Battle of the Coral Sea
6 May 2011
Tomorrow, the 7th of May 2011, marks the 69th anniversary of the climax of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane said many have called it the battle that saved Australia.
Vice Admiral Crane said the battle was a remarkable and decisive encounter which for the first time in naval history saw two aircraft carrier groups fighting each other from over the horizon.
He said there was also a significant contribution made by the Royal Australian Navy with one of the Task Forces being led by the Australian, Admiral John Crace and including HMAS Australia and Hobart.
“Whilst it was considered a tactical victory for the Japanese it was a strategic turning point for the Allies in the Pacific.”
“After the battle the Japanese were forced to reassess their New Guinea campaign and they were weakened prior to the Battle of Midway.”
Vice Admiral Crane said in the days following the battle it was readily apparent that the Australian people were reenergised and injected with new courage and vigour after what had been described as Australia's 'darkest hour'.
“We continue to remember and honour their sacrifice today as a turning point in the war and in our relationship with the United States. As Australians, we remain grateful for the Americans who came to our aid and with whom we fought as one,” he said.
“Our partnership has, since 1951, been formalised in the Australia-New Zealand-US (ANZUS) treaty. This year we mark its sixtieth anniversary. “This partnership has been a key feature of Australia and America’s approach to security: we have always defended our common interests in unison.”
Whilst we have fought alongside each other in every major conflict in the last century, the relationship we have today is built on the founding principles of ANZUS.”
Media contact: Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664