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Chapter 5 - Identifying the threat from Japan in 1941

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 October 2021

David Horner
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
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Summary

Ultimately, strategy is decided by the government, which might or might not accept the views of its military advisers. In Australia, during February 1941 there were a number of remarkable meetings of the Advisory War Council and of the War Cabinet that resulted in a change in attitude towards the threat from Japan, and soon after to a change in Australian strategy. This is not to suggest that the magnitude of the Japanese threat had not previously been realised. Indeed, in December 1940 the Australian Government had offered to send a brigade to Malaya, and Prime Minister Robert Menzies had decided to visit London to press for reinforcements for the Far East. But the meetings in February saw a heightening of the concern about Japan and, more particularly, revealed a greater role for the non-government members of the Advisory War Council. The council had been formed the previous year to involve members of the Opposition in the management of the Australian war effort.

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Strategy and Command
Issues in Australia's Twentieth-century Wars
, pp. 92 - 105
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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