Australia was almost defenceless against Japanese attack in 1942. Here it is suggested that vital lessons for today can be learnt from that period. Did the Australian leaders rely too heavily on Britain and were they let down? How much can Australia rely on any country for support in wartime? From the days of the First Fleet it was always accepted that the United Kingdom would send its fleet to defend Australia. For this reason Australia sent troops overseas as early as 1885 to help fight Imperial wars. The situation changed after 1918 for then Japan became a likely enemy. Could Britain defend Australia from attack and conduct a war in Europe? Dr. McCarthy examines both sides of the question and concludes that it was never possible.