Australia — WWII Battle of the Coral Sea

Tomor­row, the 7th of May 2011, marks the 69th anniver­sary of the cli­max of the Bat­tle of the Coral Sea.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admi­ral Russ Crane said many have called it the bat­tle that saved Aus­tralia.

Vice Admi­ral Crane said the bat­tle was a remark­able and deci­sive encounter which for the first time in naval his­to­ry saw two air­craft car­ri­er groups fight­ing each oth­er from over the hori­zon.

He said there was also a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion made by the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy with one of the Task Forces being led by the Aus­tralian, Admi­ral John Crace and includ­ing HMAS Aus­tralia and Hobart.

“Whilst it was con­sid­ered a tac­ti­cal vic­to­ry for the Japan­ese it was a strate­gic turn­ing point for the Allies in the Pacif­ic.”

“After the bat­tle the Japan­ese were forced to reassess their New Guinea cam­paign and they were weak­ened pri­or to the Bat­tle of Mid­way.”

Vice Admi­ral Crane said in the days fol­low­ing the bat­tle it was read­i­ly appar­ent that the Aus­tralian peo­ple were reen­er­gised and inject­ed with new courage and vigour after what had been described as Australia’s ‘dark­est hour’.

“We con­tin­ue to remem­ber and hon­our their sac­ri­fice today as a turn­ing point in the war and in our rela­tion­ship with the Unit­ed States. As Aus­tralians, we remain grate­ful for the Amer­i­cans who came to our aid and with whom we fought as one,” he said.

“Our part­ner­ship has, since 1951, been for­malised in the Aus­tralia-New Zealand-US (ANZUS) treaty. This year we mark its six­ti­eth anniver­sary. “This part­ner­ship has been a key fea­ture of Aus­tralia and America’s approach to secu­ri­ty: we have always defend­ed our com­mon inter­ests in uni­son.”

Whilst we have fought along­side each oth­er in every major con­flict in the last cen­tu­ry, the rela­tion­ship we have today is built on the found­ing prin­ci­ples of ANZUS.”

Media con­tact:
Defence Media Oper­a­tions 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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