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Coral sea: Saviour or stepping stone? The battles role in Australia's safety during world war II

dos Santos, Stephen (2011) Coral sea: Saviour or stepping stone? The battles role in Australia's safety during world war II. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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A Japanese plan to invade Australia during World War Two has been much disputed. Nevertheless, the safety of Australia throughout the Pacific campaign, especially during 1942, was far from assured. This thesis examines the impact of the Battle of the Coral Sea in maintaining the safety of Australia during the Second World War. The impact of the battle has been undecided over the years. It was originally dubbed the battle that saved Australia. This view, has however, changed over the ensuing years. Several theories have been put forward over those years, including that the battle was indeed what saved Australia, whilst other battles such as Kokoda have also claimed this honour. On the other hand some commentators have claimed there was no threat of Japanese invasion.

I argue that the Battle of the Coral Sea was a significant milestone in not only the safety of Australia, but in the wider Pacific War. The Battle of the Coral Sea should be seen as being a stepping stone in which the Allies were able to gain control of the Pacific, the first step to the undisputed safety of Australia. To gain a clearer understanding of the role the battle played, we must examine the battle itself, the government response, its relationship to the Battle of Midway and the way in which it has been commemorated.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Supervisor(s): Sturma, Michael
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