An Awkward Truth: The bombing of Darwin, February 1942 by Peter Grose

By Peter Grose

Darwin was once a conflict Australia could relatively omit. but the japanese assault on 19 February 1942 was once the 1st wartime attack on Australian soil. the japanese struck with a similar carrier-borne strength that devastated Pearl Harbor simply 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 retailers, places of work and the police barracks, shattered the submit workplace and communications centre, wrecked executive residence, and left the harbour and airfields burning and ruined. the folks of Darwin deserted their city, leaving it to looters, a couple of anti-aircraft batteries and a handful of dogged defenders with single-shot .303 rifles.

Yet the tale has remained within the shadows. Drawing on long-hidden files and first-person debts, Peter Grose tells what rather occurred and takes us into the lives of the folk who have been there. there has been a lot to be happy 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 understand what else to do.

Absorbing, lively and fast moving, an ungainly fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day battle rather got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of infantrymen and civilians who have been left to shield the nation.

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