In 1945, 240 Australians died taking the small Borneo island of Tarakan from the Japanese. The tragedy of Tarakan was that by the time they succeeded, they need not have begun.
Peter Stanley explores that battle, what it was like and what it means to us over fifty years on. He traces the operation from its origins in MacArthur's GHQ, down to the rifle sections patrolling in Tarakan's rugged jungle.
Tarakan: An Australian Tragedy suggests new ways of looking at Australia's experience of war. It critically appraises the view that the Borneo campaign was unnecessary, arguing that it was a justifiable operation doomed by the politics of coalition warfare and by bad planning.
Tarakan: An Australian Tragedy illuminates the Australian experience of war. Through it, we can hear the men on Tarakan - scared, angry, humorous, proud, bitter and, above all, Australian - the voices of a vanished Australia.
Tarakan: An Australian Tragedy is the story of people at war, how it affected them, and how we have remembered it and them.