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Australia during WWII

Australia during World War II - Soldiers, battles, and homefront.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Battlefield tours, Upsetting SS Uniforms, WW2 films, Kokoda Trail.

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Members of secret WWII Australian military unit will finally be publicly commemorated
The unit called, the Z Special Unit, conducted missions in the Pacific and South East Asia, but their achievements were classified for decades. And today, years after being hidden from public knowledge, they will be revealed and recognised at the Australian War Memorial. Senior historian at the memorial Dr Karl James said members of the unit conducted some of the most courageous and extraordinary acts of the Second World War. `It is only given the passage of time say from the 1980s onwards, the wartime records relating to Z Special Unit have been cleared and opened, that we are now able to talk about some of these pretty remarkable exploits.`
(startsat60.com)

Archives reveal Japanese atrocities on Australian soldiers kept secret
When officials found human remains of Spencer Walklate and Ron Eagleton on Kairiru Island 20km from Wewak on Papua New Guinea`s northern coast, they may have done more than locate two missing WWII commandos. They may have unlocked a 68-year-old Pandora`s box of secrets involving ongoing censorship and the failure to punish those involved in some of the worst war crimes ever perpetrated on Australian soldiers during the Pacific war. Previously secret documents from the archives reveal the two were thought to have been dissected and their organs served up in a ritual dinner to Japanese soldiers, or souvenired and taken back to Japan. The Japanese soldiers were never brought to justice and the facts have been kept from the dead men`s families.
(watoday.com.au)

Australia`s first World War II Commandos honoured
For 3 months, Australia`s first guerilla force against the Japanese was believed to have been captured or killed in East Timor during WWII. But for more than year, members of the 2/2nd Independent Company and their Timorese allies harassed 10,000 Japanese troops. The 270-strong commando company was honoured during the opening of an exhibition in Perth. The WA Museum exhibit Debt of Honour: Australia`s First Commandos and East Timor coincides with the 70th anniversary of the jungle campaign that resulted in 1000 Japanese casualties for the loss of just 8 Australians.
(heraldsun.com.au)

Why Australia must apologise to Italians interned during World War II
During World War Two civilians from enemy nations were detained behind barbed wire regardless of age, health or political views. Italian migrants experienced popular resentment in Australia, although they had escaped Fascism and another war looming in Europe. Once Italy declared war on Britain and its allies on 10th June 1940, Italian migrants in Australia became political pawns. Successive Australian governments have been silent on the issue of wartime reparation to civilians who were swept up as "enemy aliens" when their country of birth became a wartime enemy. There was limited acknowledgement of the widespread xenophobia against Italian families throughout the war years and there is still unresolved anguish for Italians who lived through that era.
(theconversation.edu.au)

WWII Anzacs fought a battle for survival through the same gorges as the heroes of ancient Greece
It has been overshadowed in history by the brutal fighting in Crete, but 70 years ago New Zealand and Australian troops fought a valiant battle for survival against German Panzer divisions through the same gorges as the heroes of ancient Greece.
(stuff.co.nz)

Secret World War II fuel storages uncovered near Canberra, Australia
The village of Lake Bathurst, an hour north-east of Canberra, is a very long way from WWII battlefields. But while war was raging in the Pacific, huge concrete structures were being built under the hills of Lake Bathurst, ready to store thousands of litres of fuel in the case that Australia`s supplies were cut off by the Japanese. The fuel stores were just one of 32 facilities which were set up all around Australia. Today you could easily drive past and miss the storages, but if you tour the property you can walk into the underground concrete tunnels.
(abc.net.au)

Japan to hand over WWII POW records to Australia to sort out the fate of those aboard Montevideo Maru
Relatives of more than 1000 Australians lost during WWII are hoping Japanese POW records will shed light on Australia`s worst-ever maritime disaster. The unlucky POWs and civilian internees were aboard the Japanese freighter Montevideo Maru when it was torpedoed by the American submarine USS Sturgeon in June 1942. Even now, it`s not known exactly who or how many were aboard, but Japan`s decision to hand over records of Australian POWs could partly solve this mystery. However, people should not get their hopes up too high, since in 1953 Australia rejected a Japanese offer of these same records on the basis that they were unlikely to contain new information.
(ninemsn.com.au)

An Australian trekker discovered lost WWII battlefield in Papua New Guinea - War dead included
A trekker has found the site of a WWII battle in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, with the remains of Japanese soldiers right where they fell. Brian Freeman, an expert on the Kokoda Trail, was led to the Eora Creek battle site - the last major battle in Australia`s campaign against the Japanese in PNG. Research on battle maps and diaries revealed that the Japanese had a medical facility in the area. "We were hoping to find the remnants of a make-shift Japanese hospital. I never anticipated that we would find war dead... a Japanese soldier sitting up against a tree, only centimeters from the surface still in his helmet..."
(cnn.com)

Man denied $25,000 POW compensation because he escaped from POW camp to warn of the enemy advance
Australian Fred Collett escaped from a World War II PoW camp in Greece to the island of Crete in April 1941 to warn fellow soldiers of the enemy advance. The Department of Veterans` Affairs denied Collett`s claim for a one-off $25,000 payment for being a PoW in Europe because he escaped - which was his military duty under the law of the time. Now he gets nothing for his wartime heroics, while men who surrendered and spent the rest of the war in a PoW camp are all eligible for the money.
(news.com.au)

Defence inquiry: German raider Kormoran was able to sink HMAS Sydney because captain was careless
A Defence inquiry reveals HMAS Sydney was sunk by a German raider in 1941 because of an error by its captain. The Sydney went down after it was hit by heavy fire from the Kormoran, disguised as a merchant ship, in 1941. Captain Joseph Burnett assumed the Kormoran was a merchant ship - even though he knew there were no friendly ships in the area - and that`s why the Sydney got within point-blank range of the raider without going to action stations. "Sydney closed to a vulnerable position having lost all tactical advantages of speed and gunnery at distance. Empirical facts available since the finding of the wrecks ... confirmed the German account."
(abc.net.au)

65th anniversary of Cowra breakout: Japanese POWs attacked with nails, knives and baseball bats
On 5 August 1944 a POW camp near Cowra in Australia saw one of the biggest WW2 prison escapes. At 2am Japanese POWs, shouting "Banzai", broke through the wire, one group on the northern side, one on the western and one on the southern. Armed with knives, clubs with nails and hooks, they moved across the wire with blankets. 359 POWs escaped. The leaders ordered escapees not to attack civilians, and none were injured. Benjamin Hardy and Ralph Jones manned the No. 2 Vickers machine-gun and fired into the wave of escapees, but they were overwhelmed.
(wikipedia)

Biographer Charles Higham claims: Errol Flynn as a spy for the Nazis?
He is remembered for The Adventures Of Robin Hood, dressed in Lincoln green. But Errol Flynn would have been more at home in a black SS uniform with a swastika, CIA files indicate. Biographer Higham claims the actor was a Nazi spy - and that he attended a secret meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1938 - and his espionage for the Third Reich led to hundreds dying in Nazi camps. In the 1930s Flynn fell under the influence of Nazi party member Hermann Erben, who later led German intelligence in Mexico. In a 1934 letter Flynn complained about a "slimy Jew" who was attempting to cheat him. "I do wish we could bring Hitler over here to teach these Isaacs a thing or two."
(dailymail.co.uk)

Australia`s last World War II Victoria Cross winner Ted Kenna passes away at 90
Edward "Ted" Kenna was granted the Army`s greatest honour, the Victoria Cross medal, after risking his life to save his platoon during a heavy machine gun attack in New Guinea on May 15, 1945. 50 metres from a Japanese machine gun crew, Private Kenna stood up in full view and fired upon the enemy gunner to save his comrades. As bullets flew next to him, he kept on firing - and when his machine gun ran empty called for a rifle to continue his assault. He took down the enemy gunner but was fired upon from a second position as another enemy soldier tried to seize the machine gun. Kenna remained standing and killed the man with his next round.
(theage.com.au)

Footage of Fraser Island`s World War II commando school discovered
Secret footage of Fraser Island`s WW2 commando school has turned up. The historical colour film, shot in 1944, includes footage of Australia`s Z Special Unit in training. The commandos are seen handling foldboats, demolitions, weapons, parachuting and exercising jungle craft. "I`ve been working on restoring this rare footage over 18 months. The Z Special Unit film is now complete and we`ve put it on to a DVD that runs for more than an hour," said Craig Brown, senior research analyst with the Australian Bunker and Military Museum. The museum`s director Daniel Hultgren said WW2 maps of the Fraser Commando School and training manuals had also been showed up.
(frasercoastchronicle.com.au)

The campaigns that helped ward off an invasion of Australia will be commemorated
The campaigns that ward off an invasion of Australia in World War II will be formally marked for the first time at inaugural Battle For Australia services around the country. The battle to keep the Japanese out of Australia began after Singapore fell on Feb. 15, 1942, and fears that Australia was Japan`s next target emerged. The day marks the first defeat of Japanese forces on land in the Battle of Milne Bay. Mainland Australia was bombed by the Japanese, with Darwin the worst hit in regular raids between Feb. 1942 and Nov. 1943, and Japanese midget submarines sneaked into Sydney Harbour.
(theage.com.au)

"No historian of standing believes the Japanese had a plan to invade Australia"
When it comes to history Peter Stanley, director of historical research at the National Museum in Canberra, does not care who he upsets. He is a fierce advocate of whatever the evidence indicates, regardless of who his arguments outrage. And now he is about to upset everybody who thinks that Japan planned to invaded Australia in 1942, with "Invading Australia: Japan and the Battle for Australia, 1942". His book does not put down the actions of the Australian infantry who stopped the Japanese army on the Kokoda Track - but: "No historian of standing believes the Japanese had a plan to invade Australia, there is not a skerrick of evidence."
(news.com.au)

Anzacs unimpressed by WWII leaders: Winston Churchill, Robert Menzies
Anzac veterans have solid reason to resent British PM Winston Churchill, but many Australians are just as unimpressed by their own World War II leader Robert Menzies, says Peter Ewer, author of "Forgotten Anzacs". Menzies put empire ahead of nation in committing 18,000 Australian troops to a campaign against Adolf Hitler`s German juggernaut in Greece in 1941. The doomed Anzac campaign had parallels with the 1915 Gallipoli campaign: Both were inspired by Churchill (in WWI Britain`s Navy Minister), both were poorly planned by British military leaders and both ended in defeat and evacuation.
(tvnz)

Kapooka tragedy: History `silent` on devastating Australian wartime accident
One of the Australia`s most devastating wartime accidents has been airbrushed from the pages of military history. The Kapooka tragedy left 26 young Diggers dead in a bunker in May 1945. The trainee army sappers perished when an explosives lesson went wrong. Only one soldier, Allan Bartlett, was found alive, embedded in the dirt wall of the destroyed bunker. The disaster was followed by the Australia`s largest military funeral as 7000 people turned out. But then it was left out from the Anzac story, with the tragedy excluded from official war histories, says historian Peter Rushbrook.
(theaustralian)

Restaurant honours genocidal WWII Croatian leader Ante Pavelic
Melbourne restaurant Katarina Zrinski has sparked outrage for paying homage to a fascist warlord. The place has been branded "disgusting" for its celebration of Croatian leader Ante Pavelic, responsible for the deaths of 500,000 persons. Pavelic has been depicted as the Croatian Heinrich Himmler. "This would be the equivalent to the German community honouring Himmler," said Bob Miller. The T-shirts for sale showed two commanders of the Ustashe`s notorious Black Legion. The restaurant commemorated Adolf Hitler`s establishment of the puppet state of Croatia on April 10, 1941.
(news.com.au)

World War II Anzacs often forgotten
WW2 veteran Frank Cox ran 6km as a German plane that had just dropped a bomb shadowed him as he sought escape. "He was firing at me, but he was not a good enough shot to get me." The chase ended when he fell in a ditch. Cox and Don Stephenson are among the 18,000 Australian and 18,000 New Zealand troops who form "the forgotten Anzacs". Anzac has come to refer the Gallipoli campaign in WWI, overshadowing the fact that a second Anzac Corps was formed to serve in Greece in WWII. The Anzac Corps in Greece faced an enemy of devastatingly greater numbers, were ill-equipped and suffered alarming casualties.
(theage)

Backyard Frontline: Australia Under Attack 1942/43 - Touring exhibition
The touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial is bringing back memories for older Lithgow residents and giving an insight into a past for those who have grown up post World War II. "Backyard Frontline; Australia Under Attack 1942/43" opened at the Eskbank House Museum, containing memorabilia from the days when Japanese invasion was looked imminent, including photos and newsreels. The exhibition has special meaning for Lithgow because of city`s contribution to the war effort. There is a section on the development of the Owen sub machine gun, built at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory.
(lithgow.yourguide)

National treasure: Collection of WWII-era botanical sketches made in Australia
As a German living in Britain at the start of the World War II, Hans Lindau was interned and sent to Australia. He spent WWII sketching wildlife on 2,500 sheets of toilet paper, making one of the country’s most important botanical records. Now the notes are set to go on show in Australia: after gathering dust in the Black Country for the last 25 years. The current owner of the collection, Maureen Miles, only recently found out their importance. The archive is made up of detailed notes of the botany of Australia, contained within a case, along with 11 notebooks and 25 Dunlop Prisoner of War envelopes.
(expressandstar)

Survivor calls for closure on hospital ship Centaur, torpedoed by a Japanese sub
Martin Pash tosses in bed and endures awful nightmares recalling the sinking of the Australian hospital ship Centaur, which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on May 14, 1943. Pash, steward on the Centaur when a torpedo slammed into the bow of the ship, told: "I see the flames again, and I see the ship going down." 268 people died, and only 64 survived. Pash is one of 3 survivors still alive. The wreck has never been found, but the discovery of HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran has incited calls for the federal Government to fund a search for Centaur. "The sooner that ship is found, the better."
(theaustralian)

Warship HMAS Sydney found - Australia`s maritime mystery solved
One wartime mystery has been solved with the discovery of the wreck of the battleship HMAS Sydney. The Sydney, a cruiser, was the biggest ship from any country to be sunk with all hands lost during World War Two. It was sunk by the German naval raider Kormoran, cloaked as a Dutch merchant ship, during a battle in Nov. 1941. The fate of HMAS Sydney, and why none of its crew survived, was "Australia`s major maritime mystery" said the chief of the Australian navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders. HMAS Sydney was last seen limping over the horizon, streaming black smoke, by the crew of the Kormoran.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Great uncle of Australian Senator Eric Abetz was high-ranking SS officer Otto Abetz
Eric Abetz, the opposition`s deputy leader in the Senate, has confirmed his great uncle was Otto Abetz, a high-ranking SS officer who sent tens of thousands to their deaths. He was Adolf Hitler`s ambassador to France 1940-1944. Otto Abetz was close to foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was convicted for war crimes, including the deportation of French Jews to death camps, and looted art worth millions of dollars. Senator Abetz, who came in Australia in 1961 from Germany, admitted that Otto was his relative, but refused to discuss his thoughts about his family`s history.
(thewest)

An annual day marking the fight to stop Australia being invaded during WWII
The Australian government will create an annual day marking the fight to stop Australia being invaded during World War II, Minister Alan Griffin said ahead of the anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. Labor promised to create Battle for Australia Day on the first Wednesday in September - the anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay, which "proved to be the first of many Japanese land defeats in the Pacific war". "It will not be a public holiday or an alternative to Anzac Day or Remembrance Day ... the opportunity to reflect on the momentous events that helped shape our nation and to remember those who lost their lives..."
(thewest)

A history of Australian radio station in Brisbane
With the start of World War II, censorship was enforced and most programs had to be submitted to censors 3 weeks before broadcast. For the first few months, even weather reports were not broadcast due to the censorship. At the end of June 1940, the Department of Information took over the 7.00pm national news. But after listeners showed their preference for independent news, control of the news was returned to the ABC in September 1940. Over the 12 months, 20% of the program time was filled with war related items. In March 1942 the ABC began broadcasting "The Jap As He Really Is" -series, which was discontinued after continued objections.
(abc.net.au)

Search for WWII Douglas C-47 wreckage carrying a payroll of $500,000
A plane that went missing in 1945 with 19 people on board might have been located in Papua New Guinea. Divers in Milne Bay have seen the remains of a twin-engined plane in the spot pinpointed by documents unveiled by an aviation historian. Now a diving boat skipper, who has discovered other plane wrecks in PNG waters, is planning an expedition. Historian Bob Piper said the RAAF Douglas C-47 took off on Sept. 11, 1945, with pilot Flight Lieutenant Eric Beer at the controls. On board was Noel Williams carrying a payroll of £2000: $500,000 in today`s money. "The pay was all in paper money and would have been completely destroyed by the water by now."
(smh)

Australia: Deadly chemicals hidden in war cache, tested on own soldiers
Over 60 years Geoff Burn and Arthur Lewis, former RAAF armourers, kept silent about the secret hidden in a obsolete railway tunnel at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Thousands of chemical weapons barrels were hived away around Australia during WWII. The men were part of a undercover unit formed to look after the mortal stockpile, kept for use against Japanese troops: a fact the Defence Department refused to admit until the 1980s. They also refused to reveal that the wartime command had done chemical warfare experiments on its own soldiers. Now the Defence Department will issue a book "Chemical Warfare In Australia" detailing the unit`s story.
(smh)

For sale: Nazi memorabilia, like Nazi flags, in rural Australia   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Jewish holidaymakers venturing out of Sydney were aghast to come upon overt Nazi memorabilia on sale at 3 different venues in rural New South Wales. Along with Marilyn Monroe and Harley Davidson memorabilia, the BP Legends Cafe presents swastikas, Nazi flags and other "hate items" (or German militaria for some), all forming part of what the cafe`s website calls "interesting" collectables and memorabilia. The owner told that the swastikas were "not in full view of the general public, but were in cabinets". He said that it is usually bikies who buy the swastikas, and he has been selling Nazi regalia for years and that he harbours no bias towards any group.
(ajn)

Historian Max Hastings: Australians too scared to fight the Japanese
Australian war veterans, "World War II diggers", are enraged by claims of an English historian Sir Max Hastings that they were too scared to fight the Japanese in 1945. He has blamed Australian soldiers for disobeying orders to attack in his book "Nemesis - The Battle For Japan 1944-1945", saying many soldiers were embittered and on the edge of open mutiny. Major General Bill Crews says Hastings has exaggerated frustrations in the Australian forces at the time, but confesses there were some dissatisfaction among Australian troops towards the end of WWII, as they took part in `less necessary` operations after years of service.
(telegraph.co.uk)

World War II Aussie war brides see citizenship delays
Hundreds of Australian war brides in the US hoping to apply on Sunday to reclaim their Australian citizenship were left disappointed - but only for a day. The forms appeared on the website around midday on Sunday (AEST) and because of the time difference, it was the evening in the US so many of the war brides were asleep or unaware. 15,000 war brides left Australia after WWII - losing their Australian citizenship. The Australian Citizenship Act 2007, allows the war brides and their children to apply to regain their Australian citizenship.
(theage)

Secret papers clear australian `Nazi spy` Johannes Becker
While Heini Becker knew his father was deported in 1947 because he was a Nazi, he had no idea how relentlessly authorities persecuted Dr Johannes Becker - "Australia`s No. 1 Nazi". Now "Hitler Club", a book detailing the victimisation of Dr Becker, will be published. Using classified government security files it details Dr Becker`s activities in the Barossa Valley, his internment for 7 years when WWII broke out in 1939, his "sham" deportation hearing in 1947 and his unsuccessful escape bid while waiting to be deported to Germany. "They called him a spy, but what did he ever do ... to warrant this? All he did was relay some harmless information..."
(adelaidenow)

WWII-era Nazi internment in Australia made perfect sense
Of all the people who might protest against wrongful internment, the last group that one would expect to complain are Australian Nazis. Perhaps that is why it is only now, 62 years after the Second World War, that the case is being made that Nazis were singled out and persecuted. For anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the history, the notion of Nazis being persecuted in Australia could be dismissed as farcical. Former South Australian Liberal MP Heini Becker expressed the hope that a new book, The Hitler Club, might restore the reputation of his father Johannes Becker, who led the National Socialist German Workers Party in Australia in the 1930s.
(theaustralian)

Two battlegrounds and a railway mark darkest hours of Australia
Touring battlefields and war memorials can provide a poignant historical insight, a fascinating pilgrimage for military enthusiasts and an emotional journey for those with a connection to the sites. Many tour operators specialise in itineraries that coincide with Anzac Day, as well as running tours throughout the year. Kokoda Trail, PNG: This 96km route through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea is the site of one of the most significant battles in Australian military history. From July 1942 to Jan 1943, troops battled the Japanese forces, who regarded PNG as a strategic base for invading Australia.
(smh)

Australian comfort woman seeks apology
An Australian woman forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War 2 will appear before a US Congressional hearing seeking an apology for her treatment. Jan Ruff O`Herne was 19 when she was seized from a PoW camp and forced into a brothel to become one of hundreds of thousands of "comfort women". She was "violated day and night" by Japanese soldiers for 3 months during the war. "We were just military sex slaves. They called us comfort women but it was just a horrific experience. An apology will give us back our dignity. You can`t imagine the shame that we have lived with."
(smh)

An exhibition records the words of World War II correspondents
When Kenneth Slessor was appointed Australia`s official war correspondent in April 1940, he received a letter from the Department of Information: "Please note that we now lay claim to the typewriter which you use to be handed to the Commonwealth at the end of the war to be placed in the national collection of war relics and records. We have the one which Dr Charles Bean used in the 1914-1918 war, so yours will be in good company." Garrie Hutchinson, who has published an anthology of Australian war correspondence "Eyewitness", conceived the exhibition as a tribute to the generation of Australian journalists who covered World War II.
(theage)

Who was the first Australian to shoot down a Japanese aircraft   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The death of a WWII wing commander has sparked debate over who was the first Australian to shoot down a Japanese aircraft over mainland Australia. Peter Kirk has evidence to show Wilbert "Darkie" Hudson was the first one decorated for bravery on home soil during the bombing of Darwin. He produced an RSL journal, which said "Darkie" used a Lewis machinegun to shoot down Japanese bombers on Feb 19, 1942. -- It was thought Wing Commander Dick Cresswell was the first to shoot down a Japanese aircraft from the air. In 1942, He intercepted 3 Japanese bombers and shot one down at Koolpinyah Station.
(ntnews)

The latest bunker theory: An underground riflemen hideout   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An underground hideout used by riflemen during World War II is the latest theory to emerge about the Torquay bunker. Historian Jim Ferguson said the Coast was dotted with bunkers believed to have been used by Australian soldiers protecting the coastline in the 1940s. He said a letter from a gun sergeant Syd Bent of the 10th Australian Field Regiment stationed at the Coast supported his theory. Mr Ferguson showed us the only concrete bunker still intact. The bunker is nestled into the side of sand dunes and is about 1.5m in height.
(geelonginfo)

Film: Suffering of Nazi outcasts Britain sent to Outback exile
The horror experienced by anti-Nazi outcasts shipped to the Australian Outback by the British Government, has been documented in a new film that shows the darker side of Britain`s fight against Nazi Germany. The men, scientists, academics and artists who had fled to Britain at the outbreak of the war, were considered a security threat after the fall of France. On the orders of Churchill, they were dispatched on the Hired Military Transport (HMT) ship Dunera in July 1940 - a 57-day journey in appalling conditions. Their arrival was seen as the greatest injection of talent to enter Australia on a single vessel.
(telegraph)

Brisbane was a Japanese spy centre during World War II   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In "Saving Australia, Curtin`s Secret Peace with Japan", author Bob Wurth says bureaucratic incompetence allowed Japanese spies to operate under the noses of officials in Brisbane. Wurth`s journey to the near-derelict home of the early war-time Japanese Ambassador to Australia, Tatsuo Kawai, unearthed new material about spying in Australia. Interviews with Taijiro Ichikawa, who was secretary to Japan`s wartime PM, also revealed a Brisbane-based collaborator was used to transmit intelligence to Japanese. Wurth names the collaborator as oil technologist Harry William Woodfield.
(thesundaymail)

Milne Bay Battle helped turn tide of Pacific War
The victory at Milne Bay was a critical turning point for the Allied forces in the Pacific War during WWII, when a garrison of predominantly Australian Infantry and Royal Australian Air Force Fighter Squadrons successfully halted and turned back a Japanese invasion force of approximately 1,900 men. The first Australian soldiers arrived at Milne Bay towards the end of June 1942. Their task was to defend a new airfield being constructed by a company of American engineers.
(redland)

Mystery surrounds crashed WWII bomber   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It`s one of the largest aircraft to crash in Australia and up to 10 lives could have been lost when it hit the waters off Cape York during World War II. But no one knows the identity or country of origin of the massive bomber, discovered in 6m of water off the northern tip of Australia. "It would be easily the biggest aircraft, or as big as the biggest aircraft, ever to have crashed in Australia."
(thecouriermail)

US troops accused of murder - Not all Japanese cruel and robotic   (Article no longer available from the original source)
American and Australian soldiers massacred Japanese POWs, according to one of the most detailed studies of memoirs of the WW2 in the Pacific. It also discloses that the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army were far from the cruel, mindless troops of popular legend. Prof Richard Aldrich said "We have this stereotypical idea that the Japanese were all cruel and robotic while the Allied forces were tough but fair." American generals worried about the abuse of human remains by their troops. Skulls of dead Japanese soldiers were often displayed as gruesome mascots by some units, while US marines made a speciality of collecting ears.
(telegraph)

Adolf Hitler`s secretary Traudl Junge lived in Australia   (Article no longer available from the original source)
ADOLF Hitler`s devoted secretary, who spent the final days of the Third Reich huddled with the Fuhrer in his Berlin bunker, quietly lived in Australia for several years in the 1970s and 80s after she was earlier refused permanent residency for being a Nazi sympathiser. Traudl Junge - the central character of the recent controversial movie Downfall - tried to beat the onset of depression years after World War II by starting a new life in Australia, family members and friends in Sydney and Melbourne have revealed for the first time.
(The Advertiser)


See also:
Battlefield tours
Upsetting SS Uniforms
WW2 films
Kokoda Trail.