New Guinea

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Post by kosovohp on Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:12 am

Japanese submarines resumed operations in Australian waters in January 1943. I-21 made a highly successful patrol in January and February, during which she sank five ships, and two other submarines operated off Sydney and Brisbane in March.[7] A force of five boats from the IJN's 3rd Submarine Squadron subsequently attacked shipping along the full length of the Australian east coast during April and May in an attempt to disrupt the Allied supply line to New Guinea. This marked the peak of the Japanese submarine offensive against Australia and nine ships were sunk off the east coast within a month.[8] In contrast with 1942, several successful attacks were made against ships travelling in convoys.[9]
The large number of Japanese attacks in 1943 put great strain on the Allied forces responsible for protecting shipping off eastern Australia. The Australian naval authorities were forced in April to reduce the number of convoys that sailed so their escort could be increased to at least four warships. The RAAF also greatly increased the number of aircraft allocated to escort convoys and ships sailing independently.[10] Further ships and aircraft fitted for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) became available in May, but were still not adequate to counter the Japanese attacks.[11]

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