For American police authorities, collective identity and national loyalty ... 5 David Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in ...
Author: John McKerrow
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Over 120,000 American troops were stationed in Australia during the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands more passed through the country between 1941 and 1945. Because of Japan’s conquest of the Philippines in 1942, Australia was transformed into the principle base for the United States Army in the Southwest Pacific. This American occupation of an allied country resulted in several areas of tension between friends. The examination of these “fault lines,” which have, for the most part, received little attention from historians, is the purpose of this book. Jurisdictional and policing disputes and problems between Australian workers and American authorities are examined. American personnel committed thousands of crimes during the occupation, many of which were notorious. How Australians reacted to these crimes and how the American military sought to limit their negative effect on wartime relations is a major focus of this book. How the US military tried to protect GIs from prosecution by spiriting them out of Australia is also explored. Other areas of tension such as race and gender relations, which have been looked at by other historians, are examined in a new light; this book provides novel insights and challenges the existing historiography with regard to relations between black Americans and Australian civilians. How leaders on both sides, in particular Douglas MacArthur and John Curtin, managed crises and relations between civilians and GIs are studied. Sexual relations, an area of particular concern for authorities, were directed towards short-term flings and prostitution. In contrast, authorities did all they could to discourage long-term relations (i.e., marriage). Authorities obsessed over interracial sexual relations and doubled efforts to discourage them. Conflicts between American personnel and Australian civilians during the occupation did not threaten the alliance against Japan. Nevertheless, there were myriad problems between allies that led to friction and ill-will. These problems demanded management from above.