Royal Australian Navy

This ambivalent cartoon from The Bulletin in 1907 clearly shows apprehension at Japanese military designs in the region. This was despite the fact that Japan was in an alliance with Britain at the time that this cartoon was published. Commentators in Australia were wary of this alliance but also worried about the costs of Australia having to shoulder the burden of the region's security by itself. 1907 saw HMAS Australia become first ship in the Royal Australian Navy - paid for by Australia and manned by an Australian crew. However, it was still hoped that the Royal Navy would provide the security required despite the fact that the Anglo-Japanese Alliance had freed up Royal Naval units to serve elsewhere in the world.


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by Stephen Luscombe