The German survivors were found with milk bottles bearing Japanese labels. [247] Like other western Allied POWs, the Australians were held in permanent camps in Italy and Germany and were generally treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Their effectiveness was confirmed during the invasion of Yugoslavia. [d] The principal Italian thrust was directed toward Epirus. [111] In addition, some of the Germans were interviewed, formally or informally, prior to their group reuniting with others; the independent accounts provided the same common elements. [166], The first collected historical account of the engagement was published in 1947, in George Hermon Gill's Royal Australian Navy, 1939–1942, the first of two RAN-oriented volumes in the government-sponsored Australia in the War of 1939–1945 series. [24][25] On 15 October 1940, Mussolini and his closest advisers finalised their decision. The Allies' retreat to Thermopylae uncovered a route across the Pindus mountains by which the Germans might flank the Hellenic army in a rearguard action. [127][128], On 26 August two AIF battalions from the 7th Division reinforced the remnants of Maroubra Force but the Japanese continued to advance along the Kokoda Track and by 16 September they reached the village of Ioribaiwa near Port Moresby. [26] An AIF corps headquarters, designated I Corps, was formed in March 1940 along with various support units. [202] Pre-war defence policies favoured the RAN, which received the majority of defence spending in the interwar period. [117] Instead, in March 1942 the Japanese military adopted a strategy of isolating Australia from the United States by capturing Port Moresby in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia. [15] Nearly 400,000 men served overseas, with 40 percent of the total force serving in front line areas. From April 1942 MacArthur took over command of all US and Australian forces in the newly formed South West Pacific Area as Supreme Commander. Thus, possession of Monastir and the Axios valley leading to Thessaloniki became essential for such an outflanking maneuver. [189] Her research led her to believe that the battle had occurred much closer inshore than claimed by the Germans. [289], The "HMAS Sydney Replacement Fund" was established to help finance the acquisition of a replacement ship. Small quantities of the Lee–Enfield No.4 Mk I/Mk I* rifle, made by the Long Branch Arsenal in Canada and Savage-Stevens Firearms in the US, were used in New Guinea although most of these rifles were provided to other branches of the Australian military and to the Volunteer Defence Corps in order to free up No.1 MkIII* rifles for frontline infantry units. The Aitape–Wewak campaign cost 442 Australian lives while about 9,000 Japanese died and another 269 were taken prisoner. [58][60] After the torpedo strike, Sydney turned hard to port: the Germans assumed that the Australian ship was trying to ram them, but the cruiser passed aft. (ed.) [120] On arrival in Cuxhaven, the prisoners were searched before leaving the ship; several written reports were confiscated, although nothing new was learned from these. From 1944 the Australian military was mainly relegated to subsidiary roles in holding or mopping-up operations, but continued to conduct large-scale operations until the end of the war with a larger proportion of its forces deployed in the final months of the conflict than at any other time. [2] The size of the Army remained small up until 1938 and 1939 when the Militia was rapidly expanded as the threat of war grew. [200][201] The proximity meant that the advantage would go to the ship that fired first; while Burnett likely assumed that Sydney was dealing with a merchantman, Detmers was ready for Kormoran to surprise the cruiser, and the raider's gun crew knew where to aim for maximum effectiveness. We did our duty honestly. [75] The British did not move their troops, because General Wilson regarded them as too weak to protect such a broad front. [191] Basil Liddell Hart and de Guingand point out that the delay of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union was not among Britain's strategic goals and as a result the possibility of such a delay could not have affected its decisions about Operation Marita. [151] Sydney was located just after 11:00 on 17 March, only hours after Kormoran's discovery was made public. [160][161], The erection of a temporary bridge across the Corinth canal permitted 5th Panzer Division units to pursue the Allied forces across the Peloponnese. [129] The searches were not exhaustive, and were primarily a response to civilian claims that the wreck site was at a certain location, with the survey ship sent to prove or disprove the claim. AIF units that returned from North Africa undertook some training in jungle tactics before going into action,[223] but the Militia units which initially faced the Japanese in New Guinea suffered from inadequate training, and this led to them suffering heavy casualties. [89] While weak security detachments covered his rear against a surprise attack from central Yugoslavia, elements of the 9th Panzer Division drove westward to link up with the Italians at the Albanian border. [48][58] Sydney's main armament was completely disabled (the forward turrets were damaged or destroyed, while the aft turrets were jammed facing port, away from Kormoran), and her secondary weapons were out of range. [245], The claim that Sydney was not at action stations originates from an observation by Detmers; as Sydney approached, the cruiser's 4-inch (100 mm) guns were unmanned, and sailors in aprons (which he describes as pantrymen), were standing on deck watching the German ship. [137] Mearns's organisation entered a partnership with HMAS Sydney Search Pty. [110] However, some efforts were made to keep officers separate from the sailors; Detmers and his executive officer were initially held aboard HMAS Yandra, then transported overland to Fremantle, and while all of the sailors were interned at a camp near Harvey, the officers were imprisoned at Swanbourne Barracks. [174], By 1945 the Army possessed a comprehensive schools system, with 40 schools of various kinds. [159] Sydney was the first to be inspected; electrical problems with the ROV set the start of filming back to 3 April.