From 1948 - when Australia assumed strategic responsibility for British Commonwealth sea lines of communication to and from Southeast Asia - to 1971, ships and men of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) served with almost unnoticed distinction in defending the newly emerging nations of Malaya, Malaysia and Singapore. With British and New Zealand forces, they fought against insurrection and infiltration during the Malayan Emergency (1955-1960), and countered Indonesian incursions and infiltrations into Malaysia and Singapore during Confrontation (1964-1966). In the process, the RAN personnel held key positions in the Royal Malaysian Navy during its most challenging period of development and growth. During this period of intense diplomatic and military activity in a potentially volatile region, Australia developed its engagement with Southeast Asia and its concept of 'forward defense.' While the Vietnam War loomed ever larger over the region, the RAN played its part in creating the conditions for peace and prosperity in Malaysia and Singapore, by bombarding terrorist positions, engaging Indonesian infiltrators in vicious firefights, providing support to land forces, or patiently laying the foundations for regional navies to build upon. Tiger Territory tells of the naval men who delivered this underappreciated achievement, and recounts their previously unpublished experiences.
Publication Date: 4/1/2008