NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
8th May, 1942 : The Japanese Navy publicity department has some explaining to do . Yesterday, in reporting that the Imperial Navy had attacked combined British (actually Australian) and American fleet in the Coral Sea, it added on a rather premature note: “Details of our brilliant achievement will be announced later.” The Battle of the Coral Sea off north-east Australia was triggered by a Japanese attempt, mounted from Rabaul, to move an invasion force comprising three aircraft carriers, four cruisers and 11 troop carrying transports through the sea to capture Port Moresby. It is believed they also intended to strafe Cooktown and Townsville. The fighting has ended with both sides withdrawing, the Japanese reversing course and sailing back to Rabaul to regroup. This strategic Allied win has ended, for the time being, the threat to Port Moresby. The battle was a first in naval history in that the opposing surface vessels were never in sight of each other.