Fortress Fiji

Fortress Fiji by Robert Lowry

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Fortress Fiji is the story of Fiji in WWII.  During the first two years of the war, Fiji had to be defended from the possibility of attack by German maritime raiders intent on disrupting trans-Pacific telecommunications and trade.

When Japan launched its surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, Fiji became New Zealand’s outpost in the Pacific and a stepping stone on the ‘reinforcement line’ from the United States to Australia and the Philippines.

After Japan’s initial sweeping victories, they developed plans to capture New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa to rupture the ‘reinforcement line’ and prevent Australia becoming a base for an American counter-offensive.

Initially, Fiji strengthened its embryonic defences with the help of New Zealand and eventually a New Zealand infantry brigade was dispatched.  When Japan entered the war, another brigade was dispatched and some United States assistance was provided.

 In July 1942, American forces assumed responsibility for the defence of Fiji (including the 37th and later the Americal Divisions) and many of the New Zealanders returned home but by the end of 1942 there were about 40,000 United States, New Zealand and Fiji troops defending Fiji.
‘Those of us living in Fiji early in 1942 were fully alert to likely invasion by enemy forces. Lowry has shown in this book how real that threat was. … By providing us with the facts, Lowry deserves our thanks. He has done a fine job.’
Sir Ian Thomson KBE, CMG, MBE, Adjutant of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, Fiji Military Forces, 1942-45.
Fortress Fiji is 120 pages including maps, photographs, appendices and bibliography.