Darwin Spitfires

The Real Battle for Australia

Anthony Cooper

 
Date Published :
January 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
Illustrated throughout - mono photographs, tables, line drawings
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781783461882
Pages : 528
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$50.00

Overview
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The Japanese air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942 are well-known to most Australians, although not perhaps to the rest of the world. What happened afterwards, however, remains unknown to many. This publication attempts to illuminate this little-known period of war history, charting the exploits, losses and successes of the RAF’s No 1 Fighter Wing and the contribution they made to the allied war effort. The stalwart Spitfire is celebrated in a narrative that is sure to appeal widely.

For almost two years the airspace over North West Australia was routinely penetrated by Japanese raids, tallying about 70 in total. The 1942-43 air raids on Darwin constituted the only sustained and intensive direct assault on Australian mainland territory in the whole of World War II - and the whole history of post-1788 Australia - yet, surprisingly, most Australians have no idea that it ever happened. And the rest of the world is yet more so in the dark.

Telling the story of the RAF’S No 1 Fighter Wing, composed of both Australian and British Spitfire pilots, Darwin Spitfires explores the little-known 1943 season of air combat over the top end, recovering important aspects of Australian history. It brings to the attention of the world the heroic exploits of the skilled pilots who did so much to protect Australia and support the Allied effort. This important publication attempts to celebrate and commemorate the spirit of solidarity that characterized the experiences of No 1 Fighter Wing.

About The Author
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Anthony Clayton was a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from 1965 to 1993 and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Surrey from 1994 to 2008. He was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of St. Andrews. He served in the colonial Government of Kenya until 1963 and in the Territorial Army in the infantry and later in the Intelligence Corps, finishing as a lieutenant-colonel. He has published works on British and French military history, among them "The British Empire as a Superpower 1919-1939" and "The British Officer from 1660 to the Present"; "France, Soldiers and Africa: The Wars of French Decolonisation"; "Paths to Glory: The French Army 1914-1918" and "Three Marshals of France". For his work on the French military he was made a Chevalier in the Odre des Palmes Académiques. He was also awarded the Medal of Honour of the Gesellschaft zur Forderung des Wiedevaufbaus der Frauenkirche Dresden for his work for the Dresden Trust. His other works include chapters in the Oxford History of the British Empire and the Cambridge History of War, 'Warfare in Woods and Forests'. Anthony Clayton is a widower visited frequently by his son, daughter and grandchildren. He lives with a cavalier King Charles spaniel in Farnham, Surrey.

REVIEWS
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"This is one of the most detailed combat histories I've read, combined with an excellent analysis of the reasons behind the successes and failures of the defenders. The result is a valuable study of the only sustained attack on the Australian mainland during the entire Second World War."

- HistoryOfWar.org

"For the fan who loves details this is a great book. With 516 pages you really get worth your money. The book gives a very realistic view on the down side of air war in general and specifically of those 2 years in Australia"

- Aviation Reviews

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