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Kokoda Battle

Nina Salvador
by

Nina Salvador

on 15 September 2013

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Transcript of Kokoda Battle

Kokoda Battles
Battle at Efogi
Battle of Port Moresby
By Nina Salvador
Class : 9.4
Teacher: Mrs Weaver
During the late 1930s and early 1940s the world was once again at war. But this time Australia was against the three Axis of Power along with its allies which were; Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Australia also participated in this war along with U.S., Britain, France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa and Yugoslavia. Most of the time, Australia was stationed at Papau New Guinea and this is where most Australian soldiers spent their time in the war. The battles in Papau New Guinea are considered to be the most significant for Australians to this very day.
World War II
Axis of Power
Papau New Guinea
First Battle-
Kokoda Track
Third Battle-
Papau New Guinea is found near the equator. Its latitude and longitude is 9.5000° S, 147.1167° E. Since it's located just above Australia, most of the Australian soldiers spent their time and lives fighting for peace here. Making Papau New Guinea a memorial place for those who were effected by World War II.
Papau New Guinea on the World Map
Gordan Bailey an Australian Veteran's Account
Gordan Bailey is one of Australia's few remaining veterans that survived the battles at Kokoda. In the interview he describes the reaction of the Australians in Port Moresby to the shooting down of a Japanese aircraft.
“Then that afternoon a lone recce [reconnaissance plane] came over, the recce planes from the Japanese would just come over having a day afternoon out and go have a look at what the troops are doing at Moresby. They'd cruise around like they owned the place and they did this and the two [Australian] Kittyhawks were just waiting up in the sky somewhere. They got over Bootless Bay and they shot the plane down over Bootless Bay, an observation plane. You could hear the roar of the troops. Everybody roared when they went down, it sounded like we were at the Melbourne MCG on grand final day, it was fantastic. Really beaut.”
The battle at Port Moresby was one of Australia’s first field battles in World War II. It began when when the Japanese made their first attack on Papau New Guinea’s territory which was on the 3rd of February 1942. The Australian soldiers relied on their ‘anti aircraft gun’ to defend Port Moresby from Japanese air raids. The soldiers were ordered to defend Port Morseby as, it was an important allied base. The Port had aerodromes, fuel and logistical supply dumps, base hospitals and administrative buildings these were all essential in order for Australia to have the upper hand in defending the Port. Also if the Japanese were able to capture Port Moresby, then that would mean they would be able to set up air forces and battleship which were within Australia’s threat. However this battle ended late in May of 1942. The battle ended when the Japanese established themselves on the islands North of Papua New Guinea. Fortunately the death toll only reached 12 with all of them being pilots, although 2 were severely injured from bombs.
-An Australian crew preparing an anti aircraft gun to stop a Japanese aircraft.
Port Moresby location on the Papau New Guinea Map-
Battle of Isurava
The battle of Isurava was probably one of the most intense battles the Australian soldiers fought while at Papau New Guinea. It began on the 26th of August 1942 this battle was Australia's first land encounter with the Japanese troops. At this point, Australia’s objective was to force the Japanese to retreat in order to regain land, as the Australians loss Kokoda’s Airstrip. If the Australians were successful then it would of ensured food and ammunition. But unfortunately the commander that was in charge, Brigadier Potts ordered for the Australians to take a defensive stance as he realized the Japanese had massive amounts of artilley bombs. On the first day it proved commanders hypothesis was right. Australia’s 39th battalion was in battle with the Japanese first battalion, it was supported by artillery bombs.
To the east of the Kokoda track was the battle between Japan’s 2ND and Australia’s 53rd battalion, reinforcements came the next day to support the Australians. However on the third day, the 39th battalion was forced to retreat from Isurava to Rest House. This was because the Japanese unexpectedly invaded them from the West. On the fourth day, more Japanese artillery were dropped at battalion 39th’s position. The Japanese 3rd battalion closed the distance between battalion 39, with this they also set up 8 new guns, these guns were able to take down an aircraft with a single shot. On the Fifth day, Commander Brigadier Potts oredered all the Australian battalions in Isurava to retreat. As he feared the Australians will lose against the Japanese. The Australians had a fairly clean retreat since the Japanese battalions lost their way, when they were supposedly invading the Rest House. Subsequently during the retreat, a few Australian soldiers were captured by the Japanese as some of them got lost in the jungle during the retreat. Commander Colonel Keys was on of the soldiers that were captured that day. He was severely tortured, while also being intergorrated, fortunatley he didn’t give away any information but because of this the Japanese exceuted him. All in all the casualties for Australia at Isurava were a total of 210 with 99 killed and the remaining 111 being wounded.
Lawrence Downes
-A portrait of soldiers that fought and died at the Battle of Isurava
Lawrence Downes was a soldier that fought during the battles of Isurava. He was a soldier that was in the 39th battalion meaning he was in the center of the battle between the Japanese. In the video he talks about the fate of his friends.
“I had a couple of good leaders. There's a couple of them still alive. But their memories are gone. One of them was decorated. But at Kokoda in my original section three were given Military Medals. And there was only five of the originals there. So someone did some good.

They're all, bar one, gone. Ron Dryden died in Ballarat. Vic Smythe died - he had a block up at Robinvale. He got it after he'd been battling around Melbourne skinning rabbits and that. He put in for a block and he got a block up there. He's dead. Alec - he's still alive but he's had a stroke. He don't go anywhere. The rest of them are gone. Those that didn't get killed there [at Kokoda] got killed up at Gona. They just kept pushing them back in.”
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/australian-veterans-accounts/veterans-accounts_lawrence-downes.php

http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/australian-veterans-accounts/veterans-accounts_gordon-bailey.php
Isurava on the Map of Papau New Guinea
Battle of Mission Ridge-Brigade Hill
The battle at Mission Ridge and Brigade Hill was located at Efogi. These battles are also known as 'Disaster at Efogi'. This unfortunate battle began on the 8th of September, 1942. This battle just followed after the battle at Isurava. Australia Battalions (2/27, 2/14, 2,16) were ordered by General Rowell to stop retreating since they already lost the land at Isurava. To do this, Commander Brigadier Potts choose a position at a high hill to make a stand. With this, the Australians were given an advantage, since they could now see the ground below them. Even with the advantage of sight, the Australian Battalion 2/27 came in combat with the Japanese on the first two days. In addition, the Japanese used more artillery bombs to help them with their battle. In the next two days, the three Australian Battalions remained stationed at their positions on their hill. This decision came with consequences, as in the two days Japanese Battalion 2 ambushed battalion 2/16 which was located at the further back of the hill . Australian Battalions attempted to counter attack Japanese Battalion 2, even with their efforts all the Australian Battalions were forced to yet again retreat to safer ground. The casualties at this battle weren't as severe, compared to the battle of Isurava but the Australians still managed to lose 87 soldiers and injure 77.
-Image of bombings at the Battle of Efogi
Fourth Battle-
Battle at Deniki
The battle at Deniki just occured before the battle at Isurava. The battle took place on the 12th of August 1942. The battle at Deniki wasn't as intense or as exhausting as the other battles with the Japanese since the battle concluded on the 14th August meaning it only lasted for a mere 2 days. Battalion 39's objective was to capture the land of Deniki as it was overlooking Kokoda, this would of gave the Australian an advantage. In the two days, the Japanese battalion lead by Tsukamoto were battling for land. The Japanese were slow cautious as they didn't want to lose their numbers. Since the Australian commander was oblivious to where Tsukamoto's battalion actually was, he became sleepy and anxious along with his men. He soon gave into the fear and retreated back to Isurava. Although it resulted to Australia losing the upper hand in land, they were very few casualties. Only 5 were killed and 8 were injured.
The rest stop at Deniki-
The Village Deniki on the Map of Papau New Guinea
Fifth Battle
Fifth Battle
Third Battle-
Second Battle-
Second Battle-
First Battle-
Fourth Battle
Battle at Ioribaiwa
Battle at Ioribaiwa
The Battle at Ioribaiwa is also known for it's other name, 'Action at Ioribaiwa Ridge'. The battle began on the 14th of September, 1942. This battle took place, just after the tragic Battle of Efogi. By September 14th the Australians already had 6 battalions positioned at the top of Ioribaiwa. This battalions were; 2/31, 2/25, 2/33, 3BN and a composite battalion of 2/14 and 2/16. Now, the Commander in charge was now Brigadier Porter and his objective was to maintain ground and hopefully gain land. His plan was to attack first since, the defence position didn't prove to work. Even with his efforts the Australian soldiers were unfortunately unable to launch an attack on the Japanese battalions 2 and 3. The reason behind this, is they couldn't navigate themselves through the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea whilst still keeping an eye out for the enemy. Because of their failure of not finding them, the Japanese then attacked first, again bombarding Australians with artillery bombs. The battle continued until the 16th of September, Commander Eather received permission to withdraw to Imita Ridge. By the afternoon, the Australian casualties were, 49 killed and 121 wounded.
-A modern picture of where the Battle Ioribawa Ridge took place.
Bibliography
Bibliography
• Anon. 2010. The Defence on Moresby.
http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/japadvance/moresby.html
(accessed on 11/9/13)
• Australian Government. 2013. The Australian Veterans’ Accounts.
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/australian-veterans-accounts/veterans-accounts_gordon-bailey.php
(accessed on 11/9/13
• Australian Government. 2013. Into the Mountains.
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/into-the-mountains/stand-at-isurava.php
(accessed on 11/9/13)
• Australian Government. 2013. Into the Mountains.
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/into-the-mountains/efogi-disaster.php
(accessed on 12/9/13)
• Australian Government. 2013. Into the Mountains.
http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/into-the-mountains/action-at-ioribaiwa-ridge.php
(accessed on 12/9/13
• Anon. 2010. Kokoda Overview.
http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/asfaras/kokoda.html
(accessed on 10/9/13)
Full transcript