The 'Letter' Batteries: The History of the 'Letter' Batteries in World War II

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 430 pages
Author: R. Kidd & R. Neal
Year: 1998
ISBN: 9780646351377
Other: b&w photos, sketches, maps, bibliog, index
Publisher: R.J. Kidd & R.E. Neal

When General Douglas MacArthur took command of the South East Pacific Area one of his first actions was the have a committee of specialists examine the defences of Australian ports, to ensure that they would be appropriately defended to protect the men and war materials he would bring to Australia to counter attack against the Japanese forces in this area.

This book is the story of the raising of nineteen batteries of coast artillery in the Australian Army, used 155mm guns and 150cm searchlights with ammunition and ancillary plant and equipment supplied by the USA.

Artillerymen were recruited from coast artillery units in all States of Australia, and later from other branches of artillery. As the Japanese attack faltered and allied forces took the offensive, these coast batteries (which later became known collectively as the 'Letter' Batteries, because they were names after letters of the alphabet), being mobile, were moved forward to defend the forward bases in Papua and New Guinea being developed by the Allies.

It is a story of a little blood, much sweat and tears, and little glory, but a job which had to be done and was done well.

Photographs, Maps and Diagrams
Foreword by Major General J. Whitelaw
Chapter 1. Coast Artillery Prior to December 1941
Chapter 2. The Japanese Thrust Southwards
Chapter 3. The First Eight 'Letter' Batteries - A(R) to H
Chapter 4. More 'Letter' Batteries for the Defence of Vital Bases - J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, S, T, U
Chapter 5. The Defence of Milne Bay and Port Moresby 1942-1944
Chapter 6. The Guns and Searchlights
Chapter 7. 155mm Guns Used in a Field Artillery Role
Chapter 8. The Mobile Fire Commands
Chapter 9. Chronological History of the 'Letter' Batteries - A(R), B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U

1 Review
  • Letter Batteries

    Posted by Robert Positti on 5th Aug 2021

    Having found a couple of ancestors who served in Letter Batteries the book has given some incite into what they experienced during WW2.

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The 'Letter' Batteries: The History of the 'Letter' Batteries in World War II


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