New PDF release: An Awkward Truth: The bombing of Darwin, February 1942

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By Peter Grose

Darwin used to be a conflict Australia could particularly disregard. but the japanese assault on 19 February 1942 used to be 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 ended in the worst demise toll from any occasion in Australia. The attackers bombed and strafed 3 hospitals, flattened outlets, workplaces and the police barracks, shattered the put up place of work and communications centre, wrecked govt condominium, 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 records 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 includes looting, desertion and a calamitous failure of management. Australians ran away simply because they didn't recognize what else to do.

Absorbing, lively and fast moving, a clumsy fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day conflict particularly got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of infantrymen and civilians who have been left to guard the nation.

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