Those Ragged Bloody Heroes: From the Kokoda Trail to Gona Beach, 1942 (Paperback)
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Short Description for Those Ragged Bloody Heroes The heroic story of the Australian battle against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea as they fought to defend Port Moresby in the mountainous terrain of PNG.
- Published: 28 December 1992
- Format: Paperback 328 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781863732642 ISBN 10: 1863732640
Full description for Those Ragged Bloody Heroes
"Those Ragged Bloody Heroes" tells the story of the Australian soldiers who fought on the Kokoda trail. From July to September 1942 the Japanese set about the capture of Port Moresby by an overland crossing of the Owen Stanley Range in conjunction with a landing at Milne Bay. Against a force of 10,000 crack Japanese troops on the Kokoda trail, the Allies committed one undertrained and poorly equipped unit, the 39th Battalion, the "chocolate soldiers". Amidst ever-mounting enemy strength and ferocious fighting, the young militiamen were reinforced at Isurava by veterans of the 21st Brigade, 7th Division AIF . Outnumbered five to one, outgunned, poorly supplied and subjected to an environment never before or since faced by the Australian soldier, Maroubra Force put up a desperate fight, forced by insuperable odds to withdraw, village by village, ridge by ridge and creek by creek back to Ioribaiwa. The Japanese, decimated, sick and exhausted, could only turn away bowed and beaten. The reward for the staggering achievement of Maroubra Force was denigration by the High Command: General Blamey called them "running rabbits" and questioned their officers' determination and competence. In December 1942 when the fighting at the beach-heads had produced little success, the former members of Maroubra Force captured Gona after heavy fighting, but at further cost.