The battle of the Kokoda Trail ,21 July 1942-January 1943, was a turning point in World War Two because it brought Australia into the World War Two and if they can’t join the war and fight in Papua New Guinea the likelihood of Japan taking over Papua New Guinea and then invading Australia was considered high The orthodox point of view is that the reason for Japan invading Papua New Guinea was if Japan took Port Moresby they could if they wanted to bomb Australia and invade the country. Australia was disadvantaged at the start of the battle because they had no high powered weapons were Japan had heavier artillery but at the end of the battle the Australians had the advantage because they could carry the light weaponry through the dense
As the Kokoda fighting began in July 1942 , the scheme of both sides was in transition. The Japanese felt it was time to defend their gains, and halt the fighting and advancing. But the Allies were thinking differently. Having massive amount troops, ships, aircraft and supplies in New Zealand and Australia, they made the decision to launch a counterattack to defend and retake some of the islands that were occupied by the Japanese. Papua had no particular resource that they desired, but it was a useful link in the chain of defences of the newly conquered area of Japan. So because Japan was quickly gaining new lands closer to Australia, posing a threat to Australia’s safety, the battle of Kokoda was the most important Australian-fought victory, in terms of winning the war. The campaign helped to shape Australia’s post-war training practices and military operations. Although it was not they first victory against Japan, it allowed the allies to make thrust forward through ‘island hopping’ and ultimately win the war. Kokoda was the battle that ended Japan’s dominance and permitted the Allies to go on the offence. Australia greatly learned from their Kokoda experience, and subsequently improved their strategic thinking. They learned to not purely rely on naval defences, and realised that they cannot just let other countries dot the fighting. “…the modern Australian professional army was
The Kokoda Campaign (1942-1943) in World War Two impacted Australia greatly because it saved Australia from isolation by the Japanese forces, their values the soldiers demonstrated shaped Australia’s identity and it enabled the Allies to improve their military operations and plan their attack on Japan more effectively. The victory in the Kokoda Track meant that the Japanese never captured Port Moresby, reducing the possibility of an attack on Australia. Australia’s identity was developed because of the courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice of the Australian soldiers, despite the hardships they faced. The victory at Kokoda, helped the Allies immensely, as regaining Port Moresby and the territory that the
The Kokoda Campaign is of some historical significance but was not the battle that solely shaped Australia to be the way it is today. The battle in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a large element of Australian war history but it is not more significant than other battles in the first and second world wars.
Secondly, as well there was the battle of Isurava which was intense. Lastly, how long the 39th battalion held the Japanese is an achievement in itself. Firstly, the battalions that protected Ports Moresby and Australia from being used as a tactical benefit is both significant and successful. “Since the terrain and weather were just horrendous since it can be very hot, or it would rain a lot” according to the Kokoda film the terrain is very hard since it can be very muddy.
Many New Guineans allied with both sides. As shown in figure 5 Australian and Papuans allied on the Kokoda trail Ewer (2011). The Australians fought appallingly for the next four months, Australia put up a stubborn battle, but unfortunately fell and led Japan to capture Lae, Salamaua and Gona in July 1942, this was the official start and first defeats of the Kokoda War ss shown in the map by Hillman (2012), Figure 2. In August 1942 the Japanese set across the Owen Stanley ranges to try and reach their main goal, which was to attack Port Moresby. Hillman (2012) states that “The Kokoda Trail is the last place any solider would want to fight, almost sheer mountain sides climb up into the mist through dense tangles of tropical vines, ferns and jungle forest.
World War I outbroke in August 1914 when countries were thirsty for power and dominance. The war ignited with tensions between Serbia and Austria. Australia being an ally of Serbia and Britain had to take part in the war. Everyone was full of eagerness and enlisted to fight in Australia’s first war as an independent country. The attitude of Australians to fight in the war during 1914 has changed from being excited, proud and ignorant to being more aware of the consequences and feeling scared.
The Attack on Kokoda and Milne Bay During World War II in 1939-1945, Australians played a large part and were significant in the war. One of the most important battles Australia has fought to date was the Kokoda Trail Campaign which happened in 1942. The Australian military campaign in Kokoda and Milne Bay (1942) was significant in protecting from Japanese aggression due to the fact that it prevented Japanese taking control of Port Moresby, the airfields at Milne Bay and was the first land defeat of the Japanese, and therefore provided a morale boost for the Allied forces. The Japanese were planning to launch an attack toward the east coast of Australia’s mainland, nevertheless, they did not succeed.
The Japanese forces appeared to be invincible, and this worsened by them attacking the Australian mainland with the bombing of Darwin and northern Australia, and the submarine attacks in Sydney Harbor.
The experience and skill which the Fuzzy Wuzzies possessed gave Australia the upper hand over the Japanese. The mistreatment of PNG nationals by the Japanese, made it difficult for them to sustain a carrier system, which was the only useful way of transporting supplies along the track. This forced the Japanese to use their own soldiers for this role which meant that they had fewer troops on the track fighting. Not only did the PNGs fight alongside Australia because of mistreatment reasons, they also wanted to stop the enemy’s advance and save their country from invasion. The PNGs had the knowledge and practical experience on the track, combined with their valuable bush skills, physical strength and lastly dedication. These qualities empowered Australian diggers to generate and uphold a human supply line with the PNGs between the forefront deep in the jungle and the home base at Port