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On 27 February 1941, the War Cabinet gave official approval for the Combined Operational Intelligence Centre (COIC), Central War Room (CWR), Combined Defence Headquarters (CDH) and for Area Combined Headquarters (ACHs).  The Central War Room and the COIC were to be manned full time.

COIC, CWR and ACH Melbourne were established by 5 March 1941 in a new building in Coventry Street, in "N" Block. 

For trade defence operations, the naval and air forces were co-coordinated via Area Combined Headquarters (ACH). They were established in four areas.

Combined Defence Headquarters were established to provide coordinated operations to counter an enemy attack at defended ports where naval, army and air forces were based. New Combined Defence Headquarters were established in Townsville, Thursday Island and Newcastle.

In a 31st Battalion Newsletter, Barry Smith mentions that he was part of a party sent to Princess Charlotte Bay by Sunderland flying boat to investigate the possibility of a Japanese submarine using a refuelling base in the area. On his return he reported to Combined Defence Headquarters in Sturt Street. 


Central War Room (CWR)

Area Combined Headquarters (ACH)

Combined Defence Headquarters (CDH)

Combined Operational Intelligence Centres (COIC)


Where was this HQ located in Sturt Street?

Was it in 42 Sturt Street along with ACH and COIC and NEAHQ?


Can anyone help me with more information?


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 22 February 2002

This page last updated 24 January 2020