Volume IV – The Japanese Thrust (1st edition, 1957)

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Author: Wigmore, Lionel Gage

This volume of the army series of the Australian official war history relates mainly to the operations on Malaya in the first ten weeks of the war against Japan. It has, however, an introductory section describing, from an Australian point of view and largely from Australian documents, the steps which led to commencement of war by Japan, and the measures taken to meet the danger.

A comprehensive account is given of the Japanese plan of conquest and its execution, step by step, over the vast area it covered; also of the reactions of the Allied Governments and the endeavours of each of the forces which sought to stem the onslaught.

The volume describes, for the first time in detail, the experiences of the small garrisons that were overrun in New Britain, Ambon and Dutch Timor; and the discussions between London, Washington and Canberra which led up to the refusal of the Australian Government in February 1942 to permit its troops to be sent to Burma.

In a final section the experiences of the widely–scattered groups of prisoners of the Japanese from 1942 to 1945 are described.