Accession Number : ADA193977

Title :   The Japanese Attack on Darwin: 19 February 1942: A Case Study in Surprise at the Operational Level.

Descriptive Note : Study project,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Hartley, John C

PDF Url : ADA193977

Report Date : 30 Mar 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 72

Abstract : Surprise, particularly at the operational and strategic levels, has been systematically examined by numerous analysts, most of whom conclude that it is almost impossible to guard against. They point to pathologies inherent in the processing of information and to the barriers and impediments to analytic accuracy, particularly where the production and use of intelligence is concerned. Senior Australian officials did anticipate the possibility of an attack on Darwin but assumed that the Netherlands East Indies would need to be occupied by the Japanese first, and that this would only happen after the fall of Singapore. By so doing, these officials failed to assess the importance that Japanese planners placed on eliminating any threat to the occupation of a major objective. Darwin, with its expanding role as a base, was not viewed in this perspective in relation to the capture of Java, Japan's main objective in the Netherlands East Indies. Thus, the failure to prepare for an attack on Darwin was the result of faulty analysis based on an incorrect assessment of Japanese intentions and operational methods. This problem was exacerbated by weaknesses in the collection system and the inability of Darwin's garrison to react to short term warnings.

Descriptors :   *TACTICAL ANALYSIS, *TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE, *AIR STRIKES, ACCURACY, ATTACK, COLLECTING METHODS, INFORMATION PROCESSING, JAPAN, JAVA, SINGAPORE, THREATS, AUSTRALIA, PORTS(FACILITIES), DATA ACQUISITION, HISTORY, OPERATIONAL READINESS

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Military Intelligence

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE