Scorched Earth: Australia's Secret Plan for Total War Under Japanese Invasion in World War II
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 312 pages
Author: S. Rosen
Other: b&w & colour photos, sketches, maps, appendixes
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Hidden for 75 years, the top secret government documents outlining preparations for the event of a Japanese invasion of Australia in 1942 have finally been discovered. They reveal an extraordinarily comprehensive plan to thwart Japanese troops, and a population that would go to great lengths to avoid being enslaved.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese advance south, Prime Minister Curtin ordered state governments to prepare. From January 1942, a team frantically pulled together secret plans for a 'scorched earth' strategy. The goal was to prevent the Japanese from seizing resources for their war machine as they landed, and capturing Australians as slaves as they had done in Malaya and elsewhere in Asia.
From draining domestic water tanks to sinking dinghies and burning crops, from training special citizen squads to evacuating coastal towns, 'Total war, total citizen collaboration' was the motto. Today these plans vividly evoke the fraught atmosphere of the year Australia was threatened with invasion.
After the war these top secret plans were forgotten. This is the first time they have ever been made public.
Table of Organisation
Introduction: 1942 - Imperilled Australia!
1. Total War - and Total Citizen Collaboration
2. The Scorched Earth Code
3. The General Citizen Code
4. The General Industry Code
5. Jetties and Wharves
7. Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant Supplies
8. Motor Transport
9. Motor Repair Equipment
10. Coal Mines
11. Public Utility Services
12. Organisation of Scorched Earth Support Squads
'This is a treasure trove, a gold mine, a Christmas-every-day cornucopia of rich Australian history...'- Peter Grose, author of An Awkward Truth and A Very Rude Awakening.