30th Brigade (Australia)
|30th Brigade (Australia)|
Soldiers of the 39th Battalion—part of the 30th Brigade—following their relief in September 1942
The 30th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. Formed in December 1941, as part of the Militia, the unit was raised for service during the Second World War. Sent to New Guinea in early March 1942, the brigade initially provided garrison troops to Port Moresby before later taking part in the fighting along the Kokoda Track and at Buna and Gona. In 1943 it was withdrawn back to Australia and was disbanded in July 1943.
The brigade was formed in December 1941 in response to Japan's entry into the war. From the outset it was formed for the purpose of garrisoning Port Moresby, and indeed one of its battalions, the 49th Battalion, a Militia unit from Queensland, had been deployed to New Guinea as early as March 1941. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Malaya, however, the decision was made to boost the force around Port Moresby up to a brigade-group sized force and as a result the 30th Brigade was formed. The units selected to join the 49th were the 39th Battalion from Victoria and the 53rd Battalion from New South Wales. On 3 January 1942, these units were deployed to New Guinea arriving on the troopship RMS Aquitania.
After the Japanese landings at Buna, the 39th Battalion was sent to Kokoda to provide a blocking force. During the Kokoda Track campaign, the brigade was sent up the Kokoda Track. After heavy fighting the brigade was relieved by the 21st Brigade and 25th Brigade. In October 1942 the 53rd Battalion was amalgamated with the 55th Battalion to form the 55th/53rd Battalion. After this, the brigade undertook garrison duties and further training in Port Moresby before taking part in the liberation of Gona and Sanananda during the Battle of Buna–Gona. It was committed to the fighting in December 1942 when the 39th Battalion was dispatched to Gona, and the 49th and 55th/53rd Battalions reinforced the Australian units that were fighting around Sanananda.
In early 1943 the brigade was brought back to Australia for reorganisation. During this time, the 3rd Battalion was added to its order of battle. Based on the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, the brigade was brought back up to establishment and was transferred to the 6th Division, with a view to participating in further operations in New Guinea, however it was decided to disband the brigade and it was disbanded on 3 July.
- Keogh (1965), p. 157.
- Austin (1988), p. 19.
- "39th Battalion (Hawthorne–Kew Regiment)". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "53rd Battalion (West Sydney Regiment)". Second World War 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- Brune (2004), p. 560.
- "3rd Battalion (The Werriwa Regiment)". Second World War 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- "30 Australian Infantry Brigade: Unit Subordinates". Orders of Battle.com. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "30 Australian Infantry Brigade: Appointments". Orders of Battle.com. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- Austin, Victor (1988). To Kokoda And Beyond – The Story of the 39th Battalion 1941–1943. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-84374-3.
- Brune, Peter (2004). A Bastard of a Place : The Australians in Papua. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74114-403-1.
- Keogh, E.G (1965). South West Pacific 1941–45. Melbourne, Victoria: Grayflower Publications. OCLC 7185705.