Battle of Darwin
Written by ACM   
Thursday, 20 February 2014
On 19 February,2014, 72 years ago, 242 Japanese aircraft attacked ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java.

At Pearl Harbor, 273 bombers dropped 457 bombs (including 40 torpedoes) weighing 133,560 kg., killing more than 2,400 people. 

 At Darwin 205 bombers dropped 681 bombs weighing 114,100 kg., killing 235 people. The Japanese force consisted of 4 aircraft carriers, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 7 destroyers and 3 submarines.

 Eight ships were sunk, with the loss of most of the cargo shipping available to support efforts in Java and the Philippines with Java being effectively sealed off from further surface shipments from Australia.

 This followed the capture of Singapore by the Japanese and the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history.

 About 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign.
 
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the ignominious fall of Singapore to the Japanese the "worst disaster" and "largest capitulation" in British military history.
 
 
Photo: On this day, 72 years ago, 242 Japanese aircraft attacked ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java.  At Pearl Harbor, 273 bombers dropped 457 bombs (including 40 torpedoes) weighing 133,560 kg., killing more than 2,400 people.  At Darwin 205 bombers dropped 681 bombs weighing 114,100 kg., killing 235 people. The Japanese force consisted of 4 aircraft carriers,  2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 7 destroyers  and 3 submarines. Eight ships were sunk, with the loss of most of the cargo shipping available to support efforts in Java and the Philippines with Java being effectively sealed off from further surface shipments from Australia. This followed the capture of Singapore by the Japanese and the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history.  About 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the ignominious fall of Singapore to the Japanese the "worst disaster" and "largest capitulation" in British military history.