The defence of the 'Malay barrier': Rabaul and Ambon, January 1942
There will always be debate over the wisdom of the strategy of garrisoning what was grandly called the "Malay barrier" with such small forces. Typically they were held by "battalion groups" formed around an infantry battalion supported by artillery and other units and some RAAF squadrons. On Ambon and Timor, Netherlands East Indies troops joined the defence. These forces proved to be far too small to hold the larger Japanese forces sent against them.
Roll of Honour talk, presented by Dr Peter Stanley on 26 January 2002 (transcript and audio)
Items from the collection: Montevideo Maru report, a telegram describing some of the events after the Japanese landing on Ambon island and a map used to evade the Japanese.
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