THE KOKODA BATTLE
The Kokoda Campaign occurred
between July and November 1942. The fighting took place along a narrow,
rough path that crossed over many rivers and streams in the jungle and
the 2,000 metres high Owen Stanley Mountains. There were no detailed
maps of this route; it was formed from numerous tracks that linked
remote and isolated villages deep within the jungle.
The battle was fought along
the length of the track and can be divided into two main phases. In
Phase 1 of the battle the Japanese pushed a small defending Australian
force from Kokoda Village back to Imita Ridge near Port Moresby. During
phase 2 a large attacking Australian force retook all this lost ground
from the Japanese.
The Kokoda Memorial Walk
describes both phase 1 and phase 2 of the story. The first plaque, Owers'
Corner, at the bottom of the hill marks the precise point in time where
phase 1 ends and phase 2 starts. So the text on each plaque describes
both the Australian withdrawal (phase 1) and the Australian advance
(phase 2) in the Kokoda campaign. Read the details of each phase
Emerging from the narrow
track, which is dark and over hung by dense jungle the men are
immediately challenged by yet another difficult river crossing. Soldiers
and carriers overcame these obstacles with care and teamwork.