1942: Australia's Greatest Peril

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 496 pages
Author: B. Wurth
Year: 2010
ISBN: 9780330426046
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

1942 was the year of Australia's greatest peril as the nation awaited invasion from Darwin. Darwin was devastated by bombing, Australian ships were torpedoed within sight of our coast, midget Japanese submarines attacked shipping in Sydney Harbour, and Japanese forces on their inexorable march south invaded New Guinea and islands to Australia's near north. This is the true story of the genuine and imminent threat to Australia in that fateful year.

On the beautiful Inland Sea of Japan - the heartland of the Imperial Japanese Navy - and in frenetic wartime Tokyo, radical and passionate staff officers and their illogical admirals debated the invasion of an almost defenceless nation. The Imperial Japanese Army, meanwhile, opposed the attack, foreseeing a looming military quagmire. Behind the scenes, Australian, British and American defence chiefs all but dismissed the chances of holding Darwin and the north. Australia's fate hung in the balance.

'1942' is a story of desperate bravery and criminal stupidity. Most of all, it is the story of Australians left high and dry in those first few months of 1942, under the looming shadow of invasion, and the steps that an inexperienced leader, John Curtin, took to help save his country from its darkest days.

1. A sea of tranquility
2. A gesture of great struggle
3. The coming conquests
4. Blossoms raised to fall
5. Glorious victory
6. A nation exposed
7. Invasion planning
8. Dawn of a fearful year
9. Plotting against Australia
10. The indefensible continent
11. An illusion of superiority
12. Australia attacked
13. A day of decision
14. A clash of philosophies
15. Scorching Australia
16. Australia's reprieve
17. Bold, new targets
18. The boy who saw the Japanese
19. Rowboat reconnaissance
20. From chaos to confidence
21. A scene of dreadful carnage
22. The submariners' revenge
23. Return of the hero gods
24. Savagery and dishonour
25. Turning the tide
26. Death of an empire
27. Surrender
28. Not the war but the game
Epilogue: Boys, resting peacefully
Select Bibliography

'This is a story that all Australian's should read' - David Day

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1942: Australia's Greatest Peril


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