This historical narrative tells the story of the shelling of Sydney and Newcastle in 1942 by Japanese submarines. Although casualties and damage were slight, the bombardments fuelled the real fear of an impending Japanese invasion, a fate dreaded by Australians for a century before 1942. The narrative reconstructs the events that occurred in both cities and includes the search for, recovery and disposal of unexploded shells. In recounting this legendary tale of two cities, the book also examines Australias east coast defences, the activities of the National Emergency Service, and the management and communications structures that were implemented during the early stages of the Pacific War. To put it all into context, A Parting Shot also offers a Japanese perspective to the story through a critical account of Japans submarine operations in Australian waters. Why did the Japanese launch submarine operations in Australian waters when they had no intention of invading? Were the bombardments revenge attacks following the Japanese defeat at Midway? What were the Japanese targets in Sydney and Newcastle? Were all the unexploded shells recovered? A Parting Shot answer these and other long-standing questions, dispelling many rumours and urban myths surrounding the Japanese submarine attacks.
A Parting Shot is more than an account of a significant event in Australias wartime history it is a living history, a landmark story about good luck, tragedy and courage. This is the first book devoted to this wartime history, and coincides with the 70th anniversary year of the Japanese submarine attacks.
The Foreword has been written by Dr Peter Stanley, Head, Research Centre, National Museum of Australia. A Parting Shot adds to the controversial debate on the Battle for Australia. It also announces that one live Japanese shell remains buried on the Royal Sydney golf links.