March 30, 1942 – News and Commentary from Radio Australia – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
March 30, 1942 – Raids were continuing over Darwin. The allies were putting up stiff resistance, even though the weather was busy playing the Great Neutralizer with torrential rains slowing Japanese advances to a crawl, dropping some 40 inches of rain over New Guinea.
Otherwise, Australia was putting on a Brave face and had every indication the war was far from over. With reports of how morale was building and organization of the allied fighting was changing under the leadership of MacArthur was giving every indication the news from Canberra as upbeat for a reason.
With news reports also came commentary, via this broadcast from Radio Australia. News that the American forces were settling in and how their presence alone was offering a high morale boost. So far, Darwin remained the only part of Australia under repeated enemy attack.
In other news, a portion of the Australian forces which had been serving in the Middle East since early in the war returned to Australia to strengthen the home army to fight the Japanese. General Blamey, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Australian forces in the Middle East, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Land Forces in Australia, under General MacArthur’s supreme command. He was to participate in the important strategic and organizational conference to be held during the coming week between the War Cabinet, War Council, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces In Australia (General MacArthur), and other high Australian and American defense officers. The talks were likely to decide the future appointment of several high Australian officers, including Major-General Gordon Bennett, who commanded the Australian forces in Malaya. Major-General Sir Leslie Morsehead, commander of the 9th Australian Division, and hero of the defense of Tobruk, had been appointed G.O.O. of the Australian in the Middle East.
The return of portion of the A.T.F. to Australia was carried out in accordance with the Allied plan. ‘We Must Hit Hard.I believe that we must hit, and hit hard,’ General Blamey said in an interview the previous night.’Australians have to be prepared for any eventualities that may arise. All of us must realize that the eventuality may be vital to our existence’. He expressed great satisfaction at General MacArthur’s appointment as ‘the only workable arrangement.’
And that’s a small slice of news direct from Australia on March 30, 1942.
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