Very few Australians today know of the fierce air battles fought across the Top End of Australia in World War II.
For more than two years Japanese aircraft crossed the coast and bombed relentlessly. Savage dogfights were fought between the legendary Zero fighter and Allied Kittyhawks and Spitfires. Big twin-engine Betty bombers rained down blast and fire upon airfields and towns, even penetrating as far inland as Katherine, some 300 kilometres from the coast.
Scores of aircraft were downed in combat operations ranging from Exmouth to Townsville, with the majority of action taking place in the Northern Territory. This new extensive research shows the number of air raids was higher than the previously suggested figure of 64, with 78 raids on the Territory alone, while 209 enemy combat flights were carried out across Northern Australia.
The Empire Strikes South describes all of the aircraft used, and gives an insight into the world of fighter pilots and aircrew. With a full range of both historical photographs, and new colour graphics and pictures by renowned illustrator Michael Claringbould, this significant new research reveals a battle for Australia that has been previously unknown.