China

Z Special Unit Part 2 – Operation Rimau: the tragic sequel to Jaywick

While Operation Jaywick in its simplicity was a resounding success; Operation Rimau in its sophistication was an abysmal failure.

Brian Smith

Introduction

In just a few months, the Japanese managed to dismantle an empire in South East Asia the Europeans took centuries to build. The attack on Pearl Harbour in early December 1941 was preceded by the Japanese invasion of the Malay Peninsula, an hour before.… Read more

Training for bombing raids that never came

In September 1939, at the start of World War II, Japan was embroiled in its invasion of China, and Australia committed its troops overseas to help Britain. By early 1941, Australia had sent three infantry divisions and substantial air and naval resources to the Mediterranean and European theatres. Thus, in December 1941, when Japan entered the war against the Allies, much of Australia’s armed forces were heavily involved in campaigns far from home.… Read more

A town that lived off the rabbit’s back

There was not much money anywhere and if you saw a rabbit, that was money. If you could get him, it was a bit of silver in your pocket”. Max Weber

The rabbit comes to Australia

Queensland, like other states, has suffered damage from several introduced pests, particularly prickly pear and the cane toad.… Read more

Wooden gold

Introduction 

Sandalwood is a highly aromatic timber that has been harvested in Asia over centuries for many uses. The main one has been burning powder from the tree in joss sticks as incense and forms a significant part of religious ceremonies. In Australia, Aborigines had many cultural uses for sandalwood. Some species can be carved into delicate products such as inlaid boxes, ornaments and incense holders.… Read more

The atomic age arrives in a cloud of dust at a sleepy coastal town

That lethal cloud rising above Montebello marks the achievement in science and industry in the development of atomic power. [For] good or evil, for peace or war, for progress or destruction. The answer doesn’t lie with Britain alone, but we may have a greater voice in this great decision if we have the strength to defend ourselves and to deter aggression.Read more

Some more war stories – when war came to Australia

During our travels to the Top End and following on from my earlier blog, ‘Some War Stories’, I have learned more about northern Australia’s involvement during WWII, particularly the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Growing up in Sydney, I learnt about the Japanese submarine raids in the harbour. Still, I never heard anything about the broader invasion threats to Australia during the war.… Read more