This book is the story of how, for Australia, World War II began as a battle far away and turned into one that brought war to the shores of the nation. Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen fought for the defense of Britain in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa from the moment war was declared in 1939. Then, in late 1941, the focus of our conflict moved close to home as the Japanese juggernaut rolled across Asia and the Pacific. They were seemingly unstoppable, until a tenacious group of Australian soldiers finally brought the Japanese to a halt at Milne Bay and Kokoda while the Allied navies inflicted their first defeat in the Coral Sea. This book tells the story of how a nation was mobilized to defend the homeland, and how industrial production grew to supply the needs of war and support more than 600,000 personnel in the Army, RAN and RAAF.