Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs: Missing Pieces: The Intelligence Jigsaw and RAN Operations 1939-71

Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No. 25
Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No. 25

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Ian Pfennigwerth


This volume contends that the RAN did not always give sufficient consideration to the provision of intelligence support in planning and conducting combat operations in conflicts from WWII to the Vietnam War. It reconstructs the intelligence background to RAN operational activities in prosecuting the conflicts, and the specific intelligence used by operational commanders to plan and execute their missions. In addressing the issue of operational intelligence, the study describes the inputs and outcomes of selected operational interludes in each of the conflicts, examining the RAN’s role in the war with Italy, Vichy France and Germany (1939-41), the retreat from Southeast Asia after the Japanese onslaught (December 1941 to May 1942), the repulse of the Japanese (May 1942-August 1945), the Korean War (1950-53), the Malayan Emergency (1948-60), Indonesia’s ‘Confrontation’ with Malaysia (1964-66) and the Vietnam War (1967-71).