England completed the formalities of wrapping up a first successful Ashes tour of Australia in 24 years before lunch on the fourth day of the fourth Test in Melbourne, winning by an innings and 157 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
With home bowler Ryan Harris unable to bat due to injury, Andrew Strauss' men knew they needed to take just three wickets to retain the urn and they duly did so, despite some admirable resistance from the Australia tail.
After Chris Tremlett had snared Mitchell Johnson in the second over of the day, Graeme Swann removed Peter Siddle before Tim Bresnan struck the historic blow, having Ben Hilfenhaus caught behind.
The win, with one Test in Sydney to come, means England cannot lose the series and that home captain Ricky Ponting is only the second Australia skipper to have three unsuccessful Ashes series.
England skipper Andrew Strauss had nothing but praise for his side and also paid tribute to coach Andy Flower for his part in their success.
"We did a lot of planning for this series and knew what we wanted to do, but it's another thing going out and doing it," he said.