The Empire Strikes South

Japan’s Air War Against Northern Australia 1942-45 (Second Edition)

Tom Lewis

Between 1942 and 1945 the Japanese waged a relentless air war against the vast expanses of Northern Australia. Using newly translated Japanese sources the The Empire Strikes South chronicles every Japanese air mission over Northern Australia and lists 187 Japanese airmen who lost their lives.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Avonmore Books
Illustration :
fully illustrated in color
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9780648665939
Pages : 184
Dimensions : 9.84 X 6.93 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$39.95

Overview
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Very few Australians today know of the fierce air battles fought across the Top End of Australia in World War II. For more than two years Japanese aircraft crossed the coast and bombed relentlessly. Savage dogfights were fought between the legendary Zero fighter and Allied Kittyhawks and Spitfires. Big twin-engine Betty bombers rained down blast and fire upon airfields and towns, even penetrating as far inland as Katherine, some 300 kilometers from the coast. Nearly 200 Japanese aircrew died in the onslaught. This book lists all of their names and describes all of the combat missions – and reveals for the first time that the number of combat flights, aircraft shot down, and aircrew who died is far higher than previously thought. Scores of aircraft were downed in combat operations ranging from Exmouth to Townsville, with the majority of action taking place in the Northern Territory. This new extensive research shows the number of air raids was higher than the previously suggested figure of 64, with 77 raids on the Territory alone, while 207 enemy combat flights were carried out across Northern Australia. 187 Japanese airmen died when their aircraft were brought down. In many cases their bodies lie in remote sites across the vast bush and coastal waters of the north. Many of the wrecks have never been found. The Empire Strikes South describes all of the aircraft used, and gives an insight into the world of fighter pilots and aircrew. With a full range of new color graphics by renowned illustrator Michael Claringbould, this significant new research reveals a battle for Australia that has been previously unknown.

About The Author
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Dr. Tom Lewis served for 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, during which time he saw active service in Baghdad, where he led American forces, and East Timor. As a museum director he led two museums to new success; the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection at HMAS Creswell – for which services he received an Order of Australia; and the Darwin Military Museum, where he was Director for five years. He holds a master’s degree in Cold War Politics from University of Queensland and a Ph.d.in Strategic Studies from Charles Darwin University.

Tom was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2003 for services to naval history. Further decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the United States Army Commendation Medal.

Tom is in popular demand from radio and television stations across the globe for his insightful comments on military history and how it intersects with modern-day life. He is a regular speaker to community groups, and appears often in TV documentaries, including lately with Neil Oliver in Coasts, and in Sir Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty. He produced with Military Myths Defeated the documentary of The Borella Ride, the Anzac Centenary commemoration of Lieutenant Albert Borella VC, who rode 1000 kilometres in the Northern Territory Wet Season to sign up for the Great War. Tom was the Lead Historian for the Ride. Albert Borella VC, an Incredible Journey screened nationally in Australia on Channel 9. He was also Historian for the 2017 Northern Territory Government project The Territory Remembers, the commemoration of 75 years since the first enemy attacks on Australia. He lives in Darwin, Australia with his wife.

REVIEWS
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"Air war gamers will be ecstatic at the number of scenarios that can be generated from these pages."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

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