The Anzac Portal: Australia and the Second World War
Australian War Memorial: Encyclopedia
Look up your particular topic here.
RSL NSW: Australian involvement in the Second World War
Australian Bureau of Statistics: Australians at War : WW2
Scroll down the page to the information on WWII.
An American EBOOK which uncovers the whys--the strategies, politics, and personalities that made things happen as they did in the Pacific War.
Includes: Pearl Harbour, Midway, The Defence of Australia (from US perspective), Guadalcanal, Papua and New Guinea, Submarines, Philippines, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japanese surrender.
What was the significance of the Nanking Massacre in the context of World War II?
Why was the Japanese army so brutal?
Project Muse: The Rape of Nanking
History.com: The Rape of Nanking
University of California (Santa Barbera): The Rape of Nanking
Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Stanford University: The Rape of Nanking
The History Place: The Rape of Nanking
The Rape of Nanking: the History and Legacy of the Notorious Massacre During the Second Sino-Japanese War
A print Library book (951.04 CHA) about the notorious massacre of the Rape of Nanking, one of the most notorious events of the 20th century.
Article purchased ($48) from Taylor and Francis Online, published by Journal of Australian Studies.
In 2017, Historian Sue Rosen found documents regarding the ‘Scorched Earth’ policy which details the preparations for the event of a Japanese invasion of Australia in 1942. Primary Sources included.
State Library of Queensland: WWII Servicemen in Australia - The Known and the Unknown
Australian War Memorial: United States Forces in Australia
Daily Mail Australia: Beer-drinking, beef-eating tough guys who gamble on ANYTHING: Fascinating World War II handbook reveals what American soldiers were told to expect in Australia
Britannica.com: Battle of Brisbane
State Library of Victoria: Americans in Australia in WWII
Queensland Government: Homefront
State Library of Victoria: Home WWII
The Anzac Portal: 'All in' - The Australian homefront 1939-1945
Includes primary source information
Australian War Memorial: Home front: Second World War
ABC Education:Growing up during World War II
Education ABC.net: The Home Front - History
Click on 'Chapter 1', 'Chapter 2' etc.
Skwirk: The Australian Home FrontWartime controls in Australia
From 'Heinemann Outcomes History'. Scanned under licence.
General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz employed a strategy of “triphibious” warfare to advance through the Pacific. This strategy involved combing air, land, and sea forces to navigate the challenging geography and distances. Over time, this strategy came to be known as Island Hopping.
Prisoners of war
From the book 'Heinemann Outcomes History'. Scanned under licence.
The prisoner of war experience
From the book 'War and Identity'. Scanned under licence.
Prisoners of War
From the book 'A People's Experience of 20th Century Australia', by David McKinlay. Scanned under licence.
Australian War Memorial: Stolen Years - Australian Prisoners of War
YouTube: WW2 Japanese Military Brutality Explained
The Anzac Portal: The Thai-Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass
Australian War Memorial: Prisoners of the Japanese
Click on the links at the bottom of the page.
Australian War Memorial: Australian prisoners of war: Second World War - Prisoners of the Japanese
Click on the links at the bottom.
Australian War Memorial: General Information About the Australian Prisoners of the Japanese
Prisoners of the Japanese
History.net: Cuture of cruelty
Prisoners of War of the Japanese 1939-1945
Why Were the Japanese Army So Brutal?
State Library of Victoria: Changi - One man who did much to improve the survival rate of prisoners in Changi was the Australian Army doctor Major Arthur Moon.
The influence of Bushido: Why Japanese officers drove POWs to work unreasonably hard - From the book: Railwaymen in the War: Tales by Japanese Railway Soldiers in Burma and Thailand 1941–4. Author: Kazuo Tamayama, Written in 2005. Publisher - Palgrave Macmillan.
The Weekend Australian: Powerful history shines a light on wartime slavery - From 17 April 2021.
Herald Sun: The Forgotten History of Australia's prisoner-of-war Camps
Digger History: POWs in OZ - Jews, Italians and Japanese
National Archives of Australia: Wartime Internment
Trove: Jap Prisoners' Diet Problem
Anzac Day Commemoration Committee: The Cowra Breakout
ABC-NET: POWs and Families Mark the 70th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout
Australian War Memorial: Cowra Breakout
NSW Education Dept.: Internees and POWs in Australia during WWII
Check on left column under 'Japanese Prisoners and the Cowra Breakout'
ABC News: Former Japanese prisoner of war shares lesson from the Cowra breakout, 75 years on
Australian War Memorial: The Prison Break at Cowra, August 1944
Australian Geographic: On This Day - Australia's Biggest Prison Breakout
Kamikaze: To die for the Emperor
EBOOK - Engaging and often incredibly disturbing history of the Kamikaze tradition in Japanese culture, right back to the original Divine Wind (major natural typhoons) that saved Japan from invaders in ancient history.
Kamikaze: Japanese special attack weapons 1944-45
EBOOK - Kamikaze attacks initially consisted of crude improvisations of conventional aircraft fitted with high-explosive bombs that could be crashed into US warships. Called "Divine Wind" (Kamikaze), the special attack formations first saw action in 1944, and became the scourge of the US fleet in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945.
WarHistoryOnline: Japan's Deadly WWII Kamikaze
University of Chicago Press: Kamikaze Diaries - Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers
Wesleyan University: Kamikaze Images
Check the links on the left for both American views and Japanese views of the Kamikaze pilots.
HistoryLearningsite: Kamikazes and World War II
Dropping the atomic bomb
From the book 'Contested Spaces: Conflict in the Pacific 1937-1951'. Scanned under licence.
Article from ebook "Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity", by Dinah L. Shelton, ed. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. Scanned under licence.
History Hit: What Were the Long-Term Effects of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
National Security Archive: The Atomic Bomb and the End of WWII
Washington State University: History and Global Effects of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings
Washington State University: The Effect of the Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Pacific War.org.au: Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan in 1945 Justifiable?
BBC: Was it Right to Bomb Hiroshima?
The Nation.com: The war was won before Hiroshima - and the generals who dropped the bomb knew it
Washington Post: Truman Was Right to Use the Bomb on Japan
HistoryExtra.com: Was the US Justified in Dropping the Bomb on Japan?
Georgetown University Library: Dropping the Atomic Bomb - Primary Sources
National Security Archive: The Atom Bomb and the End of WWII - A Collection of Primary Sources
Public Enemy Number 1 : Hiroshima
The Australian: Those atomic bombs saved so many Japanese lives
Article choosing the 'pro' perspective about dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. The Australian newspaper, Friday 7 August 2020.
BBC: Can nuclear war be morally justified?
EBOOK which describes how the Japanese city of Hiroshima became the target of the world's first nuclear attack, explaining the development of the atomic bomb, the nuclear arms race that followed, and the city's legacy as a peace memorial.
EBOOK which shows the bomb dropped by a US pilot that hot August morning in 1945 was in many ways the world's offspring, in both a technological and a moral sense. And it was the world that would have to face its consequences, strategically, diplomatically, and culturally, in the years ahead.
MindMap Planner - Blank
Pearl Harbor was was the site of the unprovoked aerial attack on the United States by Japan on December 7, 1941. Before the attack, many Americans were reluctant to become involved in the war in Europe. This all changed when the United States declared war on Japan, bringing the country into World War II.
Pearl Harbour - Why Japan attacked (and why it was such a big mistake)
Smithsonian: Complicated Leadup to Pearl Harbour
National WWII Museum, New Orleans: The Path to Pearl Harbour
USC News: 75 Years Later, What is the Legacy of Pearl Harbour?
Institute of World Politics: The Impact of Pearl Harbour on America
Ohio & Miami Universities: December, 1941 - Pearl Harbour
Modern History Sourcebook: Pearl Harbour Attack Documents, 1941
Pearl Harbour Attack
From the book: "Battles that Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict", by Spencer Tucker, Publisher: ABC-Clio, 2011.
Raymond Callahan, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and the author of “The Worst Disaster: The Fall of Singapore,” has stated: “The fall of Singapore was a pivotal event with enormous consequences. Not only was it a military defeat, it was a shattering blow to Great Britain’s prestige and marked the decline of the Western era in Southeast Asia, which ended when the last helicopter left Saigon".
HistoryLearning site: The Fall of Singapore
National Museum of Australia: The Fall of Singapore
Australia Great War: The Fall of Singapore
ABC News: Fall of Singapore Anniversary: How a Military Defeat Changed Australia
On 19 February 1942 Darwin was bombed by Japanese forces, becoming the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. Here an important section of the American fleet was at anchor, and the Japanese attack occurred with a force greater than that hurled against Pearl Harbour, The attack left hundreds of servicemen and civilians dead, and countless others injured.
Attack on Darwin
From 'A People's Experience of 20th Century Australia', by David McKinlay. Scanned under licence.
The Strategist: Remembering the Bombing of Darwin
Australian War Memorial: Remembering 1942 - The Bombing of Darwin
BBC News: Darwin, 1942 - Remembering Australia's 'Pearl Harbour'
Battle for Australia Association: The Bombing of Darwin
Sydney Morning Herald: The Day That Changed Australia
The Battle of the Coral Sea is unique in the annals of naval history. It is the first battle in which enemy fleets never came within sight of one another. Instead, aircraft launched from carrier decks were sent out to attack the enemy with bombs and torpedoes.
Australian War Memorial: Battle of the Coral Sea
Royal Australian Navy: Battle of the Coral Sea
ANZAC Portal: Battle of the Coral Sea
Pacific War.org: Battle of the Coral Sea
Ohio University: Battle of the Coral Sea
University of San Diego: Battle of the Coral Sea
The Kokoda Track marks the course of one of the most important battles for Australians in the Second World War. Between 21 July and 16 November 1942, the Australian Army halted the furthermost southward advance by Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea and then pushed the enemy back across the mountains.
Prime Minister Paul Keating famously stated on the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign that 'this was the first and only time that we’ve fought against an enemy to prevent the invasion of Australia … This was the place where I believe the depth and the soul of the Australian nation was confirmed.’ He further stated 'Kokoda was ‘the most famous battle in Australia’s history...Australians in Papua New Guinea fought and died, not in defence of the old world, but the new world … it might be said that, for Australians, the battles in Papua New Guinea were the most important ever fought.’ From Kokoda: An epic in Australian history?
From 'Global Voices 2: Historical Inquiries for the 21st Century', by Brian Hoepper and others. Scanned under licence.
From 'A People's Experience of 20th Century Australia', by David McKinlay. Scanned under licence.
Australian War Memorial: Kokoda Track
Australian War Memorial: Remembering 1942 - The end of the Kokoda Campaign
Warfare History: Trail of Death - WWII's Kokoda Track Campaign
Daily Telegraph: Kokoda Campaign: Surviving Veterans Share Their Triumphs and Horrors in Jungle Warfare
On February 19, 1945, nearly 70,000 American marines invaded a tiny volcanic island in the Pacific. Over the next thirty-five days, approximately 28,000 combatants died, including nearly 22,000 Japanese and 6,821 Americans, making Iwo Jima one of the costliest battles of World War II.
History.Net: Worth the Cost? Justification of the Iwo Jima Invasion
Quora: What Was the Significance of Iwo Jima?
Military Battle.org: Battle of Iwo Jima
There has been considerable debate among historians about the role Hirohito played during Japan’s militaristic period from the early 1930s to 1945, the end of World War II. Many have asserted that he had grave misgivings about war with the United States and was opposed to Japan’s alliance with Germany and Italy (the Axis Powers) but that he was constrained to go along with the militarists who increasingly came to dominate the armed forces and the government. Other historians have claimed that Hirohito was actively involved in the planning of Japan’s expansionist policies from the Japanese invasion of Manchuria (now northeastern China) in 1931 to the end of the war. Still others posit that the truth lies somewhere between those two interpretations.
Nonetheless, in August 1945, when Japan was facing defeat and opinion among the country’s leaders was divided between those advocating surrender and those insisting on a desperate defense of the home islands against an anticipated invasion by the Allied Powers, Hirohito settled the dispute in favour of those urging peace. He broke the precedent of imperial silence on August 15, when he made a national radio broadcast to announce Japan’s acceptance of the Allies’ terms of surrender. In a second historic broadcast, made on January 1, 1946, Hirohito repudiated the traditional quasi-divine status of Japan’s emperors. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Asia-Pacific Journal: War Responsibility and Historical Memory: Hirohito's Apparition
Inside Hook: Did Japan’s Emperor Hirohito Deserve to be Convicted as a War Criminal?
Digital Commons: A Reexamination of Emperor Hirohito's Military and Political Role in Wartime Japan 1925-1945
The Spectator: Hirohito - the war criminal who got away
Harvard University: The Ambiguous Emperor - Hirohito’s Role in Engaging In and Ending the Pacific War
Hirohito: String puller, not puppet (New York Times)
Axes to grind - the Hirohito war guilt controversy in Japan
Chapter in an ebook 'The Emperors of Modern Japan', 2008, Vol.14, p.271-298.
The ambiguous emperor - Hirohito's role in engaging in and ending the Pacific War (Harvard Library)
John.Curtin.edu.au: John Curtin
The Australian: John Curtin Argued the Cause of Putting Australia's Defence First
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library: Biography of John Curtin
Museum of Australian Democracy: John Curtin
National Museum of Australia: John Curtin
Pacific War.org.au: Macarthur - A Flawed General - Takes Control of Australia's Defences
Australian Dictionary of Biography: Douglas Macarthur
University of Sydney: American Caesar - Douglas Macarthur (Part I)
University of Sydney: American Caesar - Douglas Macarthur (Part II)
Pacific War Online Encyclopedia: Douglas Macarthur
Macarthur - ebook article from World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary
Macarthur - Article from print book '100 Most Influential Military Leaders of All Time' by Michael Lee Lanning, 2017, Britannica Educational, New York.
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia: Isoroku Yamamoto
Darwin Military Museum: The Life and Death of Imperial Japanese Navy Admiral Yamamoto
New York Times: A Reluctant Enemy
World War II Database: Isoroku Yamamoto
Pacific War.org.au: Admiral Yamamoto Saves Australia
History.com: Isoroku Yamamoto - Japan's Mastermind of the Pearl Harbour Attack
Warfare History Network: Admiral Yamamoto - Japan's Naval War Leader
The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Birtles Library can be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.
National Archives of Australia
Specify World War II and click on 'Browse' to access a range of primary sources including:
Cablegram from Curtin to Churchill about the defence of Singapore – 17 January 1942
Churchill on the return of Australian troops to defend Australia – 27 January 1942