What About The Aussies?

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Blackblue, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Too true, mate. US residents know nothing about the role of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, and other Commonwealth members. They think the war was won by Patton and MacArthur singlehandedly.

    I don't think many people anywhere know a lot about the experiences of Commonwealth troops. I'd suggest "Our War: How the British Commonwealth Fought the Second World War" by Christopher Somerville. It's absolutely brilliant because it allows the participants themselves to recall the war. Includes contributions from really obscure countries.
     
  2. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    not many people seem to realise the war involved more than UK, US, Russian and Germany.

    I bet 8/10 people didn't know that Brazil sent an expeditionary force of 25,000 men to fight in WW2
     
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    I bet 8/10 people didn't know that Brazil sent an expeditionary force of 25,000 men to fight in WW2

    Or that one of their biggest contributions was to the post-war Nazi escape route (OK, I admit that the link is REALLY lame - they left behind millions of cigarettes behind, mainly contributed to the Vatican who used them to give to escaping Germans, and as bribes. I told you it was lame :))

    But in redemption I offer you:

    http://www.closecombat.org/BrClan/HC/brazil_goes_to_war.htm

    and

    http://users.skynet.be/hendrik/eng/39brazil.html
     
  4. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    nice links Kyt ta very much
     
  5. raf

    raf Senior Member

    just watched a programme on uk tv regards the anzacs...very good they played a big role in Africa and then over in there homeland region..

    they held onto the south of Papua i think which was vital....

    did the ROOS ever build any defence structures incase of invasion.. i gues not as most cities are on the coast...

    it also showed the great migration...
     
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Lots of good pictures of Australian defences:

    http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/ozatwar/bunkers.htm

    A big subject is the defence of Australia. Theoretically Australia was undefendable yet on the other hand was not easily invaded in areas that were populated.

    The question never arose because Japan was stopped predominantly by Australians in successive battles. These battles were the first defeats suffered by the Japanese on land.

    As below (to scale), Australia was just too big to defend.

    That little island of Tasmania alone is 2/3rd's the size of England.

    View attachment 3064
     

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  8. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    A big subject is the defence of Australia. Theoretically Australia was undefendable yet on the other hand was not easily invaded in areas that were populated.

    True but maybe somebody should have told them before pouring all that concrete!;)

    The question never arose because Japan was stopped predominantly by Australians in successive battles. These battles were the first defeats suffered by the Japanese on land.

    But seriously, I agree. It's amazing how the tenacious defensive and offensive work of the Australian troops stopped the downward thrust of the Japanese. And I’m also in awe of the Australian government for having the balls to stand up to Churchill and recall some of their troops for “homeland” defence.

    Others have already mentioned “A Bastard of a Place”, and I was really moved when I read about the conditions in which they fought.


    As below (to scale), Australia was just too big to defend.

    That little island of Tasmania alone is 2/3rd's the size of England.

    Not that I would have wished it but it would have been interesting to see the mess that teh Japanese got into - I could envisage a scenario similar to Russia - over-extended supplies and the sheer size and inhospitability of most of the inland. I'm sure the Australian population would have been a real pain in the neck to the invaders. :p

    But the Australian government could be a real bugger sometimes:

    “On 29 March 1942, General Douglas MacArthur announced his support for the Australian Governments proposal that no more African-American soldiers be sent to Australia during World War 2. The proposal also suggested that those units that were already in Australia should be sent to New Caledonia or India. General Douglas MacArthur said:-
    "I will do everything possible to prevent friction or resentment on the part of the Australian government and people at the presence of American colored troops ... Their policy of exclusion against everyone except the white race known locally as the 'White Australia' plan is universally supported here".

    This support by MacArthur meant that African-American units that were serving in New Guinea or the islands were not able to be sent back to Australia on R & R, as was the case with the white soldiers”

    In addition, those few black troops who were allowed to disembark after their long journey from the US were forced into camps in the outback, and not allowed into towns.
     
  9. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

     
  10. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    The Americans thankfully put paid to Japanese aspirations for Australia (If they seriously had any) at Coral Sea & Midway.

    I've never been able to figure Japanese war plans, after their initial conquests. They seemed pretty pragmatic about how far they wanted to go. After reading "The Thousand Mile War" I was left just as confused as before as what the hell they were actually doing up in the Aleutians. They didn't seem to be able to make up their minds either!

    Churchill did not have a lot of respect for Australia's colonial troops and was contemptuous of Australia’s war effort and at one stage in 1944 ordered his Chiefs of Staff to report on Australia’s deficiencies. (Churchill believed that Australia lost Singapore and Greece, however it was Churchill‘s outstandingly deficient military and strategic instincts that ensured even greater defeats for Australia than his first spectacular disaster with Australian forces at Gallipoli in WWI)

    Have you read Corrigan's "Blood, Sweat & Arrogance: The Myth's of Churchill's War"? His sentiments are exactly yours

    Just as an aside to Macarthur: Australian troops would fight a battle with American support, win the battle and Macarthur would report it as an American win with no mention of the Australian contribution. Politics were alive and well under Macarthur.

    I agree - not only was MacArthur a real SOB, but he perceived the whole war in Asia and the Pacific his personnal fiefdom. He refused to acknowledge Allied contributions, except grudgingly, and refused to accepy Allied participation in the post-war Japanese occupation. He even disputed some of the contributions of other US forces!!!

    Alas, we all have our skeletons: from indigenous slaughter to straight out forms of racism.
    I think most countries have moved forward from these views.


    Sorry Spidge - that wasn't meant to be a dig at Australia. Just a poorly phrased example of how, when a country's population puts it's hearts, minds and lives into the struggle, it's leaders can act to so inanly. All governments have similar skeletons.

    p.s. Thanks Spidge, for a most stimulating discussion.
     
  11. raf

    raf Senior Member

    Did the Aussies use any aboriginal tribes.

    i know the Kiwi's had the mauries...

    what do you know about the migration spidge from Nothern terrotary.
     
  12. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Did the Aussies use any aboriginal tribes.


    Hi raf,

    in the link I posted earlier for Australian defences there is info on the Aboriginal contributions (but a bit sparse)

    Hope Spidge can shed more light on it

    http://home.st.net.au/%7Edunn/index.htm
     

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