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    Australia : Bombing of Darwin 19 February 1942

    The bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 was both the first and the largest single attack mounted by a foreign power against Australia.

    On this day, 242 Japanese aircraft attacked ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java.

    The town was only lightly defended, and the Japanese inflicted heavy losses upon the Allied forces at little cost to themselves.

    The urban areas of Darwin also suffered some damage from the raids, and there were a number of civilian casualties.



    This event is often called the "Pearl Harbor of Australia".[2]

    Although it was a less significant military target, a greater number of bombs were dropped on Darwin than were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor.[3][4]

    The raids on Darwin represented a psychological blow to the Australian population, several weeks after hostilities with Japan had begun.

    The raids were the first and largest of almost 100 air raids against Australia during 1942–43.


    Bombing of Darwin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia






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    Uploaded by busadvonl on 18 Feb 2012

    The Bombing of Darwin in 1942 (19 Feb).

    The following information comes from Wikipedia - The bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 was both the first and the largest single attack mounted by a foreign power against Australia. On this day, 242 Japanese aircraft attacked ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java. The town was only lightly defended, and the Japanese inflicted heavy losses upon the Allied forces at little cost to themselves. The urban areas of Darwin also suffered some damage from the air raids, and there were a number of civilian casualties.

    A greater number of bombs were dropped on Darwin than were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The air raids on Darwin represented a psychological blow to the Australian population, several weeks after hostilities with Japan had begun. The air raids were the first and largest of almost 100 air raids against Australia.

    In 1942, Darwin was a small town with limited civil and military infrastructure. Due to its strategic position in northern Australia the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force had constructed bases near the town in the 1930s and early years of WW2. Darwin's pre-war population was 5,800.

    Following the outbreak of the Pacific War in early December 1941, Darwin's defences were strengthened. In line with plans developed before the war, several Australian Army and RAAF units stationed in the town were also sent to the Netherlands East Indies to strengthen the defences of the islands of Ambon and Timor. In the two months before the air raids, all but 2,000 civilians were evacuated from the town. Japanese submarines I-121 and I123 laid mines off Darwin in January 1942.

    By mid-February 1942 Darwin had become an important Allied base (included American, British and Canadian forces) for the defence of the NEI. The Japanese had captured Ambon, Borneo and Celebes between December 1941 and early-February 1942. Landings on Timor were scheduled for 20 February, and an invasion of Java was planned to take place shortly afterwards. In order to protect these landings from Allied interference, the Japanese military command decided to conduct a major air raid on Darwin. On 10 February a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft overflew the town, and identified an aircraft carrier (actually the seaplane tender USS Langley), five destroyers and 21 merchant ships in Darwin Harbour as well as 30 aircraft at the town's two airfields.

    After the massive 19 February 1942 Japanese raid, the Northern Territory and parts of Western Australia's north were bombed 62 more times between 4 March 1942 and 12 November 1943. One of the heaviest attacks took place on 16 June 1942 when a large Japanese force set fire to the oil fuel tanks around the harbour and inflicted severe damage to the vacant banks, stores and railway yards. The Allied navies largely abandoned the naval base at Darwin after the initial 19 February attack, dispersing most of their forces to Brisbane, Fremantle and other smaller ports. Conversely, Allied air commanders launched a major build-up in the Darwin area, building more airfields and deploying many squadrons.

    The four Japanese aircraft carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu) that participated in the Bombing of Darwin were later sunk during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. A memorial ceremony is held every year on 19 February at the Cenotaph in Darwin. (END)

    2012 marks the 70th year anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.

    Australians fought heroically to defend Australia in Darwin and places like the Kokoda Track. Our country had its back to the wall during this time, fighting against a very formidable enemy. When it comes to courage, mateship and sacrifice, you will not find any better example than the Australians who gave their all to save Australia and their loved ones on our mainland. If one is looking for the true character of the Australian spirit, it would be at the graves of Australians who died to our North during WW2. "To stand on my homeland, surrounded by our war dead, who fought heroically to defend Australia and their loved ones down the track, was a profound experience and initiated the creation of the song." - Peter Barnes

    Song website: http://www.australianwarheroes.com

    The bombing of Darwin website: Darwin Bombing WW2 - The Bombing Of Darwin In WW2

    Darwin bombing during WW2.

    Bombing of Darwin 19 Feb 1942.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid

    Australians fought heroically to defend Australia in Darwin
    Actually not exactly true.

    Many of the defenders ran away.

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