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Carrier Attack Darwin 1942: The Complete Guide to Australia's Own Pearl Harbor
Publisher: Avonmore Books
Media: BOOK - hardcover, 208 pages
Author: T. Lewis & P. Ingham
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, appendixes, bibliog, index
Publisher: Avonmore Books
When the Pacific war began it was a case of "when, not if" Darwin would be attacked. But nobody could have predicted the extraordinary scale and ferocity of the 19 February 1942 raid. A massive strike force, blooded at Pearl Harbor just weeks before, hit Darwin in the biggest Japanese air attack ever in the South Pacific.
Since then, generations of Australians have been drawn to the stories and folklore of the Darwin action. But facts have blurred and mythology has thrived.
What of the warning that never happened? What of the ghost ship actually sunk in the Atlantic a year earlier? Did a fighter pilot contrive a false combat record? Did the authorities cover up the raid? Why do Australians know so little about it?
This is the book that tests these many Darwin myths and reveals new information: another ship sunk; the actual intent and nature of the attack; the precise extent of the Japanese losses.
The Darwin raid is usually portrayed as a wholesale disaster for the Allies, and a day full of military ineptitude. "Carrier Attack" shows the defenders were alert and fought with purpose. Arguably it was the Japanese that wasted much of their attacking strength, and in this way the Darwin defenders avoided a much larger catastrophe.
"Carrier Attack" provides a timely and fresh analysis of the raid. Most importantly, it draws on specially translated Japanese sources.
2. The road to Pearl Harbor and the relevance of Darwin
3. The carriers: Japan's new strike weapon
4. Race for an island: Timor and Darwin
5. The Bomber attack
6. Zero attack
7. Allied aircraft operations
8. The Bathurst Island Warning
9. The Darwin airfields
10. The Fight in the Harbour I
- Stokes Hill Wharf: Neptuna and Barossa
- Major RAN ships: Platypus, the sloops and corvettes
11. The Fight in the Harbour II
- United States Navy at Darwin: Peary and Preston
12. The Fight in the Harbour III
- Merchant ships
- Hospital ship Manunda
- Miscellaneous smaller vessels
13. The Fight in the Harbour IV
- Boom Defence Squadron
- Flying boast Camilla and Launches
14. The Army's AA Guns
15. The Philippine Blockade Runners
16. The Second Raid
Appendix 1. Aircraft profiles
Appendix 2. Ship profiles (selected)
Appendix 3. Ships present in Darwin Harbour, 19th February 1942
Appendix 4. Allied aircraft losses Darwin, 19th February 1942
Appendix 5. Constable Law's damage report
Appendix 6. Pearl Harbor and Darwin - a comparison
Appendix 7. Trouble on the Darwin wharves
Appendix 8. Myth: the Gribble radio warning
Appendix 9. Myth: the heroic Robert Oestreicher
Appendix 10. Myth: Death toll cover-up
Appendix 11. Myth: The raid was concealed
Appendix 12. Myth: A prelude to invasion
Appendix 13. Myth: the Japanese pilots insulted their victims
Appendix 14. Myth: the ghost ship Benjamin Franklin
Appendix 15. Myth: Finding the Peary
Appendix 16. Darwin tides
Appendix 17. Darwin sites of significance - what remains today?