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1940. Wartime Australia. Key members of Menzies' government die in a fiery plane crash. What went wrong and what happened next? In August 1940 Australia had been at war for almost a year when a Hudson bomber - the A16-97 - carrying ten people, including three cabinet ministers, crashed into a ridge near Canberra. In the ghastly infer that followed the crash, the nation lost its key war leaders. Over the next twelve months, it became clear that the passing of Geoffrey Street, Sir Henry Gullett and James Fairbairn had destabilised Robert Menzies' wartime government. As a direct but delayed consequence, John Curtin became prime minister in October 1941. Controversially, this book also tells the story of whether Air Minister Fairbairn, rather than the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilot Bob Hitchcock, had been at the controls. Andrew Tink tells an engrossing and dramatic tale of a little-kwn aspect of Australia's political history.
Andrew Tink has served as shadow attorney-general and shadow Liberal leader of the House in the New South Wales Parliament. He graduated in Arts and Law at the Australian National University and practised as a barrister in Sydney before being elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1988. Since stepping back from active politics, he has concentrated on two of his great passions - writing and history. He is a visiting fellow at Macquarie University's Law School and the author of two books: William Charles Wentworth, Australia's greatest native son, which won `The Nib' CAL Waverley Award for Literature in 2010; and Lord Sydney, the life and times of Tommy Townshend.