An Awkward Truth. The Bombing of Darwin February 1942

By: Grose, Peter:

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Allen & Unwin NSW 2009 ISBN 9781741756432 . Card cover trade paperback size 258pp b&w plates. New books. . Tthe Japanese attack on 19 February 1942 was the first wartime assault on Australian soil. The Japanese struck with the same carrier-borne force that devastated Pearl Harbor only ten weeks earlier. There was a difference. More bombs fell on Darwin, more civilians were killed, and more ships were sunk.The raid led to the worst death toll from any event in Australia. The people of Darwin abandoned their town, leaving it to looters, a few anti-aircraft batteries and a handful of dogged defenders with single-shot .303 rifles. Yet the story has remained in the shadows. Drawing on long-hidden documents and first-person accounts, Peter Grose tells what really happened and takes the reader into the lives of the people who were there. There was much to be proud of in Darwin that day: courage, mateship, determination and improvisation. But the dark side of the story involves looting, desertion and a calamitous failure of leadership.

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