Tarakan, Borneo

Accession Number ART41048
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 400 x 540 x 285 cm
Object type Diorama
Physical description Figures: pewter (tin, antimony and zinc); Backgrounds: synthetic polymer paint on fibre glass; Modelling: painted plaster over wood and wire armature with tin, and wood
Location Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 4: Borneo
Maker Ewers, Ray
Jones, Vernon
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1947
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


This diorama depicts the landing at Tarakan, a small island off the east coast of Borneo, which was undertaken by the 26th Brigade Group, a component of the 9th Australian Division, on 1 May 1945. The principle object was to capture the airfield for development and use in future operations on the mainland. On P-day (the name given to the day of the landing), for an hour and a half, form first light, cruisers and destroyers poured shells into the beach area. Four flights of heavy bombers dropped their bombs along the foreshore to clear the way for the assault battalions. The diorama features the assault battalions, unopposed from the beach itself, moving in through the gaps in the obstacles. Burnt-out oil tanks litter the beach whilst heavy black smoke farther back indicates the success of the preliminary blasting.

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