Royal Navy

Z Special Unit Part 3 – the fate of the Jaywick and Rimau men

What happened to Bill Reynolds? In Part 1, I provided details about Bill Reynolds’ heroic work rescuing civilians affected by the fall of Singapore aboard the Kofuku Maru, which was renamed as the Krait and played a pivotal role in the success of Operation Jaywick. While Reynolds wasn’t part of Jaywick, he delivered the Krait …

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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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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 …

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