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Australia Under Attack. The Bombing of Darwin 1942

Douglas Lockwood
New Holland Publishers, Sydney
ISBN: 9781742574042
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket
Quantity in stock: 1

Condition: Near Fine

Price: $26.00 (inc GST)

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Darwin was bombed in broad daylight by members of the Japanese Carrier Task Force which had been engaged at Pearl Harbour two months earlier. Not a single operational R.A.A.F fighter aircraft was available to meet this attack, imminent and inevitable though it was.

pp. 200 illusts #0820 (name on prelim., small closed tear to jacket edge.)

At the time of the raid, Douglas Lockwood was a correspondent for the Melbourne Herald in Darwin. In the years that followed, he travelled the world interviewing survivors of and participants in the attack to produce the first complete reconstruction of that tragic day.

(Originally published as "Australia's Pearl Harbour. Darwin 1942" in 1966).

"The first ever attack on Australia by a foreign power occurred at Darwin on February 19, 1942. The town was attacked in broad daylight by 188 bombers, dive bombers and fighters from the same Japanese Carrier Task Force that, two months earlier, had brought the United States into the war at Pearl Harbour. As at Pearl Harbour, early warnings were ignored or misinterpreted. Eight ships were sunk, 243 people were killed and between 300 and 400 wounded in the air raids. Although Singapore had already fallen and Java was about to be invaded, the R.A.A.F. did not have a single operational fighter aircraft in the area to meet an attack that was imminent and inevitable. Ten American P.40 (Kittyhawk) fighters were there. All were destroyed whilst attempting an impossible defence. The civil and military panic that followed has been described as shameful. A few hours after the raid the R.A.A.F. base was almost deserted. Servicemen and civilians fled the Darwin area on foot, on bicycles, and in a variety of vehicles which included a road grader and a sanitary cart. The circumstances of the bombing and what ensued were such that the Federal Government ordered an immediate investigation by a Royal Commission." 

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