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Road To Tokyo -

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(generated from captions) than surrender. that would rather die And what it means to fight an enemy learns the word 'Kamikaze'. It's the year the world in the Pacific. 1944 will be a desperate time ENGINES DRONE our own soldiers. These were our brothers in arms, our own men. MAN: These were our own... to the finish. will be a gruelling fight the last year of the Pacific War If the enemy is this ruthless, there is another lesson. But for Allied leaders Their stories shock the nation. are treated by the Japanese. of how dreadfully Allied prisoners It's these men who bring confirmation of their Japanese prison ship. after the sinking They've been drifting for days Australian prisoners of war. An American submarine is rescuing The place, the South China Sea. The time, September 1944. a moment of revelation. NARRATOR: You are watching

choose to kill themselves when even Saipan's civilians are horrified Later, battle-hardened marines the war's largest suicide charge. 4,500 bodies are recovered after They fight to the death. like a broken enemy. But the Japanese don't act of US bombers. Japan itself is now in range American forces capture Saipan. In July 1944, But it is the cost that shocks. continue to win. even though the Allies more disturbing, this struggle becomes darker, As the Americans move north, fighting from island to island. The Americans a series of grinding battles. The Pacific War has become in the Allies' favour. By mid 1944, the tide is turning beat them really in a lot of ways. You know... We were lucky to They were good fighters... and all this. they couldn't see, they were blind, that they couldn't fight, They told us before we went MAN: The Japanese were madmen. memories remain vividly alive. Even 60 years later, the last 12 months of World War II. This kind of war transforms

Were all burnt and they were black. were burnt off and their hair... See, all their clothes including the ship's captain. 30 sailors die, Sailors got burnt. And you got...people got... on the plane caught fire. and then all the fuel blew up When it struck the bomb went... to the bottom of it. And it had a bomb strapped And it eventually hit us. and we just couldn't stop it. because it kept coming and coming the momentum must have kept it going It had to be hit but I think us and we were all firing at it. LES: The Japanese plane came towards attempting to stop the suicide plane. 23-year-old Les Keith is a gunner by a Kamikaze. is the first ship to ever be struck the flagship 'HMAS Australia' On 21 October, at Leyte Gulf. American invasion of the Philippines are part of the massive Ships of the Royal Australian Navy to die fighting. experience the Japanese determination In October 1944, Australians directly as they got closer to Japan. of what they might be up against And gave them a bit of a glimpse of the Japanese. realise the depth of the fanaticism but really at this stage started to up against a fanatical enemy who already knew they were to the Americans and this was a great shock to surrender MAN: The Japanese were not expected rather than surrender.

sometimes allow prisoners to speak. To get Australians to listen they propaganda shows on short-wave radio. The Japanese transmit what little information they can get. families and friends cling to Across Australia, is known of their fate. Next to nothing two years earlier. since the notorious fall of Singapore have been prisoners of the Japanese 22,000 of their troops news of their own prisoners of war. Meanwhile, Australians hunger for They wanted to die. than a mass break-out. It was more a mass suicide attempt men wanting to get out of prison. to evade incarceration, as men wanting You think of the break-out at Cowra Only 40 out of nearly 380 survive. hang themselves. Several who remain behind they die rather than face dishonour. against machine guns and taking their chances over barbed wire fences Throwing blankets largest POW break-out. staged the Second World War's in New South Wales Japanese prisoners of war at Cowra the Japanese mindset for themselves. Australians on the home front see Two months before, and our blokes wanted to live. They wanted to die That's the way they looked at it. they lived on into Heaven. because if they died for the Emperor They wanted to die for their country's defence. will sacrifice themselves over 5,000 Kamikaze pilots By the war's end, It was a terrible thing to see it. in lumps... And their skin was peeling off

by American submarines because of the ruthless campaign Australians learn the truth she had the same dreams. friends who lost her father said I also remember one of my other but I could never find him. of going to meet him in a crowd was having dreams and this was as the war went on, The only thing I can remember, and that hope is there. People always hope, if their letters will get through. They write back, never knowing brief letters and cards from Bill. the Todd family receives For eight months after the broadcast, reasonably well. and obviously, at that stage, and we knew that he was speaking and that it was his voice to actually hear that he was alive I think Mum was just so pleased two years before. captured by Japanese raiders a merchant navy ship Bill Todd had been aboard my 13th birthday. and that was the day after we heard my father's name I heard my, ah, until, of course, We didn't do anything beyond that, listen to who the next people were. ALISON: We would listen to these and when they hear news of her father. Her family is luckier than most In 1944, Alison Todd is 13. that Dad would eventually speak. Never, well, not really expecting were saying. to hear what the other prisoners and then listen to Radio Tokyo So, we'd listen to the news after the 7 o'clock news each night. They came on immediately

they also carry prisoners of war being sent to Japan as forced labour. In September, the Japanese transport 'Rakuyo Maru' is carrying Australian and British prisoners from Singapore. Ray Wheeler is one of them. MAN: We'd been loading ships on the Singapore docks and I think they said three out of every seven ships were being torpedoed on the way to Japan so you could get an idea of the odds we were facing. American submarines were active in the area and we anticipated that we'd be torpedoed. About 5 o'clock in the morning we were sunk. RAY: We knew it was going to strike. We heard the crew on the deck screaming their heads off. They knew there was one coming towards, they could see it. It was paralysation in voices, in everything for a while. Everyone wondered what had happened, how we were going to get out of it. And said your little prayer and just hoped that you were going to be alright. carry supplies, But the ships don't only to starve Japan into submission. The Americans are determined against Japanese shipping. The prisoners have survived 2.5 years of Japanese mistreatment. Now, they must survive being adrift at sea. RAY: The sea's a big, lonely, lonely place. If you were stuck there on your own without anyone to talk to I don't think you'd last long. You'd go nuts. The only water available is salt water. You take one mouthful, swirl it round, spit it out, and swallow what was left. That didn't seem to affect you. But I hate to think some people, they just couldn't resist and they swallowed great gulps of water and they were the first to die. It leaves a hollow feeling in your chest and that to see so many of your mates are gone and there's nothing you could do about it. A lot of them swim off and say, "That's the end of it, "I'm giving up," and they swim out and put their hand up and go under the water. After more than three days, those who have survived are rescued by the same American submarines that sank 'Rakuyo Maru'. The Americans are appalled by the emaciated state of the oil-covered POWs. Once we thought we could be rescued by that vessel, it's amazing what a... You say, oh, there's my life coming back to me. The Americans care for the survivors, giving up their beds and leaving small gifts of food and cigarettes. Doing all they can to ease their suffering. It was a wonderful, euphoric feeling but it was cancelled a lot whether you looked around for mates and there was none of them left. They'd all gone. Some of them were mates that had been drifted off in a different direction and I wasn't just alone from our little group. There was about six of us, I think, survived. 6 of us out of about 30 odd. Which was pretty good. Out of the 1,300 prisoners aboard the 'Rakuyo Maru' only a quarter survive. Those who make it are the first prisoners of the Japanese to be liberated. They bring eye-witness accounts of their suffering. MAN: I guess the treatment of the Japanese can be summed up in one word - brutal. And continuous. They used to bash the prisoners literally to death. And there were some camps where this was, ah, commonplace. The 'Rakuyo Maru' survivors arrive home in late October. For months afterwards, they're besieged by relatives and friends seeking information of their loved ones. MICHAEL McKERNAN: The men who came back were specifically told that they weren't to say too much. And you've got that meeting at the Sydney Town Hall. Women, particularly, swamped, you know, rushed, the stage because the men weren't answering the questions that they had asked. The survivors were saying, oh, I can't really talk about that. And I mustn't talk about this, and so on. And the women got so frustrated with that that they rushed the stage, knocking over the press table and knocking over one of the survivors to the floor, um, in their frustration and in their determination to find out. Well, they found out where you were and they'd come out and they'd knock on the door and there'd be perhaps a woman and a girl or a woman and a boy or a husband and wife there. Introduce themselves. "Do you know our son..." You must remember that on that ship was 800 and something Australians. Then you perhaps only knew about 10% or 20% of them. But I did know some of them but we weren't allowed to tell them if we knew they were dead or anything. That had to come direct from the Army. We had to say, "Yes, but I don't know what happened to him." In one of the fortunes of war, not all the survivors are lucky enough to be rescued by the Americans. Some are picked up by Japanese ships. Rowley Richards is one of those men. He spends the rest of the war held captive in Japan, yet news of him still reaches home. ROWLEY: Three of those survivors who were picked up by the submarine visited my mother. One of them saw me go mad with thirst and then drown. Another one saw me... (Laughs) ..saw me go mad with malaria. And, ah, a third one saw me drown. Ah, so when she was told this, she said, "I don't believe you." They held a memorial service, ah, at the Cenotaph in Sydney... (Coughs) memory of those who died. Ah, and my mother declined to go. (Coughs) Instead of which she got my tails and my dinner jacket and hung them out in the sun ready for me to get home. By the end of 1944, the war has touched everyone. Shortages are at their peak. The allocation of meat, eggs and petrol is tightened. More than ever, rationing is a vital government weapon in keeping the country and the war running. I think the Australian public had suffered loss and privation more so than I think people now realise. Everything was unprocurable. Everything in short supply. Everything uncertain. Everything, you know, bothering you. When are you going to have enough to feed your family this week? Even though you had the money, could you feed them? Um, tough times. Government campaigns tell Australians how to do more with less. And like it. NEWSREEL: One of the jobs of this council we've heard so much about was to help with the design of Australia's new undies, so that there will be enough rayon underwear to keep Australian women supplied for the duration. And now we are introduced to the new undies. WOMAN: These are the new style scanties. The new undies for the little girls. Do you like your new undies, dear? Oh, yes. I'm helping my daddy to win the war, too. The new undies will be on sale at every underwear counter this spring. In 1944, Helen Burgin was in secondary school. She remembers a time when shopping required more planning than a military campaign. Tablecloths weren't on the rations but you could have a tablecloth of one yard square but this fabric was actually dress material and so I could make up a dress with four yards of fabric that I was able to buy as a tablecloth. There were girls who dispensed with stockings all together and they used leg paint. But to make them look like stockings they'd get one of their friends with a pencil to draw the line down the back of the leg and you'd go off in your shoes looking quite smartly dressed in your stockings which were painted on. They brought in a law against icing. Well, of course, that cut out the wedding cakes, the birthday cakes too. And there was some very innovative ideas and people would borrow from one another and hope that it'd do something for a girl who was going to be a bride. But it's on the industrial front that the crisis is at its worst. NEWSREEL: This strange-looking craft will bite the sand of a hostile shore. And send its load of fighting men yet another stage on the road to Tokyo. Australia has a higher proportion of its population in uniform than either the United States or Britain. Industry is stretched to breaking point, supplying food and munitions to the American forces in the Pacific. NEWSREEL: They're still working like hell. They could produce more but 750,000 of our men are in the fighting services. We haven't got enough men. We haven't got enough machines. The labour shortage is so desperate that in November 1944, 39,000 troops are returned to civilian life. Cabinet's judgment was that there should be an increase in the number of soldiers leaving the forces to get them into work that needed to be done. The Americans just couldn't understand that. You know, every fighting man should be fighting. Every fighting man. I don't think it's easy for an ally of the size that America was then, looking at a country of the size that Australia was then, to understand the pressure of such small numbers on the politicians. 'THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER' PLAYS NEWSREEL: Welcome, America! Australia says it wholeheartedly. American goodwill has been a top priority since the first troops arrived in the dark days of 1942. 'BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY' PLAYS WOMAN: Most Australians were very aware that we had never, ever in our history been in such a terrible position. If it hadn't been for the Americans coming to our aid, I believe Japanese would have been right down through Queensland. We could never have held them back. 'BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY' PLAYS The Americans are commanded by the domineering and charismatic General Douglas MacArthur. Here was this movie star type figure, this big man, this incredibly skilled PR man, this man who just seemed to sweep Melbourne to its feet. Curtin obviously would want to use MacArthur. Now, it's a very difficult concept to say use MacArthur, I don't know that too many people did use him... Would want to have portrayed MacArthur as the man who could get Australia out of this dreadful predicament that we were in. APPLAUSE We thank you, sir, for all that you have done. We pay tribute to the genius which has marked your leadership. We offer homage to the men who serve under you. By 1944, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin has a lot to be thankful for. As Supreme Commander of the South-West Pacific, General MacArthur has presided over Australia's successful defence. DAVID HORNER: Curtin tended to accept what MacArthur said as a man who knew. And for that reason he entrusted MacArthur with the strategic running of the war. And there's that wonderful exchange that MacArthur said, "Mr Prime Minister, you and I will run the war. "You look after the home front and I'll look after the fighting." And that's the way it worked. In 1944, for MacArthur, looking after the war means invading the Philippines, the islands he was forced to flee in 1942, when the Japanese invasion pushed south. I said to the people of the Philippines whence I came, "I shall return." ALL: Hear, hear! Tonight... ..I repeat those words. I shall return. ALL: Hear, hear! MacArthur's return to the Philippines will be triumphant. By November, his forces are one month into a grinding island-to-island fight north to Manila. Both Prime Minister Curtin and his military leader, General Sir Thomas Blamey, had hoped that MacArthur would take Australian troops with him on the road to Tokyo. MacArthur always told the Australians that he would take the Australian divisions with him to the Philippines, and he never did. This was an American area that had to be recovered by American troops. The Philippines campaign marks a turning point in the use of Australian troops in the Pacific. MacArthur and the Allied command relegate the Australians to a support role. They're given a watching guard in bypassed Japanese strongholds in New Guinea, Bougainville and the Solomons. The aim is to free up American troops for larger battles, like the Philippines. That meant from that time onwards, Australia was fighting for political reasons. To be part of the alliance, to have a share of the victory. In fact, the Government took advice from MacArthur and it was MacArthur himself who said that Australia needs to be involved so it's involved in the peace settlement at the end of the war. The continuing use of Australian forces in battles that don't impact on Japan's ultimate defeat will be controversial for the rest of the war. It's now 1945. The Japanese homeland is under intense attack. In March, B-29 Superfortresses use napalm. Fire-bombing raids bring a new ferocity to the Pacific War. In the first attack over Tokyo more than 80,000 civilians die. ROWLEY RICHARDS: I travelled from Tokyo to Yokohama. I did not see one intact building. The horror for the civilians must have been just unbelievable, ah, 'cause there was nothing that they could do and their houses are just built with timber and tissue paper and, of course, burnt fiercely. But the Japanese High Command still doesn't blink. Through all that, the Japanese government gave no indication that they were thinking about surrendering. Rather, they were thinking about ways of marshalling the population for some invasion that might be coming in the future. 8 May 1945. Peace comes to what now seems a distant Europe. Australians celebrate Germany's defeat. But for all the public fun, it's a half-hearted party. Prime Minister Curtin tells the country they should get on with the job of defeating the Japanese. Joan Fisher is with the Army Medical Service. It didn't make a big difference to us, we were still at war. And we just thought, well, it's just another battle front that's over. It didn't really affect me. We just noted that that part of the war was over but when you're still treating wounded soldiers it means nothing to you. There's an enormous amount yet to be done before our boys will be home. Before our prisoners will be recovered. Before this dreadful, shocking war will at last be over. Just a month before Germany's surrender, America had braced itself for the next major confrontation. It takes place on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Okinawa was Japanese territory and the Japanese fought bitterly to resist the Americans. And that gave the Americans a bit of a glimpse of what it was going to be like if ever they had to invade Japan, and it was a pretty grim picture. Okinawa is just 500km from Japan itself. The Americans throw their full might at the conflict, over 170,000 soldiers and 1,300 battleships. It is one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War. An intransigent Japan meets the challenge head-on. Over 1,900 Kamikaze raids sink 36 Allied warships. The human cost is appalling. A quarter of a million people die in the two-month campaign. The experience is not lost on Americans leaders. And again, if that was a glimpse on the attack on Japan, it was a pretty grim picture. And it made the Americans pause to think now, if they're going to invade Japan they're going to have to have large numbers of forces and be willing to take heavy casualties once they landed in Japan. While the Americans fight in Okinawa, Australians begin what will be their last major campaign of the war. In May 1945, General MacArthur wants Australians to recapture the oil-rich islands in British and Dutch Borneo. The campaign takes place in the troubled atmosphere. Some openly doubt whether it's necessary. The priority is Tokyo. Before the first landing on Tarakan Island, enemy positions are heavily bombarded. Australian losses must be kept to a minimum. The Borneo campaign also reveals a new horror for Australians. Lofty Hodges is from the Australian Army's 'Z' Special unit. He parachutes into Borneo. LOFTY: Information had come out from Borneo that there were prisoners who had survived the horrors of Sandakan, the death march, and ran... There were only a few left. And that if help didn't come soon, there would be no survivors. Allied military leaders have known about a prison camp at Sandakan in East Borneo for over two years. What they don't know is that months before in early 1945, the Japanese had marched the prisoners across Borneo, withholding food and killing those unable to keep up. Even the highly trained 'Z' Special Forces will be shocked by what they discover. This particular day is a day that... I will NEVER forget. I vividly recall, as if it was yesterday, walking around a bend in the track and coming across a group of natives who were surrounding three men, we'll call them 'men'. And the one that was the worst of all, I went over to him, it was Keith Botrell. Keith Botrell is one of only six survivors of an original 2,500 prisoners. These were our own men. These were our brothers in arms, our own soldiers. And to think that... ..this could happen... And eventually the doctor came and he had one look at Keith and he said, "This fella won't last the night." And, I don't know, I just took it on myself then and I thought, "Well, if this fella through his own will has come this far, "well, my God, I'm going to help him, help him get through it." I took over looking after him and I nursed him and I carried him and fed him. And together, with his spirit and, I suppose, my efforts, we won through and Keith survived. Ah, if I'd done nothing, if I did nothing in my life, at least I helped a mate. By the end of the Borneo campaign Australia will have more soldiers in action than at any other time during the Second World War. It is the only Allied country that increases its troop commitment after Germany's defeat. Borneo is General MacArthur's brainchild. He is initially supported by Australian General Thomas Blamey. As the campaign progresses, there is growing concern that Australian lives are being wasted in the strategic sideshow. Prime Minister John Curtin has been ill for months. He dies of a heart attack in July 1945. It's almost certain that Curtin's ill health was caused by the stress of the war effort. And in the period between October 1994 and the time when he died in July 1945, he was ill off and on, in hospital off and on. And I think during that period, he was reluctant to deal with some of the important issues as to Australia's place in the alliance with the Americans. It will be up to the new prime minister, Ben Chifley, to lead the country through the last month of the war. From now on, Borneo remains Australia's main battle front. America's General MacArthur wants to keep the Australian commitment going. But as the operations went on, General Blamey, in particular, started to realise that they really didn't contribute much to the war. And when MacArthur intended to land the Australians at Balikpapan, Blamey said that he did not think that was an operation worth conducting. He told the Australian Government, the Australian Government asked MacArthur, MacArthur said it should go ahead and it did go ahead. MacArthur reacts to the growing concern about Australian losses by giving the final Borneo landing, Balikpapan, a level of support unrivalled in Australian military history. The pre-landing bombardment lasts for 20 days. NEWSREEL: Zero hour as a fierce naval bombardment opens. These are Australian troops of the famed 7th Division who in the jungles of New Guinea three years ago halted the Japanese before Australia. MacArthur even decides to land with the Australian troops. I think he saw that by landing, or soon after the troops landed, and being seen to be there, this would indicate that he thought these were important operations. That the Australians and others ought to be feeling that they're important because he himself was there. Balikpapan sees the most ferocious fighting of the Borneo campaign. Walter Varley is an armoured brigade runner. He's caught in an ambush at a place called Milford Highway. MAN: It is a big cutting. Looked alright. Complete silence. Quiet. You could hear a pin drop. Nothing. And all of a sudden it all opened up. Absolutely unbelievable. The fire, the mortars, the whole thing. The Japs. They locked us in completely, in this re-entrant. Ah, it was... (Sighs) ..terrible. Mates that are lost there. Terrible thing. That was about the last major operation at Balikpapan. The losses at Borneo are even more tragic as they may have been unnecessary. On balance, you'd have to say that those operations in Borneo did not need to take place and did not make the war finish one minute earlier as a result of taking place. The war will be finished by the atomic bomb. In August 1945, atomic bombs obliterate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Memories of the Okinawa bloodbath are still strong. It's the American answer to Japanese hardliners who refuse to surrender. Paul Couvret is a Dutch prisoner working in the Nagasaki dockyard. We suddenly saw a bright flash and that flash was actually the moment the atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki. Well, it took about 12-15 seconds before the blast of the atomic bomb hit the dock. And then when we looked in the direction of Nagasaki we saw this fantastic sight of the atomic cloud - that huge big column of fire and smoke with the big mushroom on top. Well, we stood there all, the Japanese and ourselves included, we just stared in amazement, we'd never seen anything like it. More than 100,000 people die from the atomic blast. The effects will be felt for years. And all the Japanese workers on the shipyard were organised in rescue teams. And we saw them going out in the morning and then saw them coming back at 5 o'clock after having gone into Nagasaki proper. And the look on their faces was just the same as the looks on the faces of the Americans we saw coming back after 9/11, um, in New York. Covered in soot and ash and, ah, these Japanese had seen the most terrible sights there, of course, with all these bodies lying around in Nagasaki. WOMAN: And when we heard of the destruction it was a fearful time. To think that we'd reached this stage that we could do such shocking damage. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be here now... (Coughs) ..if there hadn't been an atomic bomb, forcing the Japs to capitulate. It has taken a horrifying new weapon to end the world's most devastating war. The Allies have made it to Tokyo. For Japan, this means being occupied for the first time in its recorded history. When the Americans arrived, that was an absolute amazing sight. I've never seen so many men, grown-up men, cry. It was... (Laughs) It was an absolute amazing sight. And we knew we had made it and here was freedom at last. ROWLEY: One of the things that kept us alive on the railway and subsequent to that, was fanciful thoughts as to what we were going to do with the Japs when we got the opportunity. We were going to kill so many of them, and all of that. And that gave us hope and stimulated us. In the event, when it was all over, it was all over. Ah, now, for instance, in our particular camp, ah, we mounted guard ourselves and a Jap officer came up wielding his sword and banzaing and going on, so this fellow just reversed arms and knocked him down. And somebody said, "Oh, why didn't you run the bastard through? "You've been looking for this opportunity." And he said, "If I did, I'd be the same as them." (All cheer) BELLS TOLL MAN: Fellow citizens, the war is over! The Japanese Government has accepted the terms of surrender imposed by the Allied nations. The hostilities will now cease. It's the 15th day of August, 1945. VP Day. WOMAN: It was a tremendous feeling of relief. And then with the phones all started. And we were phoning everyone. "Did you hear? Did you hear?" What are you thinking about? It was a lot of excitement. Tremendous excitement. We were delighted! We've never been so happy since of before. That the war was over. It was just a wonderful feeling - at last we can get back to normal, we can go back to our families, we can get on with our living. It was a wonderful feeling. Two weeks later, when Japan signs the formal surrender in Tokyo Bay, Australia is there. General Thomas Blamey signs on behalf of an Australia determined that its role in the Pacific won't be overlooked. I think we've learnt from our experiences in the Second World War. We need to play a role, the role needs to be measured, we need to decide how large that role ought to be. And we need to work very hard, the whole time, to make sure that Australian interests are looked after while we're being involved with the Americans. The decisions made by the Australian government in early 1944 mark one of the great turning points in Australian defence and foreign policy. Australia's not being crucial to winning the war, Australia is there for political reasons. And this is a big step for the Australian government to make. To realise that forces had to be used for political purposes, it's a legitimate thing. But it's a change in step from deploying forces directly for the defence of Australia or directly to win the war. For Alison Todd, the young schoolgirl who listened excitedly to her father on the radio, the end of the war brings unwelcome news. My aunt arrived at our place one night about 5 o'clock, which was early because she was working, and I can remember singing out, "Mum, Aunty Molly's here." And Mum came out and they both burst into tears. And that was when we realised, my brother and I realised, that he wasn't coming home. The surviving POWs start returning home in September 1945. It's the moment their relatives have been anticipating for four years. MICHAEL McKERNAN: They say that a noise went up across Sydney Harbour the like of which had never been heard before. The men themselves couldn't believe it, but they were embarrassed. They were shy. They were... Here's 50,000 people. We hadn't expected this. One journalist stayed behind. He looked at the crowd who, minutes before the buses had left, had been so exultant, and now, with the prisoners gone, with the former prisoners gone, they're standing there in the dusk at this beautiful place, and many of them just break down. Because they have seen how badly treated these Australians were. And as Australians they've said, "Well done! You look terrific. "You look fantastic." But they knew, they could see that they had been damaged. Out of a population of just seven million, over one million Australians, men and women, have worn a uniform serving their country in its most desperate time. Now, they can hope and dream once again of a normal life. Home. The great big H-O-M-E in capital letters. It was just like as if you were born again. It was amazing. I'll never forget the welcome home party. It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen in my life. It was unbelievable, really. I think one of the major reasons I survived was because I wanted to see my parents again. That was one of the biggest disappointments in my life when I came out of prison camp to find out that they both had passed away and I never had a chance to say thank you. The stupidity of war is the thing that's always emotional with me. Understanding how you've reached this stage, how we haven't learnt mistakes from those wars, and that periodically we find we're doing the same things again. Building up the same hatreds and getting closer to another war. It... Just stupid to my mind. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd