By Peter Grose

Darwin was once a conflict Australia might relatively put out of your mind. but the japanese assault on 19 February 1942 was once the 1st wartime attack on Australian soil. the japanese struck with an analogous carrier-borne strength that devastated Pearl Harbor basically ten weeks previous. there has been a distinction. extra bombs fell on Darwin, extra civilians have been killed, and extra ships have been sunk.

The raid ended in the worst loss of life toll from any occasion in Australia. The attackers bombed and strafed 3 hospitals, flattened retailers, workplaces and the police barracks, shattered the submit place of work and communications centre, wrecked executive apartment, and left the harbour and airfields burning and ruined. the folk of Darwin deserted their city, leaving it to looters, a number of anti-aircraft batteries and a handful of dogged defenders with single-shot .303 rifles.

Yet the tale has remained within the shadows. Drawing on long-hidden files and first-person money owed, Peter Grose tells what rather occurred and takes us into the lives of the folks who have been there. there has been a lot to be pleased with in Darwin that day: braveness, mateship, choice and improvisation. however the darkish facet of the tale includes looting, desertion and a calamitous failure of management. Australians ran away simply because they didn't understand what else to do.

Absorbing, lively and fast paced, an ungainly fact is a compelling and revealing tale of the day warfare rather got here to Australia, and the motley bunch of infantrymen and civilians who have been left to shield the nation.

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