The Ministry Communications Unit: It didn’t happen, but it could have! is a historical fiction/romance /adventure novel by Gordon Smith.
Prior to the Second World War, Japan and Australia had been successful trading partners, but after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, Australia was soon at war with Japan. Various attacks by Japan soon followed and the citizens of Australia became afraid and were ready to bolt inland from the coastal regions. In 1942, General McArthur set up his headquarters for the Pacific in Brisbane and, as a result, the city needed a civilian population to ensure the smooth operation of its essential services. Due to its proximity to the Pacific battlefronts, it was a crucial geographic point for resupplying troops in battle – from both sides of the war. A plan was soon hatched to make newsreel films and articles that would not only reassure Australia’s civilians that they would be safe from Japanese threat, but, at the same time, they would also be leaked to the Japanese in an effort to convince them that Brisbane was too difficult a city to invade. The Ministry Communications Unit chronicles the creation and development of the special public relations unit that created those movies and articles.
It is also about adventure, romance, glory and also personal sacrifice. The Ministry Communications unit, tells the tale of how the unit developed along with the interactions of people causing interest and romances to begin. But nothing in the path of love can run smoothly and as the young men and women become romantically involved they then become shocked by the horrific hospital boat sinking.
A Word from the Author
The story is one about the men and women who were in this unit and the work they undertook. They were to make newsreel shorts to be shown to the population to give confidence that an invasion by the Japanese would be too difficult and therefore no invasion would take place.
Romanced developed between some of the unit’s members and you will be taken into their intimate thoughts.
When a Japanese submarine sinks the hospital ship Centaur, just off the Caloundra Coast everyone in unit realises that war is very close.
The husband of a team member goes missing when the flight from England crashes in the Indian Ocean. She then throws herself into new tasks and gains many accolades both as an interviewer as well as a person.
After the war is over the unit disbands, but are employed by a major Hollywood studio to make movies in Australia.
This story has it all! Adventure, Romance, Weddings, and intrigue. There is even an unexpected battle scene.
Although a work of historical fiction, The Ministry Communications Unit is a very successful story. The plot is well conceived, the characters’ actions seem fitting for the time, and the background of the war provides an easily reachable and acceptable scenario for this story.
(Gordon Smith, April 2017)