control of the skies over Oahu. m. The Japanese had lost nine Zeroes, 15 Vals and five Kates, together with 55 aircrew, all to anti-aircraft guns on ships or ashore. Not a single US plane had successfully attacked a Japanese aircraft.
Fuchida’s formation was approaching from the north, so they would have to cross the range before they could attack. Fuchida noted the time. He had been airborne one hour and 40 minutes. They were still flying over thick cloud, but they must be getting close to the target. Now the cloud broke a little. Fuchida peered down. Suddenly one of the most famous lines of surf in the world appeared beneath his wings. The formation crossed the shoreline not far from Waimea Bay. Fuchida could now see that the air above Pearl Harbor itself was clear of cloud.
An awkward truth : the bombing of Darwin, February 1942 by Peter Grose