For almost 6 months after December 7th, 1941, the Japanese war machine swept all before it in a series of attacks and offensives that shocked the United States and its allies. In this period, dozens of islands, most with insignificant names bound for glory, were set up to form barriers to protect the Japanese mainland. Moreover, it allowed the Asian continent to be exploited in full free from outside interference.
Then in June, 1942, the Battle of Midway occurred. Here, the power of Japan’s mobile spearhead of 4 aircraft carriers slid beneath the waves, victims of air attack, bringing an end to the havoc wreaked since December 7th, and allowing the U.S. and its allies to begin the bloody march to Tokyo.
Central to this march was Australia. By 1943, it played a principal role as a staging base for offensives in the Pacific. From here the U.S. had launched its first land campaigns, and Australia/New Zealand forces (ANZAC) were deeply involved in the island leapfrog operations, as well as sending scores of enemy ships to the bottom using aircraft and submarines.
With the tide now shifted, the war in the shadows played an increasingly vital role in striking the Japanese at every opportunity. For handling such tasks, Special Operations Australia (SOA), a joint allied military intelligence service, called upon its commando unit known as Special Unit Z, or Z Force, from which the best of the Australian army and Navy were drawn. And, until the end of the war, this small group of men, many of them trained and accompanied by veteran allied servicemen, would sew havoc upon Japanese installations throughout the Pacific.