Australia's threat perceptions: A search for security by Alan Dupont

By Alan Dupont

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47. L. iv, April 1925; Meaney, Dxumentary History, pp35a-356. Hankey, Secretary to the C-ommittee for Imperial Defence on the Basis of the Service Estimates, 2 July 1928. 79. ibid. 4r This provoked an Australian reassessrnent, in whidr even those who had been dismissive of the view that lapan sought suzeraintyover the region began b actept that Australia should reann and face the possibility of war withJapan. 5o In a particularly lucid and perceptive political and strategic analysis, written in 1935, Piesse again reviewed Australian-lapanese relations and crcncluded that |apan was likely to extend her empire southwards towards Australia.

Hudson and M. 49. D. 2. ibid. 27 The Comrnander of the German Squadron, Admiral von Spee, had ordered two of his merchant cmisers to combine in attacking trade routes in West Australian waters. However, the German ships were unable to do so and after an abortive attempt to raid coastal shipping routes in eastern Australia,2S they departed the scene. Further German raids were carried out in the Pacific islands, and on allied shipping near Penang, Malaya, but after the Crrman light cruiser Emilen was sunk by the Australian cruiser Sydney, on 9 November near Cocos Island,29 the threat of further raids against the Australian coast and hade routes quickly evaporated.

Against Japan's right or even claim' to the Marshall, C-aroline and Ladrone groups of islands. Hughes also set out ttre strategic significance of the islands in the following terms: The islands are most important to Australia from the point of view of both defence and of possible offence. They contain many harbours, several of which are capable of holding very large fleets. In British hands the island could be provided with wireless stations and would serve as advance bases for aeroplane and sea plane patrol...

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