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Operation Kingfisher

The cancelled rescue mission that sacrificed Sandakan POWs to the Death Marches

(1 customer review)
Authors: Gary Followill
153mm x 230mm

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The chain of events that led to the death of over 2,500 Prisoners of War – one of Australia’s worst wartime tragedies – the cancellation of the rescue mission Operation Kingfisher.

Finally, the true story of why the Sandakan POWs of World War II were not rescued despite a fully planned and resourced operation – including men, aircraft and naval vessels – all equipped to carry out the rescue mission.

There have been several published theories on Operation Kingfisher which explore if the plan really existed, why it was cancelled and who was to blame for its cancellation. For the first time, Operation Kingfisher analyses the effects government policy and the relationships of Churchill, Roosevelt and Curtin had on the mission and its final outcome.

Using recently released archival documents, the author uncovers the mistakes made by Allied governments and special forces in Borneo that triggered the Death Marches Number 2 and Number 3. It reveals the mistaken intelligence which caused the cancellation of the rescue mission of the POWs at the Sandakan POW camp – a decision that ultimately resulted in their deaths.

Operation Kingfisher discloses the actual chain of events that led to the tragic sacrifice of all but six survivors of the Sandakan POW camp.

Gary Followill

Gary Followill

Gary Followill is a successful business owner of an international agricultural import/export company, turned military historian and writer. He has a lifelong interest in history and, in 2010, commenced a Master of Art degree in Military History at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Operation Kingfisher follows years of research at archives in Australia, […]

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1 review for Operation Kingfisher

  1. This book is a scholarly work that delves deeply into a very wide range of Australian, British, and American archives, including some recently released; plus, books, articles, speeches and other publications that throw light on the historical reasons behind the tragedy of the Sandakan POWs and the Death Marches.
    As noted in the foreword by Professor Peter Stanley, this work is more than “just an addition to a footnote on the Sandakan saga”. As such, it is certainly worth reading both to help explain a sad event in Australian military history and to understand a little about the delicate nature of Allied relationships – a lesson we should remember in today’s complex world.

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