AFTER THE KOKODA CAMPAIGN
Papua New Guinea
The Japanese had been
convincingly defeated but the price of the Kokoda victory was high. The
Australians had 7,500 men on the Kokoda Trail, of whom 625 died and
1,055 were wounded. Tropical diseases, such as dysentery, were a major
problem and resulted in three times the number of hospitalisations when
compared to battle casualties. The Japanese started the Kokoda campaign
with 13,500 men and later brought 9,000 reinforcements to the northern
coastal areas. In excess of 12,000 Japanese perished but no specific
records were kept of their casualties in the mountain fighting.
The fighting continued in PNG
long after Australia had won the battle on the Kokoda Trail.
Within months of pushing the Japanese back to the coast, a big
battle occurred around Buna where over 1,500 Australians and 650
Americans were killed. Fighting in northern areas of PNG continued for
another three years and, in all, over 300,000 Australians served in the
region during the war.
Line up exactly the two
photos on these two opposing pages. Can we run the figures 1942
vertically up the photo on the right and 1992 up the right of photo on
- near Brigade Hill (Menari Village) on the Kokoda Trail, some of
the few remaining soldiers of the 39th battalion (Vic) parade after
weeks of fighting in dense jungle. Their uniforms are in tatters and
their faces drawn but they have slowed the Japanese advance.
World War II - Pacific
After Kokoda, the Japanese
suffered repeated defeats at the hands of the Allies throughout the
Pacific. The Americans were in overall command in the Pacific region and
received significant support from Britain, the Netherlands and
Australia. Slowly the
Allies forced the Japanese to retreat toward their homeland. The war
ended abruptly in August 1945 when atomic bombs were dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
The Second World War was the
most devastating in history with millions of men and women killed.
Australians who died numbered thirty-seven thousand.