Rumours were circulating in 2018 that Brendan Nelson might be considered for appointment as Governor-General following Sir Peter Cosgrove, but after Nelson's very controversial attitude to Kokoda received public airing in 2017 and 2018, I suspect that those Australians who view Kokoda as a magnificent and heroic achievement that blocked an invasion of a part of Australia by Japanese troops in 1942 would have been relieved to hear that the prestigious appointment would go to the governor of New South Wales General David Hurley. Great Britain, on which Australia had always placed reliance, was not only failing to deliver any assistance, but was actively opposing the withdrawal of Australian forces from overseas to help defend Australia. They seem to slide into arguing that the Japanese decision to isolate Australia amounted to the same thing, when it plainly didnot. W873 2013 Book; Illustrated English Open to the public Book; Illustrated English Open to the public 144025; held Book; Illustrated English Open to the public Book; Illustrated English Open to the public Sirsi i9781742612058; held Book; Illustrated English Open to the public Book; Illustrated English Open to the public 940. Bob Wurth was a foreign correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation based in Singapore between 1981 and 1985. This also is the story of Australia's war Prime Minister John Curtin, a flawed, sensitive leader haunted by the prospect of disaster and plagued by depression and anxiety.
It invaded China and then in a few months in 1941-42 conquered Southeast Asia. One of the many revelations in this well researched book is the crucial and highly secret part played by the Allied code breakers in the Battle of the Coral Sea and later in the decisive Battle of Midway, in 1942. He thinks highly of his fellow Australians and he can't stand me trying to show them that something that many had assumed for years to be true turns out not to be so after all. Australians have been told through the years by Stanley that they have a distorted view of the war with Japan, one in which they have greatly exaggerated the threat of Japanese invasion. One of the many revelations in this well researched book is the crucial and highly secret part played by the Allied code breakers in the Battle of the Coral Sea and later in the decisive Battle of Midway, in 1942. Kokoda is an iconic part of Australia's military history, and I believe that many Australians will resent Kokoda being tarnished falsely by the Australian War Memorial under Brendan Nelson. Stanley's Invading Australia goes further than merely questioning the Australian prime minister's ability as a war leader.
This isn't just a did-didn't argument about whether Imperial General Headquarters planned to invade Australia. At home, there were strikes by wharf labourers and other unionists, disrupting production and the loading of essential material, which provoked some of the Armed Forces to label them traitors. Contrary to wartime propaganda and tenacious popular memory , historians found no evidence of any plans for invasion. Invading Australia seeks to understand what 1942 felt like. This view isn't new, and it certainly isn't revisionist.
That year felt frightening because Australia's fate was uncertain. By early 1942, Australia was at its most vulnerable. In early 1942 Australia lay weak and unprepared as an unprecedented succession of victories saw the rampant Japanese Imperial Army and Navy sweep southwards. Most assumed that attacks on Darwin and the Sydney Harbour raid were part of a plan that had been stopped at Kokoda. The national war memorial is sacred ground; not a university campus. A lesser man than Curtin might well have crumbled under the heavy burdens and responsibilities that he faced.
The take on Eddie Ward was interesting but underdeveloped and for a good summation of union treachery one should go no further tha Hal Colebatch's lates book. What upset some ex-servicemen among others in a contentious 2005 Griffith Review article by Stanley was his insensitive use of the word pathetic to dismiss the idea of a possible invasion ofAustralia. Given a choice between perpetuating wartime assumptions and myths and seeing the difference between what was known and felt in 1942 and the reality as it is clear now, why would we choose ignorance? The Military History Section needs another cleansing of trendy Marxist postmodernism that encourages scepticism towards a nation's great military achievements. The question was: could Australia's new Prime Minister carry on his enormous responsibilities? Most were militia, but I haven't fallen for the easy smears on their efficiency: these were members of the force that endured at Kokoda. Also in the Combined Fleet.
He has not challenged my views, he has simply ignored all of those nine communications, which included written invitations from me to defend false and insulting claims in his book's treatment of Kokoda. The Battle for Australia had begun. The only fighter plane it had, the Wirraway, was shot out of the sky over Rabaul. Japan could have invaded anywhere in Australia and taken control. Their purpose was to prepare the way for a much larger invasion force comprising Japan's elite 5,586 troops of the 144th Regiment supported by 3,845 veteran troops of the 41st Regiment. It's also there in the diaries of senior Japanese officers and in their histories and biographies.
All Australians confronted an unknown, terrifying possibility. It was a battle that would be fought in Malaya, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Timor and Ambon, and across New Guinea and Papua, at Rabaul, Port Moresby, Kokoda, Milne Bay and Lae. W873 2013 Book; Illustrated English Open to the public Book; Illustrated English Open to the public 99359423901751; 940. The book describes how he so agonised over it that he spent every night walking about the grounds of the lodge in Canberra, unable to sleep until the safe return of the 7th Division in undefended troop ships across the Indian Ocean, where enemy submarines lurked. You can also listen to the story in and and formats. Today marks the anniversary of a key victory in the Pacific, but many veterans see the bombing raids on Darwin in February 1942 as the real Battle for Australia.
The Battle for Australia had begun. Depression was coupled with other health problems. Australia depended on the Americans to rescue them. Wurth is also wrong to attribute my views to the Australian War Memorial. After reading the account of his life in Wikipedia, I have been wondering what might have persuaded anyone that a politician whose life has been marked by controversy was qualified to be director of the nation's war memorial.