The Military History Society of NSW is for those interested in military history from ancient and modern times from NSW, Australia and the globe.

Upcoming lecture and guest speaker

The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

Battle of the Coral Sea, 4-8 May 1942

By Peter Sweeney, Battlefield Guide


Japanese aircraft carrier Shōhō is bombed and torpedoed by U.S. carrier aircraft.
(Photographed by a USS Lexington (CV-2) plane crew – Official U.S. Navy photograph 80-G-17026, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives, Public Domain)

The Battle of the Coral Sea was a series of naval engagements off the north-east coast of Australia between 4 and 8 May 1942.
It was fought by United States and Australian forces against the Japanese. It was the first aircraft carrier battle ever fought, and the first naval battle in which the opposing forces of surface ships at no stage sighted or fired at each other.

All attacks were carried out by aircraft. It is also the largest naval battle that has ever been fought off Australia’s shores. The battle was significant for two main reasons: it was the first time in World War 2 that the Japanese experienced a defeat in a major military operation and it was the battle stopped the Japanese sea-borne invasion of Port Moresby. For some people this was also the ‘battle that saved Australia’, although others may debate this.

Come and hear Battlefield Guide Peter Sweeney’s detailed and well researched account of this major battle. Peter Sweeney is a retired army reserve infantry Lieutenant Colonel, awarded the Reserve Force Decoration for service. He is a military historian, battlefield guide and speaker on Australian military history and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Military History through the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Peter is an Associate member of the UK based International Guild of Battlefield. He is also a co-owner of Battle Honours Australia Pty Ltd which explores Australian military history through talks, trips and tours, as well as an enrichment speaker on military history on Cruise ships to the South West Pacific Ocean.


Saturday 7th April 2018, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Carmichael Room, Level 1, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (SMSA), 280 Pitt Street, Sydney CBD


Entry is free. RSVP is essential by Wednesday 4th April 2018 as numbers are restricted.

Call the President (Clinton Reilly) on 0418 671 582 or email


The Battle of the Coral Sea







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