Australia’s War in the Pacific – 1943

Week 12

The first steps in the advances in New Guinea and the Solomons. The Munitions and Manpower Wars.

Some background on the War in Ukraine including a most interesting video of President Zelensky.

Week 11

Preparations for the Allied advances in New Guinea and the Solomons continue. The Japanese attack Lababia Ridge in strength but are turned back with heavy losses by two companies of the 2/6th Battalion. An Australian tactical development was influential, positions now sacrifice concealment in favour of clearing fields of fire. The Brisbane Line controversy rages on. Sir William Webb Chief Justice of Queensland is commissioned to enquire into atrocities by Japanese armed forces. The air and submarine wars continue over a wider area and on a more extensive scale. The RAAF sink two submarines. Brief description of the process and results of the post war War Crimes trials in the Far East. Curtin announces he will go to an early election. The scandalous and long running failures of American torpedo design are finally resolved.

Week 10

HMS Victorious in the Pacific. Planning for the Lae offensive including reconnaissance patrols to Nassau Bay. Industrial Relations, Butter Rationing and Reciprocal Lend Lease require government attention. The New Zealanders go into action in the Solomons. Air and submarine wars and the Brisbane Line controversy are ongoing. The Bathurst Class Corvettes are in trouble, Pirie’s crew mutiny and Wallaroo is sunk in collision with a ship it is escorting. Problems with American torpedoes continue. Evatt is finally promised 475 aircraft to expand the RAAF but the majority are dive bombers which never enter service. The development of the Jeep.

Week 9

May 11 to 31. The Americans recapture Attu, learning all the usual lessons about the tenacity of the Japanese soldier. In the South West Pacific plans are developed for an advance north west up the coast of New Guinea. The Submarine war continues. Japanese submarines off the Australian east coast sink the Hospital Ship Centaur with the loss of 268 lives. In the South Pacific they sink two big American tankers. American submarines sink Japanese ships throughout the Pacific but they are typically smaller and less significant than the Japanese victims. The air war continues with both sides furiously building airfields and attacking the enemy’s fielfs.Elsewhere in the world the Axis army in North Africa is forced to surrender in Tunisia, 275,000 Italian and German soldiers surrender.

Week 8

The Air and Sea Wars in the South and South West Pacific continue. An air battle over Darwin attracts Press and Political attention. The RNZAF fighters join the action in the Solomons. Action on the ground continues around Wau with a Japanese battalion scale counter attack . An American invasion fleet sets sail for Attu in the Aleutians. The first British offensive in Burma ends in complete failure.

Week 7

18 April to 2 May. The war continues in the air and at sea on an increasing scale and longer ranges. Action on the ground continues around Wau at a very low level. A mismatch between Australian military ambition and available manpower starts to emerge. There is increased recognition that The Japanese have switched to an entirely defensive strategy.

A case study in Anti War movements

Week 6

A Diversion onto Mr Putin, the Invasion of Ukraine and the difficulty in establishing effective sanctions against Russia

11 – 18 April 1943, war continuing in the Air and at Sea and Operation Vengeance to kill Admiral Yamamoto.

Week 5

27 March, The joint Chiefs issue their directive for the war in the South and South West Pacific in 1943, Australia negotiates for more aircraft, it is quiet on the ground, the war goes on in the air and at sea.

The type 93 Torpedo and a comparison of the battles of Tassafaronga and the Komandorski Islands.

Week 4

24 March. The Battle of the Komandorski Islands and recaps of the Battles of The Bismark Sea and Blackett Strait.

The Situation at 13 March

The Situation at 13 March and the ongoing wars in the air and at sea.

The Story so Far

A summary of the first fifteen months of the war. The Japanese avalanche in the first six months. Then nine months of decisive campaigns in The Solomons, New Guinea and the South Pacific.

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