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An Awkward Truth : The Bombing of Darwin, February 1942 - Peter Grose

An Awkward Truth

The Bombing of Darwin, February 1942

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The compelling and very human story of the first foreign assault on Australian soil since settlement - the attack on Darwin by the Japanese in February, 1942.

'Grose's compassionate, honest and vivid account ... deserves to be widely read.'-Sun-Herald The bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 is the battle Australia tries to forget. Although there was much to be proud of that day - courage, mateship, determination and improvisation - the dark side of the story lingers: looting, desertion and a calamitous failure of Australian leadership.

The Japanese struck with the same carrier-borne force that devastated Pearl Harbor only ten weeks earlier. There was a difference: they dropped more bombs on Darwin, killed more civilians in Darwin, and sank more ships in Darwin than in Pearl Harbor. It remains the single deadliest event in Australian history. Yet the story has remained in the shadows.

Absorbing, spirited and fast-paced, An Awkward Truth is a compelling and revealing story of the day war first came to Australia, and of the under-armed and unprepared soldiers and civilians who faced their toughest test on home soil.

About the Author

Peter Grose is a former publisher at Secker + Warburg, founder of Curtis Brown Australia, and was until recently the chairman of ACP (UK).He is the author of A Very Rude Awakening published by Allen + Unwin in 2007.


Winner, Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award, 2010




The story indicated that the Administrator was an isolated man at the top, but he had a considerable range of support staff who get very little mention. However, ican understand the fear experienced by the civil population.



The history we are not taught at school


This is the hidden history of Australia, the history we weren't taught at school and which our kids still aren't taught. In recent years, we've heard about the midget submarines in Sydney Harbour, but how many of us had heard of the bombing of Darwin? I was, quite honestly, very skeptical when i first read about the bombing. I couldn't imagine how i had studied WWII in secondary school and been told nothing whatsoever about the direct attacks on Australia. If you want a brutally honest, warts and all, account of this bombing, and its aftermath, this is the book to read. The reactions of the civilians and the military are telling, and the behaviour of some of those in charge is truly shocking. Essential reading for those who want to know the real history of Australia.

Victoria, Australia


An Awkward Truth

4.0 2


Introductionp. xi
'Big flight of planes . . . Very high'p. 1
A very sinful peoplep. 10
Horribly strained relationsp. 21
One suitcase, one small calico bagp. 41
No place and no time for argumentp. 52
The judge sums upp. 63
Convoy for Koepang to return to Darwinp. 72
'Zeroes! Zeroes! Zeroes!'p. 82
Between the raids: Can anyone drive?p. 118
The second raid: Chinese whispersp. 132
Things go badly wrongp. 151
The military takes overp. 162
Telling the worldp. 112
Not many deadp. 188
Post mortemp. 194
Epilogue: Whatever happened to . . .?p. 210
Evacuation noticep. 211
Report of the Lowe Commissionp. 221
Acknowledgementsp. 238
Notesp. 244
Bibliographyp. 250
Indexp. 252
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781742376073
ISBN-10: 174237607X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st May 2011
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1