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THE KOKODA TRAIL Located in New Guinea is the Kokoda Trail home of a fierce battle in World War Two that is seen as one of the defining moments in Australias history This was where the Japanese Army was first broken The courage and heroism of Australian soldiers on the Kokoda Trail must be one of the proudest and most memorable battles in Australias wartime history In May 1942 the Japanese attempted to take Port Moresby by sea but failed in what was called the battle of the Coral Sea Later the Japanese decided to take Port Moresby by two approaches the first was by landing at Milne Bay on the south east coast of Papua New Guinea and the second by advancing across the Stanley Owen Ranges The first approach at Milne Bay was on the 26 August 1942 The second approach across the Stanley Owen Ranges which also began on the 26 August 1942 caught the Australians by surprise The heavily outnumbered poorly prepared and lightly equipped Australian troops could not hope to match the battle-hardened determined and well-equipped Japanese soldiers The fighting withdrawal from Kokoda back to the Imita Ridge took place under the most difficult conditions As our troops fought their way back towards Port Moresby Australias soldiers slowly began to get the upper hand In numerous savage battles our forces gradually wore down the Japanese Our troops suffered greatly from extreme tiredness and from poor shelter food and lack of medical supplies Carrying around 30 kilograms of equipment on their backs they battled the constant savage terrain knee deep in mud On top of that they had the worst tropical diseases and fevers such as malaria and hookworm They also did not have the jungle uniforms lightweight packs and modern weapons like the enemy and yet they brought the Japanese to a halt This campaign further showed to the world the best qualities of
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