This volume of the army series of the Australian official war history relates mainly to the operations on Malaya in the first ten weeks of the war against Japan. It has, however, an introductory section describing, from an Australian point of view and largely from Australian documents, the steps which led to commencement of war by Japan, and the measures taken to meet the danger.
A comprehensive account is given of the Japanese plan of conquest and its execution, step by step, over the vast area it covered; also of the reactions of the Allied Governments and the endeavours of each of the forces which sought to stem the onslaught.
The volume describes, for the first time in detail, the experiences of the small garrisons that were overrun in New Britain, Ambon and Dutch Timor; and the discussions between London, Washington and Canberra which led up to the refusal of the Australian Government in February 1942 to permit its troops to be sent to Burma.
In a final section the experiences of the widely–scattered groups of prisoners of the Japanese from 1942 to 1945 are described.
AUSTRALIA IN THE WAR OF 1939-1945 VOL. IV: THE JAPANESE THRUST
Almost a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time, as Japanese aircraft bombed towns in north-west Australia and Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney harbour.The official history of Australia’s involvement in the Second World War represents one of the longest and largest historical endeavours that Australia has ever seen. The enterprise began in January 1943 with the appointment of Gavin Long as General Editor.