Philippines

The Waler – a remarkable horse and an Aussie legend

“By members of the Desert Mounted Corps and friends, to the gallant horses who carried them over the Sinai Desert into Palestine, 1915-19. They suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and weariness almost beyond endurance, but they never failed. They did not come home”.  Inscription on a monument erected by returned soldiers in Sydney As we stop tomorrow …

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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 …

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The cable cutters

“I’ll put a girdle ‘round the earth in forty minutes” William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream While travelling around the country, I came across yet another little-known wartime story which again highlights the heroics of Australians. This time it involves midget submarines and divers cutting underwater telegraph cables to thwart the Japanese communication efforts towards the …

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Even more war stories – how Australia came under attack from air raids during WWII

My previous war story blog provided details of the bombing of Darwin and the subsequent battles against the Japanese in the Coral Sea and Papua New Guinea. After the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942, the Japanese carried out further air-borne attacks across northern Australia. In total, between March 1942 and November 1943, the Japanese flew …

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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 …

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