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"Japanese invasion of Australia in WWII" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse06 Feb 2019 3:22 p.m. PST

Interesting thread…

"…An invasion and occupation of Darwin and its surrounds down as far as Katherine was proposed by General Yamashita shortly before the fall of Singapore and would have followed up on the bombing of Darwin on February 19, 1942. The troops were available in the region, most notably being those used instead to secure Timor and there were no Australian forces available for its defence.

Yamashita argued that Darwin could be considered as part of the East Indies Archipelago and necessary to secure Japan's new south-east Asian acquisitions from air and sea attack. He was correct in this; the Australian, British and US high commands had all separately drawn the same conclusions. Darwin was counted as part of the Malay Barrier for strategic purposes, not as part of the main Australian command. Darwin at the time was not linked to the rest of Australia by land route and much of the Top End was impassable for half the year.

Furthermore, Japanese long range bombers based in Darwin could have hit targets in Queensland and Western Australia at a time when there were no front-line fighter aircraft in Australia and only 17 anti-aircraft gun installations in the entire country…."
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Lee49406 Feb 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

History has proven that the Japs didn't have the logistics to support it. Whatever forces they put there would have been starved to death like those on Guadalcanal. Torch most likely would have occurred to kick out the Japs from Australia rather than the Germans from North Africa. Cheers!

nsolomon9906 Feb 2019 4:42 p.m. PST

My father fought with the 7 Division AIF in the Middle east then New Guinea and they captured crates of Japanese printed money with Kangaroos on the notes.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 6:34 p.m. PST

I agree that while the Japanese could certainly have landed troops in northern Australia, that would most certainly have put them on the very, very bad end of a very, very fragile logistical chain – not likely to be a threat to NSW

bsrlee07 Feb 2019 4:08 a.m. PST

I have some Japapese 'Invasion Money' inherited from my father who picked it up in New Guinea. One thing that really P$$$ed off the natives in New Guinea was the Japanese trying to pay them with paper money rather than silver shilling which would not rot away in a few months.

As Lee494 says, complete lack of logistics, particularly cargo shipping, would have doomed any landing force, at that time there was no food production in northern Australia, some cattle were exported but they were driven up from central Australia, not local. All the food for the (largely Anglo or Chinese) local population was imported from the south by ship. For once the Japanese Command made the right decision and refused to consider it.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 7:04 a.m. PST

We sort of covered this, albeit in 1943, in this thread:
TMP link

Many of the points mentioned there still valid for 1942.

Murvihill07 Feb 2019 9:14 a.m. PST

How much of a guerilla war could the Western Australians put on?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse07 Feb 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

Good question….


sillypoint07 Feb 2019 2:27 p.m. PST

Japanese troops at Milne Bay suffered from supply shortages, soldiers that sighted Port Morseby were starving. Troops landed onto Australia would not be able to be adequately supplied and would, what the REMF have thought was the appropriate response to impossible situations, have had to performed the suicide charge. 😬

Legion 407 Feb 2019 4:20 p.m. PST

Logistics was not one of the IJFs' strongpoints … As they seemed more than willing to let their troops fight to the death or die trying. E.g. More IJFs' died on Guadalcanal from starvation than the US killed directly. And the US killed a whole bunch of them …

TacticalPainter0108 Feb 2019 3:24 a.m. PST

My father fought with the 7 Division AIF in the Middle east then New Guinea and they captured crates of Japanese printed money with Kangaroos on the notes.

Not sure they had any kangaroos on them, but what he saw were Japanese invasion currency in shillings and pounds created for use in British territories in the Pacific. There is no evidence for a Japanese invasion other than a suggestion made in 1942 that was dismissed by both the army and Tojo, the prime minister.

The Australian War Memorial has a sample note in its collection and they describe it as such:

One shilling note associated with the service of SX27241 Corporal Eric Eduard Isaachsen of Brighton, South Australia who enlisted on 24 November 1942. These notes are generally referred to as Japanese Invasion Money (JIM). JIM shilling and pound notes were issued for use in Australian mandated territories throughout British Oceania (principally Gilberts and Solomons, New Britain and Papua New Guinea). The JIM pound was issued utilising the Australian pound as the basic monetary unit, hence the rise in rumours that their production indicated Japan's intention to invade Australia. Generally, the Japanese Government authorised various printings to equate approximately with each occupied country's pre-war currency, and these printings were usually planned and published ahead of the invasions. The philosophy behind the issue was to maintain economic stability within the occupied country; and as part of Japan's stated plan for a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere", to abolish all traces of western influence and establish Japan as the dominant economic influence. Thus, the occupation of Burma saw the issue of cents and rupee JIM; cents/guilder were produced for the Netherlands East Indies, centavos/pesos produced for use in the Philippines and Dollars and Cents for Malaya and Singapore.

TacticalPainter0108 Feb 2019 3:30 a.m. PST

How much of a guerilla war could the Western Australians put on?

More to the point, how would the Japanese have coped with the Australian 1st Armoured Division? Unlike the jungles of New Guinea, the Australian mainland would have been terrain well suited to the action of an armoured division. No need to wage a guerrilla war……

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