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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781864711332
  • Imprint: William Heinemann Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 720
  • RRP: $46.00
Categories:

Cruiser

The Life And Loss Of HMAS Perth And Her Crew




The definitive biography of the Australian cruiser HMAS Perth, and the brave men
who sailed with her.

Of all the Australians who fought in the Second World War, none saw more action nor endured so much of its hardship and horror as the crew of the cruiser HMAS Perth.

Most were young - many were still teenagers - from cities and towns, villages and farms across the nation. In three tumultuous years they did battle with the forces of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Vichy French and, finally, the Imperial Japanese Navy. They were nearly lost in a hurricane in the Atlantic. In the Mediterranean in 1941 they were bombed by the Luftwaffe and the Italian Air Force for months on end until, ultimately, during the disastrous evacuation of the Australian army from Crete, their ship took a direct hit and thirteen men were killed.

After the fall of Singapore in 1942, HMAS Perth was hurled into the forlorn campaign to stem the Japanese advance towards Australia. Off the coast of Java in March that year she met an overwhelming enemy naval force. Firing until her ammunition literally ran out, she was sunk with the loss of 353 of her crew, including her much-loved captain and the Royal Australian Navy’s finest fighting sailor, ‘Hardover’ Hec Waller. Another 328 men were taken into Japanese captivity, most to become slave labourers in the infinite hell of the Burma-Thai railway. Many died there, victims of unspeakable atrocity. Only 218 men, less than a third of her crew, survived to return home at war’s end.

CRUISER, by journalist and broadcaster Mike Carlton, is their story. And the story of those
who loved them and waited for them.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781864711332
  • Imprint: William Heinemann Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 720
  • RRP: $46.00

About the Author

Mike Carlton

In a working life of more than 50 years, Mike Carlton became one of Australia's best-known media figures. He has been a radio and television news and current affairs reporter, foreign correspondent, radio host and newspaper columnist.

He was an ABC war correspondent in Vietnam in 1967 and 1970, and for three years was the ABC's Bureau Chief in Jakarta. He also reported for the ABC from London, New York and major Asian capitals. In television, he was one of the original reporters on the ABC's groundbreaking This Day Tonight in the 1970s. He also worked for Nine Network News, and A Current Affair.
In 1980 Mike turned to talk radio, first at Sydney's 2GB with a top-rating breakfast program, and then for four years in London at Newstalk 97.3FM, where he won a coveted Sony Radio Academy award in 1993 for Britain's best talk breakfast show. His radio satire on current affairs, Friday News Review, was "must listening" in Australia and the UK.

In television, he reported and hosted Indonesia: A Reporter Returns, a three-part documentary for SBS; he worked on Radio 2UE as a broadcaster for many years and wrote a long-standing column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mike has had a life-long passion for naval history and is the author of Cruiser, First Victory and Flagship.

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