42 episodes

Backyard Battlefields is a military history program which explores historical sites throughout Australia and beyond. Backyard Battlefields gives Australia’s military history a context by explaining its significance within the grander narrative of world events. Presented by James De Leo. For more information visit backyardbattlefields.com

Backyard Battlefields James De Leo

    • History

Backyard Battlefields is a military history program which explores historical sites throughout Australia and beyond. Backyard Battlefields gives Australia’s military history a context by explaining its significance within the grander narrative of world events. Presented by James De Leo. For more information visit backyardbattlefields.com

    Amity and Albany: Western Australia

    Amity and Albany: Western Australia

    The Brig 'Amity' was the ship which carried Major Edmund Lockyer and a contingent of troops to form the first European settlement in King George Sound, Western Australia. It was initally called 'Frederick Town' after Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (King George IIIs favourite son) and was later renamed 'Albany'. The local Menang people call it 'Kinjarling' said to mean 'Place of Rain'. Today there is a replica of  'Amity' which forms part of the Museum of the Great Southern.

    • 7 min
    South West Sentinels: Cape Naturaliste Radar Station and Lighthouse

    South West Sentinels: Cape Naturaliste Radar Station and Lighthouse

    Cape Naturaliste was named for a ship of the French Baudin Expedition of 1800. It's a prominent location, overlooking Geographe Bay on one side and the vastness of the Indian Ocean on the other. The high ground made it the perfect location for a lighthouse, guiding ships through the sometimes treacherous waters surrounding the Cape. During WW2 it was the operational position for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 33rd Radar station, a link in the air defence chain protecting the South West Sector of Western Australia. 

    • 14 min
    The 'Diamond Dakota Mystery' and the Bombing of Broome

    The 'Diamond Dakota Mystery' and the Bombing of Broome

    In March 1942 terrified refugees are fleeing the Dutch East Indies as Japanese forces march South. One of the last planes out, destined for Broome, Western Australia is a Dakota DC-3 piloted by Russian WW1 Ace Captain Ivan 'Turc' Smirnoff. Unbeknownst to those on board it's carrying a mysterious package filled with a fortune in Diamonds. Attacked by Japanese aircraft, the Dakota crashes on a remote beach and the diamonds disappear. This episode is an interview with Juliet Wills, author of 'The Diamond Dakota Mystery' an incredible tale of the 1942 Broome attack and the missing Dutch diamonds.

    • 41 min
    Coral Coast and Kormoran: Red Bluff, Western Australia

    Coral Coast and Kormoran: Red Bluff, Western Australia

    In 1941 sailors from a German merchant raider HSK Kormoran came ashore at Red Bluff, Western Australia following a battle with the Australian Cruiser HMAS Sydney. Before they reached the beach they disposed of any items which could complicate their capture. This episode recounts a unique 2007 discovery at Red Bluff and the key events of the engagement between Sydney and Kormoran.

    • 11 min
    Sun, Surf and Submarines: Garden Island, Western Australia

    Sun, Surf and Submarines: Garden Island, Western Australia

    Garden Island is a thin limestone sliver, 5km off the coast of Western Australia. It was an idyllic holiday destination until it became an important part of the defence of Fremantle during World War 2, protecting the Cockburn Sound and Southern approaches to the port. It was also the training ground of the famous 'Z' Special Unit, who paddled their kayaks into Singapore harbour to attack Japanese shipping. Today it is home to HMAS Stirling and the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet Base West.

    • 8 min
    Pirate, Explorer, Travel Writer: The Life of William Dampier

    Pirate, Explorer, Travel Writer: The Life of William Dampier

    William Dampier was a Pirate, Author and Explorer. He published numerous books including 'A New Voyage Around the World (1697) which was a unique blend of adventure and natural history which made him a popular sensation. He was the first English person to explore the coast of Western Australia in the ship HMS Roebuck which was the first Royal Navy expedition solely dedicated to science and exploration. 

    • 10 min

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