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Thread: 19 February 1942

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  1. #1
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    19 February 1942

    Darwin, 1942: Remembering Australia's 'Pearl Harbor'
    By Duncan Kennedy
    BBC News, Darwin

    Duncan Kennedy meets survivors of the attack on Darwin

    It's 70 years since Japanese bombers swooped on Darwin, in northern Australia, sinking Allied ships in the harbour and killing hundreds of people. For years the attack was rarely mentioned, but now the story is finally being told.

    If 7 December 1941 is "a date that will live in infamy" for the United States, then 19 February 1942 is surely one that will join it in the annals of shame for Australia.

    That was the day, just 10 weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the same carrier-based Japanese force turned its attention to the small northern town of Darwin, with equally calamitous results.

    But the world remembers one and barely recalls the other.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17073472

  2. #2
    6 months of heartbreak Bob Borkowski's Avatar
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    Re: 19 February 1942

    I had never heard of this.

  3. #3
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: 19 February 1942

    Ditto.

    I have to admit that I am no WWII history buff, but I still feel like I should have at least retained some passing reference to this event.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: 19 February 1942

    I'm embarrassed that I didn't know of this.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  5. #5
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: 19 February 1942

    Not to downplay this attack, but it is very pale in comparison to Pearl Harbor. And very pale in comparison to many other WWII battles/attacks. Therefore, no one should feel bad for not knowing. It is great that the Aussies are recognizing this event. But lets not compare it to Pearl Harbor (article states: But the world remembers one and barely recalls the other).

    Pearl Harbor
    Attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of the eight damaged, six were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. AND OF COURSE THE START OF THE PACIFIC WAR for the Allies.

    Darwin
    Attacked by 188 Japanese aircraft. Eight ships had been sunk - including the American destroyer, the USS Peary - 22 aircraft destroyed, dozens of buildings crushed and more than 240 people killed.
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  6. #6
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: 19 February 1942

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Not to downplay this attack, but it is very pale in comparison to Pearl Harbor. And very pale in comparison to many other WWII battles/attacks. Therefore, no one should feel bad for not knowing. It is great that the Aussies are recognizing this event. But lets not compare it to Pearl Harbor (article states: But the world remembers one and barely recalls the other).

    Pearl Harbor
    Attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of the eight damaged, six were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. AND OF COURSE THE START OF THE PACIFIC WAR for the Allies.

    Darwin
    Attacked by 188 Japanese aircraft. Eight ships had been sunk - including the American destroyer, the USS Peary - 22 aircraft destroyed, dozens of buildings crushed and more than 240 people killed.
    Nice historical perspective. I had never heard of this attack either but I'm not a big WW II buff. I know the Japanese attacked all sorts of countries in the Pacific at that time including China, Guam, Phillipines etc.

    After Pearl Harbor none of these attacks could be considered a surprise

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    Re: 19 February 1942

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    Nice historical perspective. I had never heard of this attack either but I'm not a big WW II buff. I know the Japanese attacked all sorts of countries in the Pacific at that time including China, Guam, Phillipines etc.

    After Pearl Harbor none of these attacks could be considered a surprise
    China had fallen well before the attack on Pearl Harbour. In fact the Japanese were already at the Malayan Peninsula by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour. I think one thing that is overlooked about Darwin and a lot of the other losses in the South Pacific is that many of these places were not major military basis, unlike Pearl Harbour, and were often defended by troop numbers far less than those at Pearl Harbour. An attack on Darwin would be like an attack on Midway in that sense.


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