Japan's entry into the Second World War (1939-45)
20 January 2012 - 3 June 2012

Japan achieved a series of victories in Malaya, Singapore, Rabaul, Java, Ambon and Timor in the six month period following its declaration of war in December 1941. Thousands of Australian men and women died serving in these territories and many more became prisoners of war. 70 years have passed since these momentous events shocked Australia out of complacency and brought the war to our doorstep. The Shrine remembers these anniversaries in an exhibition which commemorates Australia’s darkest days - from Japan’s entry into the Second World War until the battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, when Japan suffered its first setback and the tide of the war in the Pacific began to turn.

Ex POW Walter Hicks speech from the launch of the exhibition


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