As losses go, this was a catastrophic one.
In folding twice in the space of three days, a shell-shocked England have handed Australia not only an early series lead, but also an immensely significant psychological edge as the team's head to Adelaide for the second Test.
Despite a somewhat shaky opening day, Australia blew their guests away over the final three days to inflict a 381-run mauling on England.
The home side's bowling performances were simply breathtaking, reducing England's previously fabled batting lineup to a quivering pile of rubble, while a couple of important hundreds in the second innings completed an impressive start for Australia.
Over the following sides, we give ratings for each Australian player after the conclusion of the opening Ashes Test.
With the bat: 1, 16
Despite his team's overwhelming success, Chris Rogers endured a difficult match at The Gabba.
In the first innings, the plucky left-hander poked a catch to Ian Bell at gully, hopping around the crease in a rather un-Australian manner to Stuart Broad's short-pitched effort.
In the second innings, Australia's senior opener was able to see off the England attack on the final session of day two but gifted his wicket to England early on the third day when he slapped an awful cut-shot straight to Michael Carberry at point.
After an impressive series in England where he was a revelation at the top of Australia's order, the 36-year-old will be keen to put his performance in this match behind him.
With the bat: 49, 124
David Warner's story of maturation continued its compelling and bumpy ride at Brisbane after a Test which saw the aggressive opening batsman make headlines on and off the field.
Despite making some remarks about Jonathan Trott that might land him in trouble with the ICC, the left-hander was impressive with the bat in both innings of the match.
His 49 in the first innings was full of his notoriously punchy stokes, helping to set a decent platform that wasn't capitalised on by his team's middle-order.
Yet, Warner was determined to go better again the second time around, crashing a brilliant 124 to drive Australia into a position of dominance on day three.
With the bat: 22, 6
With the ball: DNB, 0/0
Entering this match under an injury cloud, Shane Watson suffered a disappointing performance in Brisbane, failing to carry forward the promise he showed at No. 3 at The Oval in August.
His 22 in Australia's first innings was unusually subdued, ending with the bulky all-rounder hanging his bat out to a rising delivery from Broad just before lunch on day one.
Unable to significantly contribute with the ball, the right-hander needed to justify the selectors' faith in him as a specialist batsman by putting together a solid performance in Australia's second innings.
Instead, Watson skied a dreadful looking pull-shot on just six to gift a second early wicket to England.
With the bat: 1, 113
Michael Clarke would have received a much higher rating if not for his rather worrying dismissal in the first innings.
Everyone knew what to expect when Clarke arrived at the crease, but that didn't stop the Australian captain from tamely prodding Broad's first short-pitched delivery to short-leg.
However, from that point on, Clarke was simply brilliant.
His 113 in the second innings took the game away from England and heaped pressure upon the disappointing Graeme Swann, while his captaincy in the field was magnificent in orchestrating a thumping win for Australia.
With the bat: 31, 0
With the ball: DNB, 0/15
Steven Smith will undoubtedly be frustrated with his performance in Brisbane, after the 24-year-old was dismissed in identical fashion by Chris Tremlett in either innings.
The right-hander, who made an impressive hundred at The Oval in August, made a steady 31 in the first innings before edging a good length ball from England's gigantic seamer.
With his team crushing their opponents in their second effort with the bat, Smith did exactly the same, feeding Matt Prior on just his seventh ball faced.
Despite a resounding victory, Australia need their No. 5 to be a source of stability if they are to reclaim the Ashes.
With the bat: 3, 34
Although George Bailey's performance was hardly more impressive than those put forward by Rogers, Watson and Smith, the 31-year-old can be afforded some leniency on debut.
In the first innings, Bailey was worked over by James Anderson, who exploited his penchant for playing at every delivery by drawing him across the crease to edge a wide ball to Alastair Cook.
The debutant fared better in the second innings by compiling a smooth 34, but it must be acknowledged that he arrived at the crease in rather comfortable circumstances with Australia well on top.
While he'll certainly be given another chance in Adelaide, the team's Twenty20 captain needs to show he can transfer his limited overs form into the Test arena.
With the bat: 94, 53
With the gloves: 5 dismissals
Without Brad Haddin, this match may have taken on a vastly different look.
With his team reeling at 132-6 in the first innings, Haddin put together an incredibly gritty 94 in one of his renowned rearguard efforts to give his team a total to bowl at after a disappointing start to day one.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also helped to hammer Australia's advantage home in the second innings by clubbing an aggressive 53.
Add to that his impressive glove work, and Haddin's performance was one of Australia's best in Brisbane.
With the ball: 4/61, 5/42
With the bat: 64, 39*
It's hard to imagine a more spectacular Ashes redemption than Mitchell Johnson's display in the opening match of this encounter with England.
Derided for his performance in Australia's thrashing in 2010-11, Johnson entered this series as the biggest wildcard of the contest.
In the first Test, he was simply irresistible.
Runs with the bat set up his confidence for spells of utter devastation with the ball; his lethal, short-pitched barrage on England's top-order reducing the visitors to a terrified mess.
If he's able to do the same throughout the remainder of the summer, he'll single-handedly decide the outcome of this Ashes series.
With the ball: 1/24, 1/25
With the bat: 7, 4*
The star of show between these two teams in Brisbane in 2010-11, Peter Siddle had a far quieter experience this time around.
The steady right-armer claimed only two wickets for the match, watching Johnson wreak havoc on England at the other end.
However, that's not to say Siddle was ineffectual. His precise and tight spells afforded a licence of freedom to his lethal teammate. Without Siddle's restricting performance, Johnson would have been forced to bowl with more conservatism rather than the unrestrained brutality that was witnessed.
On the slower wickets elsewhere in Australia, Siddle's workhorse approach will be critical to his team's performances with the ball.
With the ball: 3/28, 2/49
With the bat: 9, DNB
Ryan Harris' performance will, of course, be overlooked by Johnson's heroics, but once again, he proved his class against England.
The bustling right-armer simply never let England off the hook, pinning them down during their first innings collapse, which included claiming the vital wickets of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen.
In the second innings, Harris was just as impressive, not gaining the reward his probing bowling deserved.
However, like he was in England earlier this year, Harris is the man that hold's Australia's attack together, regardless of the conditions on hand.
With the ball: 2/17, 2/46
With the bat: 1*, DNB
In a situation that would have been viewed as laughable before the series, Nathan Lyon completely outshone England's Graeme Swann in Brisbane.
While the visitors' off-spinner was treated with contempt at The Gabba, Lyon's flight and bounce proved to be mightily effective against England's rattled batting lineup.
Although his dismissals of Ian Bell and Matt Prior in the first innings can be considered errors on behalf of the batsmen, Lyon's control allowed Clarke to bring fielders around the bat which brought about their downfall.
In the second innings, Lyon's zip off the pitch was again impressive, removing the well-set Cook for 65 before grabbing Prior's wicket for a second time.
After a period of harsh treatment from Australia's selectors, Lyon looks set for an extended run in the side.