Title: Defending Fremantle, Albury and Bunbury 1939 – 1945

Author: McKenzie-Smith, Graham

Condition: Near Mint

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 2009

ISBN: 978980629101

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 38 pages

Comments: Western Australians have always felt isolated from the rest of their country, but never as much as they felt in the first few months of 1942. On 3 March, Broome was attacked from the air, killing many refugees from the Netherlands East Indies which had been captured along with the Philippines. Western Australia saw an influx of refugees from the north, including the US Asiatic Submarine Fleet which had escaped from the Philippines and Fremantle was a hive of activity.

Then, overnight most of the submarines moved further south to Albany as they were not safe in Fremantle. Although the Japanese did not reach this far south, ‘Defending Fremantle’ outlines the defence of the port against the very real threat from sea, air and land attack during the Second World War with a chapter covering the defences of the secondary ports of Albany and Bunbury. Fremantle was to become one of the important naval bases in the Indian Ocean and the home base for up to 170 American, British and Dutch submarines which patrolled as far as the Sea of Japan.

To defend this base, up to 10,000 Australian servicemen and women manned 29 coast defence guns, up to 50 heavy and 100 light AA guns as well as over 120 searchlights from almost 80 sites around the Perth/Fremantle area. Few of these sites remain intact but ‘Defending Fremantle’ outlines their role as part of the overall Australian war effort. Covers Fremantle’s coast, anti-aircraft and ground defences; the Field Army in WA after March 1942; the Japanese raid scare of March 1944 and Albany and Bunbury defences.