1942 was a key year in Australia's history. As its people had so long feared, White Australia, an outpost of empire, seemed about to be invaded by the Japanese. In that one year, Darwin was bombed, submarines torpedoed ships in Sydney Harbour and Australian Militiamen died on the Kokoda Trail.
Each year, more and more Australians celebrate Anzac Day and honour the lives of those who fought for their country. There is even a push to create a new public holiday, in remembrance and celebration of the 'Battle for Australia'. But was there ever really such a battle, and how close did Australia actually come to being invaded?
'Invading Australia' provides a comprehensive, thorough and well-argued examination of these and other pertinent questions. Peter Stanley writes compellingly about Australian attitudes to Japan before, during and after World War II, and uses archival sources to discuss Japan's war plans early in 1942. He also shows that rather than a 'Battle for Australia' there was a worldwide fight for freedom and democracy that has allowed the West to enjoy great prosperity in the decades since 1945.
Abbreviations and Measurements
Prologue: 'Rickshaws up George Street
Introduction: 'Did you fight the Japs?'
Part 1. 'Should foreign foes e'er sight our coasts': The Idea of a Japanese Invasion before 1942
1. Australia will fall': Invasion Imagined
2. 'Within the next three years ...': Invasion Anticipated
3. 'Gazelles grazing in a dell': Invasion Expected
Part 2. 'The nearness of our peril': Australia and the Threat of Invasion 1942
4. 'We who are about to die ...': Invasion Approaching
5. 'With defeat as her second son': Invasion Imminent
6. 'Great, tragic days': Invasion Feared
7. 'To defend and hold Australia': Invasion Resisted
8. 'Victory Disease': Invasion Deferred
9. 'They saved us from the Japs ... Perhaps': Invasion Deterred
10. 'Men who saved Australia': Invasion Defeated
Part 3. 'A historical fact which never existed': Invasion in History and Memory After 1942
11. 'A rich and lurid folklore': Invasion Invented
12. 'Battle for Australia': Invasion Interpreted
13. 'Deep and lasting impression': Invasion Remembered
14. 'Yes, but how did it affect us?': Invasion Irrelevant