Australia and imperial defence, 1918-39 : a study in air and sea power

McCarthy, John Malcolm Australia and imperial defence, 1918-39 : a study in air and sea power. St. Lucia , Qld.: University of Queensland Press, 1976.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Read with bookreader  UA870_M3_1976.pdf Full text application/pdf 24.99MB 212
Author McCarthy, John Malcolm
Title Australia and imperial defence, 1918-39 : a study in air and sea power
Place of Publication St. Lucia , Qld.
Publisher University of Queensland Press
Publication year 1976
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
ISBN 0702210617
Language eng
Total number of pages 227
Subjects 430101 History - Australian
160604 Defence Studies
Formatted Abstract/Summary


The study of military affairs in Australia has been largely ignored by historians and political scientists. A critical analysis of anything other than contemporary defence policies has likewise been neglected. Apart from the information scattered throughout the official war histories, no account of the armed services nor of the formulation and implementation of defence policy exists for the interwar period. The aim of this book is to fill part of the gap. It is intended to examine the development of the air force and the relationship between air power and sea power in Australian defence in terms of the Imperial defence relationship as it existed between the formulation of the 1923 Imperial Conference defence resolutions and the outbreak of war with Germany in September 1939. The strategic principles embodied in the "Fleet to Singapore" concept governed interwar defence planning. It follows that the attitude of the government and the Australian armed services towards the Singapore strategy will be given an extended analysis. The nature of the Imperial defence connection in the interwar years will be examined in an effort to show how the partnership between Australia and the United Kingdom operated. It is hoped to demonstrate some of the solutions offered by Australian and United Kingdom defence planners to specific problems and to reach some conclusions regarding the value of the Imperial connection to Australian defence generally. 

Imperial defence may be defined as the joint defence of United Kingdom possessions and interests by a combination of United Kingdom, Dominion, and Colonial forces. Australian participation may be dated from 1885 when a mixture of fear and pragmatism led the Australian colonies to offer the United Kingdom troops to fight the Mahdi in the Sudan. For all its appearance as a spontaneous gesture, the dispatch of the Sudan contingent from New South Wales was a result of a realistic understanding that the colonies could only find protection through British sea power and inside some framework of Imperialism. In an early expression of "forward defence", Dibbs, premier of New South Wales, explained that Australia was defending itself in Egypt just as if "the common enemy menaced us in the colony"; and that "upon the success of British arms in the Sudan, the fate of India in all probability hinges. And if that success concerns India it also concerns the Australian colonies." Dibbs was establishing what was to become a theoretical first principle of Imperial defence: that the Empire was composed of interdependent parts. Thereafter it was made increasingly clear that Australian forces would be available to fight in Imperial wars…….. 

Keyword Australia -- Military policy
Australia -- Military relations -- Great Britain
Great Britain -- Military relations -- Australia
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Permission received from University of Queensland Press to make this item publicly available on 5th June 2013

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 20 Apr 2010, 15:21:59 EST by Ms Natalie Hull on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service