Investigative Inquiry: What Was Australia’s Response to the Bombing of Darwin? What Have Been Some of its Longer Term Effects? The Counter-Offensive



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Investigative Inquiry: What Was Australia’s Response to the Bombing of Darwin? What Have Been Some of its Longer Term Effects?

The Counter-Offensive

More than 250 people died on 19 February 1942.  Ten vessels were sunk and a range of key infrastructure, including the aerodromes, the wharf and the post and telegraph services, were either destroyed or badly damaged.


The Japanese raids continued across the Top End of the Northern Territory for a further 20 months.  There was further infrastructure damage and loss of life during those months, but it was nothing like that of 19 February 1942.
Air operations, defensive and offensive, dominated military activities in the Northern Territory from 1942 to 1945, and much of the infrastructure built during this time was to support those operations.
Much of the Territory was under military control for the duration of the war and beyond.  It was not until late February 1946 that civilians were allowed to return to Darwin and attempt to re-build lives interrupted by war.  Many who had evacuated years before chose not to return.
Bruce Acland - "I was getting a little bit of what they called 'bomb happiness'.  They've got all sorts of fancy psychological names for it now, but it just means you've had enough, and it's time for you to be pulled out".

Investigative Options

Using a range of resources students could research the following:



War and the media

  • What stories were told about the bombing of Darwin?

    • What do newsreels and newspapers from the time tell you?

    • How would this story be told in the 21st Century? By what mediums?


  • Some of the news reports provide minimal information and the full story was not known across Australia for some time. Think about how news of world events is spread globally in the 21st Century and prepare a report outlining the effectiveness of modern day communication while examining the consequences of the media rich culture in which we live.


Research this topic during a visit to the Defence of Darwin Experience, other Museums and libraries. Access archived news reports on the bombing of Darwin from the National Library of Australia:

    • http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?q=bombing+of+darwin+1942

For an overview of newsreels/newspapers and other media reporting the event visit the Northern Territory Government website at:

    • http://www.ntlexhibit.nt.gov.au/exhibits/show/bod/roh/newsreels

People in war

Who could join Australia’s armed forces during World War II?

  • What can you learn about the composition of the armed forces by looking around the Defence of Darwin Experience? Who were the soldiers, sailors and air force personnel?


  • The Journal of the Australian War Memorial, Issue 29(1996) provides interesting information on the composition of the Australian armed forces during World War II:

    • http://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j29/


  • The Australian War Memorial website provides information and interesting pictures on the Second World War the photos provide information about the composition of the armed forces. What type of person was the average soldier, sailor or air force personnel?

    • http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/ww2.asp

People in war

To what extent did culture and/or gender influence an individual’s capacity to join Australia’s armed services during World War II?

  • What role did women play in the defence of Darwin and how would that be different now?

  • How significant was their contribution to the defence of Darwin?

  • What do the photos of women in the Defence of Darwin Experience tell us about the role of women in World War II?

  • How did the war change employment options for women?
    To what extent did these changes determine/influence options for women?

  • To what extent does culture or gender influence an individual’s capacity to join the armed services today? Why is it different now?

Resources

  • The Australian Government provides oversight into the role of women in wartime at:

    • http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/women-in-wartime

    • http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/women-in-action



  • Refer to the Australian War Memorial Encyclopaedia for information on the Australian Women’s Land Army during World War II:

    • http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/homefront/land_army.asp


  • And some useful resources and activities from the Department of Veterans Affairs series:

    • http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/education/Documents/DVA_Women_in_War_part3.pdf

    • http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/education/Documents/workingtheweb_5.pdf



  • From the World War II Australia site, there is information about women in the Airforce, Navy and Army services:

    • http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/allin/leavinghome.html

  • And about Indigenous people serving in the war:

    • http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/allin/indigenous.html



  • The Australian War Memorial Encyclopaedia provides information on the role of Indigenous Australians in World War II, including reasons for restrictions in enlistment:

    • https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/aborigines/indigenous/


  • A range of resources related to participation in war of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can be accessed from the Critical Classroom:

    • http://thecriticalclassroom.blogspot.com.au/search/label/KLA%20-%20History


  • You might also want to take a look at some of the online video resources located in the ‘Online Video Resources’ file on this website.

Nackaroos” and the “Black Watch”

Who were the “Nackaroos” and what did they do?

The North Australia Observation Unit (NAOU), nicknamed the “Nackeroos” or “Curtin’s Cowboys”, was created in mid-March 1942. The unit’s commander, Major William Stanner, had been an anthropologist before the war and knew the North well. The unit had the task of patrolling northern Australia to look for signs of enemy activity.




  • When you visit the Defence of Darwin Experience look for clues about the “Nackeroos” and the role of Indigenous Australians in that unit.



  • Some resources that might be helpful include:

    • http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/underattack/mobilise/nackeroos.asp

    • http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?q=subject%3A%22North+Australian+Observer+Unit%22

    • https://sites.google.com/site/ntpmhsociety/our-rich-history/timeline-and-events/world-war-ii/naou---nackeroos

    • http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/04/21/226241_ntnews.html

    • http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-against-japan/17726-2-1-north-australia-observer-unit.html

    • http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s22958.htm

    • http://www.ozatwar.com/ausarmy/naou.htmhttp://www.litchfield.nt.gov.au/index.php?page=nackeroos-headquarters

    • http://www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews/editions/1148/features/feature01.htm

    • http://www.dcm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/53561/260711_Centenary_Nackeroos.pdf

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2/1st_North_Australia_Observer_Unit

    • http://www.lighthorse.org.au/resources/military-stories-misc/2-1st-north-australia-observer-unit

    • http://www.limina.arts.uwa.edu.au/__data/page/59120/Riseman.pdf

    • http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2006/s1695888.htm (this includes a downloadable audio)

    • http://www.defence2020.info/interactives/norforce/index.html


  • There is also a YouTube video showing the opening of the Norforce and Nackaroo exhibition at the Darwin Military Museum:

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZLiiysId4


  • And a range of images related to Nackaroos at:

    • http://www.google.com.au/search?q=Nackeroos&start=10&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=74DyT9GRE-6TiAfPjoG8Aw&ved=0CFUQsAQ4Cg&biw=1280&bih=864

Who were the Black Watch and what did they do?

    • http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb271/is_4_44/ai_n29055877/

    • http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/04/17/45735_ntnews.html



  • Discuss the similarities and differences of the Nackaroos and the Black Watch.



  • How significant were the contributions of the Nackaroos and Black Watch to the defence of Darwin?

What role did the Governments of Australia, Britain and America play in the Defence of Darwin during 1942-45?

Students could research the roles of these Governments and consider a range of questions including:



  • Does examination of records today give a different insight into decisions they made during those years?

  • Investigate the impact that the Japanese raids, which continued across the Top End of Australia for a further 20 months had on the: a) population, b) activity, and c) infrastructure of Darwin.

  • Investigate the impact that the Counter-Offensive, which continued across the Top End of Australia from 1942-1945, had on: a) population, b) activity and c) infrastructure of Darwin.

Resources for the investigation include:

Australian War Memorial



  • http://www.awm.gov.au

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/ww2.asp

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/air_raids/darwin/

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/volume.asp?levelID=67911

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-preface.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/events/conference/2002/stanley_paper.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol4/awmohww2-civil-vol4-ch1.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch2.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch3.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch4.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch5.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch6.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch7.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch8.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch9.pdf

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awmohww2/civil/vol2/awmohww2-civil-vol2-ch10.pdf

National Archives of Australia





  • http://www.naa.gov.au/

  • The bombing of Darwin – Fact Sheet 195 - (also links to additional resources) http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs195.aspx

Northern Territory World War II Exhibition NTG Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport




  • http://www.nretas.nt.gov.au/knowledge-and-history/northern-territory-library/online_resources/australias_northern_territory_wwii

And Northern Territory Library Roll of Honour




  • http://www.ntlexhibit.nt.gov.au/exhibits/show/bod/roh/bibliography

Any number of Wikipedia pages including:




  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_home_front_during_World_War_II

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._1_Wing_RAAF

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Australia_during_World_War_II

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_West_Pacific_Area_(command)

General MacArthur and the subversion of Australia during the Pacific Campaign 1942-1945 – Jude Nicholas van Konkelenberg, Honours Thesis




  • http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/theses/09AR/09arv258.pdf

2006 National Prize Winner in the JCPML Special Category – Essay – Australian Looks to America – Jacinta Livingstone, Brisbane Girls Grammar School




  • http://john.curtin.edu.au/education/nhchallenge2006.html

Student activities and resources related to Americans in Australia





  • http://www.anzacday.org.au/education/activities/over_here/images/overpaid.pd

And resources related to all aspects of all wars




  • http://www.warandidentity.com.au/

Australia and the United States – a website by Roger Bell



  • http://australiaushistory.com/

  • http://australiaushistory.com/index.php?p=1_2_Publications

Australian Bureau of Statistics




  • http://www.abs.gov.au/


Defending the Top End in the 21st Century

Students could research the differences in defence capabilities between 1942 and today and consider a range of questions including:



  • What is Australia’s defence capability in the Top End of Australia now?

  • Following World War II, what role has Defence played in the growth and development of Darwin as a major Australian city?

  • What are the forces in Northern Australia defending today?

Resources for investigation:

Australian Government Department of Defence – Our People in the Northern Territory



  • http://www.defence.gov.au/our_people/nt/

Royal Australian Airforce – RAAF Bases in the Northern Territory – Darwin and Tindal



  • http://www.airforce.gov.au/Bases/Northern_Territory/?RAAF-2f48KGtsAz+EFDkx/k9PBIz5DKh3GiV8

Royal Australian Navy – Darwin



  • http://www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_Coonawarra

Australian Army – Darwin



  • http://www.army.gov.au/Who-we-are/Divisions-and-Brigades/Forces-Command/1st-Brigade

Norforce


  • http://www.army.gov.au/Who-we-are/Divisions-and-Brigades/Forces-Command/6th-Brigade/North-West-Mobile-Force

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NORFORCE

  • http://www.defence2020.info/interactives/norforce/index.html

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/blog/2012/05/10/official-war-artist-to-join-norforce/

  • http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-29/art-captures-norforce-soldiers/4101674

  • http://www.abc.net.au/tv/messagestick/stories/s1222121.htm

  • http://aso.gov.au/titles/home-movies/norforce-army-days/

Territory Defence Support



  • http://www.theterritory.com.au/index.php?menuID=167



Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia

Students could research Northern Australia’s engagement with Asia post World War II and consider a range of questions including:



  • How would you describe Northern Australia’s engagement with Asia in the years since World War II?

  • Describe Australia’s current engagement strategies with Asia

  • How would you describe the relationship between Australia and Japan now?

Resources for investigation:

Australian War Memorial – Australia – Japan Research project



  • http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/

Allies, Enemies and Trading Partners: Records on Australia and the Japanese – Pam Oliver

http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/publications/research_guides/pdf/trading_partners.pdf
Department of Veterans Affairs Investigation 7 – When Cold Wars Become Hot: Australia in Asia after 1945


  • http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/education/Documents/workingtheweb_7.pdf

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Information on Japan and Australian connections and publications generally



  • http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/japan/index.html

  • http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/publications.html

Australian Government Media Release



  • http://www.trademinister.gov.au/releases/2012/ce_mr_120530.html



Australia and Asia: The Years of Living Aimlessly, a paper by Mark Beeson

  • http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/eserv.php?pid=UQ:10902&dsID=mb-aa-03.pdf



Wikipedia Australia-Japan Relations

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%E2%80%93Japan_relations

Australia’s Relations with Asia

  • http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/245866/Doug-Smith-Asia-Australian-Relationships-Readings.pdf

Aussie Education: Asian Studies

  • http://www.aussieeducator.org.au/tertiary/subjects/asian.html

Darwin Now and Then

Students could research changes in Darwin’s population and consider a range of questions including:



  • Who was living in Darwin at the last ABS census? How does the population of Darwin in the 21st Century compare to the population pre-World War II?

  • Students can compare and contrast Darwin’s population and lifestyle in 1942 with 2006/2011 using ABS Census data as well as drawing on the wealth of information available in the Defence of Darwin Experience, other museums and the internet.

To investigate population numbers and gain further insight into the demography of the Northern Territory in 1942, students can access the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the following publications:


  • Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics – Demography 1942 http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/free.nsf/0/2616F974E1F8CD99CA257650001C5F13/$File/31410_No60_1942.pdf


  • Year Book Australia, 1942-43 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/1301.01942-43

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2006 Census QuickStats provide information on population numbers and characteristics:



  • http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/ProductSelect?action=104&newproducttype=QuickStats

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011 Census information is still being progressively released. Preliminary results were released in June 2012:




  • http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3101.0Main%20Features1Dec%202011?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3101.0&issue=Dec%202011&num=&view=




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