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PLAQUE NO. 100 ... BRIGADE HILL

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The village of Efogi and its postwar airstrip are an important center on the Kokoda Trail . People now live here in peace but during September 1942 this area was the focus of a great battle between the Japanese and Australian armies.

From 6 to 9 September 1942 at Brigade Hill (which overlooks Efogi from the south) 1 000 Australian troops halted the relentless advance of the Japanese army. The Australians who were outnumbered 6 to 1, held their front across the Kokoda Trail. However in a coordinated move another Japanese force passed undetected around the West side of Brigade Hill and fell upon unsuspecting Australian headquarters and rear positions. Desperate, bloody fighting ensued. just sufficient time was allowed for the Australians to withdraw into the jungle they avoided Menari as it was Japanese occupied and reformed beyond Ioribaiwa the most southerly point reached by the Japanese.

Much later in the subsequent Japanese retreat Efogi was abandoned and Brigade Hill with it's dead became a lasting memorial to the courage of the fighting men.

The battles of Brigade Hill and Isurava were the most lengthy and important on the Kokoda trail. Both slowed the Japanese advance inflicting heavy casualties and denying anticipated captured of Australian food supplies. These were two factors significant in the final Japanese retreat.

 



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