Removal of streetsigns during wartime

 
Topic moved from General by dthead on 07 Jan 2014 08:44
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Some things never change.........

Operation Sovereign Borders my ar$e.
bingley hall

I distinctly recall her telling me that everyone had a suspicion they were not being told the whole truth by the papers or the government after Pearl Harbour and that it fed into a borderline hysteria with the public at large; who or what do you believe? The bloke down the pub telling you the Japs are close to invading or the government telling you everything is under control (when you know full well it's not)?

Whether or not the public were entitled to the full picture AND/OR if it would have made things worse or better by telling them the truth is all a moot point now. And yeah - not giving the full story isn't a new thing, not by any means.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Was dinner burned before or after Midway?
donttellmywife

The National Archives photo records have pictures of citizens in Melbourne getting air-raid practice in March 1942 - you would have to assume this was the event my grandmother was referring to.  The main battle of Midway was June 1942.
  9034 Train Controller

Exactly.

It seems that the younger generation aren't taught or don't read about our comparatively recent history; I was staggered by the question about how the Japanese bombed Pearl.
Valvegear

It was a leading question replying to the statement by TheBlacksmith,
" And yet it was a joke because anyone with even the most basic knowledge of Japanese military equipment would have known that the Japanese could never have mounted a bombing raid on Melbourne. Their aircraft simply did not have the range. "

If you understand how the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, you can then understand how they could bomb Melbourne. As other people have pointed out, you use an Aircraft Carrier of which the Japanese had quite a few and they knew how to use them. Without doubt the Japanese had the capability to attack Melbourne and it would be unforgivable for the people responsible for Civil Defence not to prepare the Civilian population for such an event.

9034
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Four of which they lost at Midway, so they would have been a bit short for an attack on Melbourne. Add to that the fact that carriers can only carry light bombers, and land targets need a bit more than that.
TheBlacksmith

Still made a mess of Peral harbour and Darwin!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I distinctly recall her telling me that everyone had a suspicion they were not being told the whole truth by the papers or the government after Pearl Harbour and that it fed into a borderline hysteria with the public at large; who or what do you believe? The bloke down the pub telling you the Japs are close to invading or the government telling you everything is under control (when you know full well it's not)?

Whether or not the public were entitled to the full picture AND/OR if it would have made things worse or better by telling them the truth is all a moot point now. And yeah - not giving the full story isn't a new thing, not by any means.
don_dunstan

An earlier version of "be alert, but not alarmed!"
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
It was a leading question replying to the statement by TheBlacksmith,
" And yet it was a joke because anyone with even the most basic knowledge of Japanese military equipment would have known that the Japanese could never have mounted a bombing raid on Melbourne. Their aircraft simply did not have the range. "

If you understand how the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, you can then understand how they could bomb Melbourne. As other people have pointed out, you use an Aircraft Carrier of which the Japanese had quite a few and they knew how to use them. Without doubt the Japanese had the capability to attack Melbourne and it would be unforgivable for the people responsible for Civil Defence not to prepare the Civilian population for such an event.

9034
9034

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was not carried out by large bombers, they used dive bombers carrying a single large bomb and also ones carrying torpedos. The torpedos had been specially developed by the Japanese for the Pearl Harbour raid because the harbour was shallow, so they needed to be dropped at very low altitude then run quite shallow, otherwise all of them would have ended up in the mud.

Dive bombers and torpedos were fine armaments for use against ships, especially when they are conveniently lined up in nice rows like sitting ducks, but are practically useless against land based targets. Land targets require multiple medium weight bombs to do any good, and the Japanese had no aircraft of that type that could operate from carriers.

The attack on Darwin comprised dive bombers from the four carriers Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu and Akagi, the same four carriers that would be lost several months later Midway. The greatest devastation in Darwin came from Betty and Nell heavy bombers flying from land bases in Ambon and Celebes. And the attacks were almost totally undefended, we put up virtually no aircraft in defence and had virtually no effective anti-aircraft defence because their were no guns. What guns they had were useless due to an ammunition shortage.

The purpose of the raid on Darwin was to destroy the harbour and two airbases to prevent them being used by the Allies when the Japanese invaded Timor and Java.

Melbourne would have been a different target altogether, as there was no important airbases and the harbour was not a strategic asset. We did however, have significant war material factories at Fishermans Bend, Spotswood and Newport, but again they are targets that require larger bombers, dive bombers and torpedo bombers would not have been any use against those targets.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
9034, what the Blacksmith is saying is that 'if you understand how they attacked Pearl Harbor' you'll understand why Melbourne was never threatened.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I can remember a story about how either a Japanese or a German raider sailed through Backstairs Passage, I think it was here in South Australia undetected at the time during WW2 so it was possible but highly unlikely! I cannot remember the name of the ship though!


Oh and a Model Railway magazine in Britain during the war that was allowed to continue to print their magazine was hauled over the coals for publishing a map of a railway station location in it. A few years back this was reported in the same English model Railway magazine with this little bit extra added to it. One can just imagine a German paratrooper orientating himself with a map in a model railway magazine.

But during the war's there was a great hysteria about invasions on all sides!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I can well remember air raid shelters in people's backyards here in Melbourne. We had one, and most of our relatives did too. My father was an air raid warden and apparently went around enforcing blackouts and the like. He was a Rolling Stock Engineer with Victorian Railways and was not allowed to move from that job to another job, or to any of the services. I also found out later, that when he worked back on two or three evenings a week, he was actually at Newport Railway Workshops, and he was not even allowed to tell my mother where he was. Part of his work there was inspecting captured enemy equipment to see the design, workings etc.
He also did work on Beaufort bomber components which were made at Newport. He once found a German army uniform button attached to a scrap of fabric which had been torn off in the turret of a German scout car. He souvenired the button and I still have it.

As an aside, one outstanding memory is going into the city by train after the War had ended. I was five years old, and absolutely flabbergasted by all of the city lights and advertising neon signs.  I had never seen the city other than in blackout.
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
My mother (lived in Camden and Sydney) and father (trained troops at Studley Park near Camden, and was an infantry company commander in Western Australia and later in New Guinea) wrote and told me lots about WWII.

Street signs and station names were removed or obscured. Most areas were subject to black-out or brown-out at night. Strathfield station was regarded as the 'most strategic' in Sydney and apparently had more defences than most. An old guy I used to know who was a kid during the war thought that they were running the same freight train backwards and forwards through Campbelltown to boost morale. They simply couldn't believe that we and especially the Americans had so much military equipment being transported.

Sydney had a reconnaissance aircraft fly over it prior to the midget sub attack in 1942. It was a seaplane launched from an offshore submarine with a special hangar. (Trivia: The pilot survived the war, visited Sydney several decades later and was made an honorary member of the Australian Seaplane Pilot's Association.) The Japanese had over 40 submarines capable of carrying aircraft (usually only one). The largest could carry three and would have been able to strike west coast US cities to create panic.

Darwin, Broome, Townsville and other cities were bombed. Australia would probably have been resilient to japanese invasion. They were at the end of their logistics train and already stretched to hold other territory. Australia was clearly going to be a major US base, so the main effort by the Japanese was to interdict their line of transport across the Pacific.

A possible invasion point (and why my father was in WA for a while) was in Western Australia. Scarborough Beach was suggested as one landing area near Perth. The idea would have been to divert Australian effort away from Pacific operations supporting the USA. There were large Austrailan Army infantry and armoured formations in WA for a while. Some of the latter were disbanded or converted into other units (e.g. 'cavalry commando squadrons') when the threat subsided.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for those stories Valvegear & Oldfart.

As Blacksmith has pointed out before the Japanese supply lines were stretched to a ridiculous extent with the war in PNG and the South Pacific - it would have been truly a bridge too far to expect an invasion of the Aussie mainland to go well.  As with Hitler underestimating Stalin I don't think the Japanese really had a handle on the massive industrial capacity that they USA had behind them - hence Curtin's speech 'we turn to the United States'.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks for those stories Valvegear & Oldfart.

As Blacksmith has pointed out before the Japanese supply lines were stretched to a ridiculous extent with the war in PNG and the South Pacific - it would have been truly a bridge too far to expect an invasion of the Aussie mainland to go well. As with Hitler underestimating Stalin I don't think the Japanese really had a handle on the massive industrial capacity that they USA had behind them - hence Curtin's speech 'we turn to the United States'.
don_dunstan

I think you would probably find there are plenty of internal or private discussions in the Japanese high command prior to the war starting and certainly after that any direct conflict with the USA will ultimately end in a Japanese surrender. Perhaps that felt if the USA was distracted with Europe they had a better chance....

From what I've read I still don't understand why they started the fight with the yanks and attacked Pearl Harbour. Yes it hurt the USA, but it was brief and just built up revenge in the population and it was only ever going to be a bee sting on sleeping bear. I mean if I'd walked out into the playground at school, kicked the biggest bully in the nuts. I can stand their laughing for a few minutes. But once he came around I know I'm going to get my smeg kicked. They should have continued on their merry way of claiming SE asia and stablising their victory.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
But once Japan had done a deal with the (Vichy) French to take over their colonies in Indo-China, there were no more places to go except to finish off the conquest of mainland China. But to do so they needed their own oil supply as trade sanctions meant that very little oil was getting through to Japan and it's colonies.

The only substantial nearby oil production was in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). The Netherlands homeland was occupied by the Nazi's and the Dutch colonial forces would only put up a modest fight, BUT to get there from Indo China or from the Japanese ally Thailand, the Japs would have to go via the American colony of the Philippines or the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore. So if the Japs wanted to finish off their conquest of China or expand further afield they needed oil and the only way to get oil was to attack British and/or American colonies.

Japanese bombers actually attacked Malaya a few hours before they attacked the then American colony of Hawaii. But Hollywood isn't in Britain, so the attack on the Yank colony is all we have heard about for the last 73 years.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I think you would probably find there are plenty of internal or private discussions in the Japanese high command prior to the war starting and certainly after that any direct conflict with the USA will ultimately end in a Japanese surrender. Perhaps that felt if the USA was distracted with Europe they had a better chance....

From what I've read I still don't understand why they started the fight with the yanks and attacked Pearl Harbour. Yes it hurt the USA, but it was brief and just built up revenge in the population and it was only ever going to be a bee sting on sleeping bear. I mean if I'd walked out into the playground at school, kicked the biggest bully in the nuts. I can stand their laughing for a few minutes. But once he came around I know I'm going to get my smeg kicked. They should have continued on their merry way of claiming SE asia and stablising their victory.
RTT_Rules

The USA had placed trade embargoes on Japan that were greatly restricting the import of oil - that's the reason the Japanese moved into Malaya and Dutch East Indies so quickly so as to restore oil supplies. They attacked Pearl Harbour hoping to destroy the bulk of the US carrier fleet, which at the time was the only way the US could quickly deal with the Japanese taking control of the South East Asian oil fields. If Japan wanted oil, they had to deal with the Americans first - it couldn't work the other way around. In retrospect WWII was all about oil...it was why the Japanese dragged America into it, and why Hitler first invaded North Africa (hoping to gain access to the Persian and Mesopotamian fields via Egypt) and when that failed why he invaded Russia.
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
The USA had placed trade embargoes on Japan that were greatly restricting the import of oil - that's the reason the Japanese moved into Malaya and Dutch East Indies so quickly so as to restore oil supplies. They attacked Pearl Harbour hoping to destroy the bulk of the US carrier fleet, which at the time was the only way the US could quickly deal with the Japanese taking control of the South East Asian oil fields. If Japan wanted oil, they had to deal with the Americans first - it couldn't work the other way around. In retrospect WWII was all about oil...it was why the Japanese dragged America into it, and why Hitler first invaded North Africa (hoping to gain access to the Persian and Mesopotamian fields via Egypt) and when that failed why he invaded Russia.
Sulla1

I'd go along with your analysis of the origins of the Pacific war (combined with the rise of militarism in Japan), but Hitler hoped more to secure middle eastern oilfields from the north if possible (or at least deprive the British of their supply and control of Suez). The Italians were in North Africa months before the Germans, but got themselves into strife. Rommel's Afrika Korps was sent to extricate them out of the mess. Hence it was a fairly minimal force at first.

Hitlers invasion of Russia had been going a few months before the second battle of El Alamein turned the tide solidly against the Germans in North Africa. For much of the time it was regarded as a diversion from the main game, but it was important for the British (showing Stalin that they too were actively fighting the Axis), so it became important for the Germans.

Like the Japanese, Rommel pushed the limit of his logistics. He's famous for being a bold tactical commander, but Germans tend to regard him as not untypical of their other Generals (all taught to exercise initiative and seize opportunities) but with a poorer grasp of larger strategic and logistical matters. Hitler liked his boldness, so he got on for most of his career.

Bungay's 'Alamein' is probably one of the best recent books on the subject.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I can remember a story about how either a Japanese or a German raider sailed through Backstairs Passage, I think it was here in South Australia undetected at the time during WW2 so it was possible but highly unlikely!
"David Peters"
You think Backstairs Passage is in South Australia? Most South Australians know that.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The USA had placed trade embargoes on Japan that were greatly restricting the import of oil - that's the reason the Japanese moved into Malaya and Dutch East Indies so quickly so as to restore oil supplies. They attacked Pearl Harbour hoping to destroy the bulk of the US carrier fleet, which at the time was the only way the US could quickly deal with the Japanese taking control of the South East Asian oil fields. If Japan wanted oil, they had to deal with the Americans first - it couldn't work the other way around. In retrospect WWII was all about oil...it was why the Japanese dragged America into it, and why Hitler first invaded North Africa (hoping to gain access to the Persian and Mesopotamian fields via Egypt) and when that failed why he invaded Russia.
"Sulla1"
I don't think it was  an embargo against Japan as such, the yanks just thrust all they could to the allies in Europe which by default caused a cutting off of Japan.

Hitler was not specifically invading for oil, he might have gone to Nth Africa for it, but what huge resource was he getting from Poland, France and the UK? He was an imperialist expanding an empire, his requirements for oil didn't come until much, much later.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
You think Backstairs Passage is in South Australia? Most South Australians know that.
Aaron

No Aaron read it again and take off your blinkers a bit you have not read What I said . I said I think it was Backstairs Passage but it might have been some other passage. I do not need you nit picking things if you are unable to simply comprehend what someone says! And yes that is true most South Australians would know that, but this is not a South Australian web site is it, it is an international one really so some readers might be in doubt of where this place actually is. So much for a wasted university education you have!

You are constantly taking peoples words and twisting them about to suit you're own agenda here! What ever that is, but stop ridiculing posters on here, some of us are sick of it actually! It is just not me that thinks this either!Twisted Evil
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
My understanding is dinner was burned at Midway.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I can remember a story about how either a Japanese or a German raider sailed through Backstairs Passage, I think it was here in South Australia undetected at the time during WW2 so it was possible but highly unlikely! I cannot remember the name of the ship though!
"David Peters"
There was also reportedly a Japanese recon submarine which took on fresh water at either Rapid Bay or Myponga Beach, which would necessitate transiting Investigator Strait or Backstairs Passage (maybe both - one on the way in, one on the way out) but there is no mention of this in the Navy volumes of the official history. I would say if that did happen or a surface raider did the same thing, I would suspect Investigator Strait would have been more likely than the narrow Backstairs Passage, and it most definitely would have been undetected as RAN resources in SA were pretty scarce and were mostly just minesweepers.

The official history's Navy volumes do have one mention each of Investigator Strait (a sweep for mines was conducted by Parramatta) and Kangaroo Island (an escort joined a freighter to the west of KI) - which is a combined total the same as the landlocked nation of Luxembourg rates in the two Navy volumes! There is nothing for Backstairs Passage, Normanville, Myponga Beach, Second Valley, Rapid Bay or Victor Harbor.

There is mention of the entrance to Spencer Gulf being mined by what was assumed to be the German raider Pinguin, which was only discovered when a British ship struck one and took damage, this might have been what you were thinking of. There were also two RAN mine disposal personnel were killed at Beachport by a washed-up mine, but that could have come from anywhere.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Yes Just A Pax that could be what it was. I can remember reading some thing about this a couple of decades back somewhere you might be right. So those that say it could not happen really are only guessing some what, it did happen so if one ship or a couple of ships made it anything was possible, there was no over the horizon radar etc in those days to fore warn any one! Indeed it was assumed that Sydney Harbour was safe from attack by any type of submarine but the Japanese still got in and out in at least one submarine! So anything is really possible.


It reminds me of a story about Pearl Harbour actually but a long time after WW2 though it was a joint exercise with the US,Canadian Australian and New Zealand Navy I think any way on one exercise the Canadian Navy's ex WW2 submarine wich was the laughing stock of the lot was designated as the enemy and instead of actually torpedoing the ships had a camera mounted on the periscope of the sub to take photos through the periscope. Each photo of a ship was deemed to be a ship sunk. The Canadians went out of Pearl Harbour and the came back to attack.

Needless to say they had broadside photos of nearly all the ships in Pearl Harbour after they snuck back into there. That is where the laughing ceased though. The Americans with all their latest gadgets etc were so sure of them selves though, but beaten by old technology and good old thinking on the Canadian Captains part. By the way the entrance to the harbour had for this exercise Anti Submarine nets fitted, the Canadians simply came in under a friendly ship or something that had to go in they got out the same way too.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

In a number of exercises our Collins class subs have gotten nice hull shots of US aircraft carriers and are widely known as the best diesel attack subs in the world, periscopes always have cameras equipped so they can stick it up for a couple of seconds and then have a good look at the pictures once it's back underwater and out of any radar coverage. Even to this day a hull shot is the standard assessment method for attack subs because it well and truly demonstrates a certain kill that no countermeasures could possibly defeat.

The WW1 and WW2 official histories have been digitised by the National Library and are freely available to cure your insomnia inform your understanding of Australian military history at http://www.awm.gov.au/histories
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
In a number of exercises our Collins class subs have gotten nice hull shots of US aircraft carriers
justapassenger


Please, please, please; can we write in English and not American?
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
When I went to school decades ago that was English the word gotten that is, this was well before American English became prevalent though!

Have you gotten to the bottom of the barrel yet? A simple use of the word to illustrate it's use!

Check this link!

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gotten
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
When I went to school decades ago that was English the word gotten that is, this was well before American English became prevalent though!

Have you gotten to the bottom of the barrel yet? A simple use of the word to illustrate it's use!

Check this link!

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gotten
David Peters

Quoted from your link above:
The form gotten is not used in British English but is very common in North American English
ODO

As Valvegear said, let's have English not North American English.

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