RAAF Station Darwin
: a strategic and military response in the north western area, 1937-1942

  • John Bender

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    A perspective of the strategic and military impact that RAAF Base Darwin and its satellite airfields in the Northern Territory had within the period 1937 to 1942 encompasses a number of key areas. These range from initial proposals to construct these new airfields, to the plans for their strategic military use after the failure of the Singapore Strategy; labour shortages and tin ion unrest; political naivety and government inter-departmental rivalries and jealousies (both local and federal); the use of the base by foreign powers such as the United States and the Netherlands; to the effects of the first military raids on Australian soil and the subsequent retaliatory operations launched from it; increases in spending and infrastructure (though much of this was belated); the associated problems faced in regards to the above, and finally, the amendments that had to be made both during and after the raids on Darwin by political and military thinkers, in consideration of defensive response.

    Though much has been written regarding the bombing raids on the environments of Darwin and the RAAF base itself, the intent of this thesis is to provide an insight into the strategic importance of RAAF Station Darwin and the varying influences that affected units, local and foreign, assigned to the above during the period 1937 to 1942. As well, the foundations laid in regards to the history of the RAAF in Darwin and its satellite bases during this era, can be seen as part of a new' social and economic history of Darwin itself.
    Date of AwardJan 2005
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAlan Powell (Supervisor) & David Carment (Supervisor)

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