Battle of the Kokoda Trail

By dalehey
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    Battle of the Kokoda Trail

    The battle of the Kokoda Trail saw the Japanese army reach further south than at any other time during WWII, in an attempt to capture Port Moresby. But also marked the point at which Japan’s resources became too stretched to support further offensive operations. The battel ended as a clear Australian victory.
  • Maroubra Force to defend airfield

    Maroubra Force to defend airfield
    Genral Basil M.Morris (the Australian commander at Port Moresby) had ceated Maroubra Force to defend the vital airfield at Kokoda. This force played a vital role in delaying the first Japanese advance along the Kokoda Trail
  • Australians and Anericans flew to Buna

    Australians and Anericans flew to Buna
    The Americans and Australians were also aware of the significance of Buna and the Kokoda Trail. So a small part of Australians and Americans flew to Buna to search for suitable sites for airfields
  • Plans were drawn up for Operation Providece

    Plans were drawn up for Operation Providece
    Plans were drawn up for Operation Providence on the allied occupation of Buna. They scheduled the first four waves of allied troops to leave for Buna on the 31 July.
  • The Japanese landed near Gona

    The Japanese landed near Gona
    The Japanese landed near Gona on the north coast of Papuan. Over the next two months there they drove Australia and their allies back over the mountains towards Port Moresby, the Japanese objective. Port Moresby was vital to the defence of Australia. If they took Port Moresby the Japanese planned to begin a bombing offensive against north Queensland and, had they decided to invade Australia, the invasion would have been launched from Port Moresby
  • Yokoyama's Force Landed

    Yokoyama's Force Landed
    The Japanese commander of the regiment (Yokoyama) had a force around 3,100 men. It landed close to Buna on the night of 21-22 July. That night, Yokoyama dispatched a guard of 900 men with orders to advance day and night to the mountains.
  • Australians retreated to Wairopi

    Australians retreated to Wairopi
    The first clash of an Australian force (made up of the Infantry Battalion and the Papuan Infantry Battalion) came at Awala to face the Japanese. The Australians then retreated to Wairopi across a wire rope bridge, destroying the bridge behind them.
  • Japanese Planned attack

    Japanese Planned attack
    The Japanese had decided to mount a combined land and sea attack on Port Moresby. They had planned this attack to begin on the 7 August. But the navel element of this plan had to be abandoned after the Americans landed on Guadalcanal.
  • Fighting around Deniki and Kokoda ended

    Fighting around Deniki and Kokoda ended
    The fighting around Deniki and Kokoda ended when Yokoyama attacked with 1,500 men. The Australians had to pull back about five miles to the south as they were outnumbered. After this success, Yokoyama began to dig around Kokoda while waiting for the arrival of reinforcements.
  • Japanese attack began

    Japanese attack began
    On this day the main Japanese offensive began on this day. The Australians were outnumbered and repeatedly attacked. By 5 September the Australians had been forced to retreat back through the Cap, allowing the Japanese into the Southern slopes of the Owen Stanley Range.
  • General Hyakutake ordered to stop advancing

    General Hyakutake ordered to stop advancing
    The Japanese General Hyakutake ordered to stop the advance once they had reached the Southern foothills of the Owen Stanley Mountains. This was because the Japanese realised that they faced a serious crisis on Guadalcanal and no longer had the strength to eject the Americans from the island and attack towards Port Moresby at the same time.
  • Japanese advanced

    Japanese advanced
    From 6-8 September the Japanese advance continued on the southern side of the mountains and the Australians held their position on Efogi Spur. But were then forced to retreat once again after the Japanese attacked.
  • Australian Units were dispatched tot he front

    Australian Units were dispatched tot he front
    Two new Australian Units were dispatched to the front line a day after the Japanese attacked Efogi. The front line was now at Ioribaiwa and it was here that the Australians meet strong reinforcements coming up from Port Moresby.
  • Retreating units joined Austrlians

    Retreating units joined Austrlians
    The Australians were joined by retreating units. These new units attempted to outflank the Japanese soon after arriving, but this attack ended in failure and were forced to pull back again.
  • The Australian Attack

    The Australian Attack
    On this day the Australians attacked and the Japanese alomst immediately abandoned their defensive positions that they had constructed in Ioribaiwa.
  • Australia liberated Kokoda

    Australia liberated Kokoda
    The Australian force finally liberated Kokoda and it's vital airfield. Within a few days, the airforce had been lenghened to allow planes. This stroke all of the Australian's supply problems.
  • the end of one war, the start of another

    the end of one war, the start of another
    the Japanese retreat from Oivi was alomst the end of the battle at Kokoda. The Japanese lost 500 casualties and the river crossing was also wiped out. That night the Australians compleated their first bridge acroos the river at Wairopi. The Australian allies attacked Buna - the war of Gona Beachhead was about to begin.
  • General Horri death

    General Horri death
    A Japanese force from Oivi made their escape, but the orderly retreat turned into chaos very quickly. One vitctim was General Horri, who's raft to cross the Kumusi broke apart and he drowned.