A Ceaseless Watch
A Ceaseless Watch: Australia’s Third Party Naval Defense, 1919–1942 illustrates how Australia confronted the need to base its post–World War I defense planning around the security provided by a major naval power: in the first instance, Britain, and later the United States. Spanning the period leading up to Australia’s greatest security crisis—the military threat posed by Japan throughout the majority of 1942—the work takes the reader all the way up to the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy by the United States Navy in the Solomon Islands campaign.
Britts illustrates the difficulty in forming a defense relationship between small and great powers, where the needs of the former are not subsumed by the interests of the latter, from the interwar years to the start of World War II. In an era when the entire Pacific region was at war, the inability of a larger power to fulfill its side of a defensive pact with a smaller power shaped the future of the region itself.