Up Top

Up Top : The Royal Australian Navy and Southeast Asian Conflicts 1955-1972

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The period from 1955 to 1972 saw the Royal Australian Navy play a vital role in conflicts in the Southeast Asian region, alongside the better known contributions made by the army and the air force. It was also an important time for the RAN internally--the expansion of its roles and missions leading to a move away from the habits and doctrines of the Royal Navy and towards an ever-growing closeness to the United States.

Up Top is the first detailed account of the experiences of the RAN during this time, particularly its involvement in the Far East Strategic Reserve, the Malayan Emergency, Confrontation with Indonesia, and the Vietnam war.

The RAN's activities in Southeast Asia were numerous and wide-ranging: Australian ships served with their British and New Zealand counterparts in defence of Malaysia, and as part of the American Seventh Fleet in Vietnamese waters; air and ground crew from the Fleet Air Arm flew with a US Army helicopter unit in support of American, South Vietnamese and Australian ground forces; divers from Clearance Diving Team 3 operated in the ports and inland waterways to safeguard shipping from attack by mines and underwater sappers; HMAS Sydney, the 'Vung Tau ferry', made numerous trips between Australia and South Vietnam in the logistic support role.

The book places all of these activities within the context of the significant structural problems of underfunding and obsolescence which faced the RAN, and the search by the high command for a clear and prominent role for the navy in order to emphasise the continuing relevance of seapower in the nation's defence.

An invaluable contribution to Australian naval history, Up Top has been written with full access to archival sources in Australia, Britain and the United States.

This book is the seventh volume of the Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948 - 1975.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 176 x 240 x 31.75mm
  • Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • 1864482907
  • 9781864482904

Table of contents


1. The RAN in the Postwar Era: A Context

2. The RAN, the Strategic Reserve and the Malayan Emergency

The Strategic Reserve

The RAN and the 'secondary role'

Advice and support: fostering the Royal Malayan Navy

3. The RAN, Confrontation and the Defence of Malaysia

The TNI-AL and the naval threat

Strategic plans and the commitment of Australian forces

HMS Victorious and the innocent passage of disputed territorial waters

RAN surface operations during Confrontation

4. The Navy and Vietnam: Policy and Direction

Sailors as diplomats

Getting in

A role for the Fleet Air Arm

Getting out

5. HMAS Sydney and the logistic support of the forces

Civilian shipping and Army small ships

6. With the 7th fleet

I The Tasks

II HMAS Hobart: 1st Deployment, March-Septe
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About Jeffrey Grey

JEFFREY GREY is Associate Professor of History at the Australian Defence Force Academy and has authored or edited many military history books, including A Military History of Australia and The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. With Peter Dennis, he co-authored an earlier volume in this series, Emergency and Confrontation: Australian military operations in Malaya and Borneo 1950 - 1966.
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