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Description - Turning Point: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 - Japan's first land defeat in World War II by Michael Veitch

The Battle for Milne Bay - Japan's first defeat on land in the Second World War - was a defining moment in the evolution of the indomitable Australian fighting spirit. For the men of the AIF, the militia and the RAAF, it was the turning point in the Pacific, and their finest - though now largely forgotten - hour. Forgotten, until now.

In August 1942, Japan's forces were unstoppable. Having conquered vast swathes of south-east Asia - Malaya, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies - and now invading New Guinea, many feared the Empire of the Rising Sun stood poised to knock down Australia's northern door.

But first they needed Port Moresby. In the still of an August night, Japanese marines sailed quietly into Milne Bay, a long, malaria-ridden dead end at the far eastern tip of Papua, to unleash an audacious pincer movement. Unbeknown to them, however, a secret airstrip had been carved out of a coconut plantation by US Engineers, and a garrison of Australian troops had been established, supported by two locally based squadrons of RAAF Kittyhawks, including the men of the famed 75 Squadron. The scene was set for one of the most decisive and vicious battles of the war.

For ten days and nights Australia's soldiers and airmen fought the elite of Japan's forces along a sodden jungle track, and forced them back step by muddy, bloody step.

In Turning Point, bestselling author Michael Veitch brings to life the incredible exploits and tragic sacrifices of these Australian heroes.

Buy Turning Point: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 - Japan's first land defeat in World War II by Michael Veitch from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780733640551
Format: Paperback / softback
(232mm x 154mm x 30mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Hachette Australia
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publish Date: 23-Jul-2019
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - Turning Point: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 - Japan's first land defeat in World War II by Michael Veitch

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Book Review: Turning Point: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 - Japan's first land defeat in World War II by Michael Veitch - Reviewed by (26 Aug 2019)

Despite never having sustained a high or lasting profile in the annals of military history, while the war was still waging it wasn't long before the Battle of Milne Bay was heard of far & wide. Even though MacArthur was reluctant to give credit to the Australians for prevailing in this hellish campaign, nevertheless the Field Marshall in charge of the of the British Army in Burma said that it was the Australians who had given heart to the allied troops throughout the region, when they turned the Japanese back on land for the very first time in WWII, and who had thus 'broken the spell of Japanese invincibility' and helped to eventually win the war much further afield. General Sir Sydney Rowell who had been in charge of the Kokoda campaign also gave credit much more freely than MacArthur, and especially to the RAAF Kittyhawks for playing a role which he called 'the decisive factor' in the form of the vital air-to-ground support they added to the Australian Army's ferocious defence, where the intensity of both their input was almost unprecedented in military history (let alone Australian military history). Ultimately, the Battle of Milne Bay was the campaign which finally turned the tide for Australia and for the allies in WWII, initially in Papua, but also - sooner rather than later - well beyond New Guinea, throughout South East Asia & the South Pacific, more generally. Alas, however, it was soon more or less forgotten! Michael Veitch does a wonderful job of raising its profile in this gripping account.


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