Why Was Darwin A Turning Point In Australia's Attitude To World War?

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The Bombing Of Darwin

“In what ways was the Bombing of Darwin a turning point in Australia’s attitude to World War II.”

It was 0958 on the 18th of February, 1942 when the first bomb fell above the unexpecting Australian town of Darwin. The raid, which is estimated to have killed up to 300 people, was the largest to occur on Australian soil. The attack was the first of a series of raids on the North of Australia which continued for more than a year. Historians have cited the Bombing of Darwin as the event which “taught Australians to fear.”(Ross Fitzgerald, 2014), changing the mindsets of Australians around the country. In a political sense, it was this event which caused Australia to withdraw from the war in Europe, and to further partner …show more content…

Australia’s newly formed alliance with America continued to grow into a strong military alliance due to the collaboration in Darwin. Prime Minister at the time, John Curtain at the time stated “Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.” , reflecting the new links to America. Curtin set out to ensure Australia wasn’t “bullied” or taken advantage of by the global powers, he wanted Australia to be taken seriously as an alliance. He knew that in order to gain this power, he needed to strengthen Australia’s bond with the US. Curtin knew that Australia’s position as a base in the Southwest Pacific meant that the US needed our alliance as well. America’s involvement in the bombing was a crucial moment in military history. It was the American Kittyhawk planes which were used to combat the Japanese air force, and the assistance given helped to prove America’s worth and reliability to the people of …show more content…

In Peter Stanley’s book Invading Australia, he states that “Almost every Australian who was alive in 1942…carries memories, dreams or perhaps nightmares of what happened or what might have happened” .The attacks on Darwin created an awareness of the nation’s defence and vulnerability which was did not previously exist. Prior to this event, ‘‘most Australians considered war to be something which happened far away.’’ (Fitzgerald, 2014). Many Australians believed that more emphasis should be put on protecting our own land, rather than the war in Europe. The attacks brought the war home to many Australians, causing a larger war effort to be made in the following months and years.The partnership between America and Australia continues to define Australia’s foreign policy. Curtin’s bold message to Churchill was seen as a break from British Australia, today, Australia follows America much more closely and no longer looks to England for

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