Talk:Kokoda Track campaign

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Flanking manoeuvre fails[edit]

Should the title of this section be changed? it does not seem to suit Wikipedias style.Retrolord (talk) 23:41, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Probably - what wording do you suggest? Nick-D (talk) 00:00, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Removal from the significance of the Kokoda Track campaign section[edit]

I've just removed a new para which was added to the 'Significance of the Kokoda Track campaign' as it was inaccurate. The campaign wasn't "the first time their invasion of an island had been resisted, stopped and repelled in contact" - the Japanese forces got ashore entirely successfully (and held a fair bit of New Guinea beforehand), and at the end of the campaign still held almost all of New Guinea's northern coastline, which took 18 months of campaigning by the Allies to partially liberate (with significant combat continuing until August 1945). It also wasn't the Allies' first land victory against the Japanese - there had been several important (but short-lived) tactical victories during the defensive fighting in Malaya and the Philippines, not to mention the bulk of the fighting in Guadalcanal Campaign also being conducted in this period. The claim that the terrain at Kokoda was as hostile as that around Stalingrad is impossible to prove or disprove (certainly the Germans and Soviets were capable of moving very quickly across that area when they got going), and the implied comparison of the results of this campaign to Stalingrad or El Alamein is dubious: both of those battles shattered significant parts of the Axis armies, while this engagement cost the Japanese the equivalent of a small division. Nick-D (talk) 10:58, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes I agree, there do seem to be a number of issues with that paragraph. Support removal for now as it would require significant revision and references before it would be suitable for inclusion here. Anotherclown (talk) 11:19, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. A lot of problems in one small paragraph. Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:23, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Spinning off child articles[edit]

G'day all, I am considering spinning off an article about the Battle of Brigade Hill, and was wondering about the thoughts of others regarding spinning-off child articles from this one? It seems to me that there would be scope for articles on the Battle of Ioribaiwa Ridge, Battle for Templeton's Crossing, as well as the Battle of Kokoda, Battle for Isurava, and possibly the withdrawal to Eora Creek. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 06:25, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea to me. There's a huge literature on these engagements which can be drawn on. Nick-D (talk) 09:43, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
G'day, PM, I had planned to have a crack at this myself later in the year as it has been something I've been meaning to do for years, but I think I will probably be too busy to do a good job of it. So, I'd be very keen to see what you can come up with. Thanks for taking this on. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:52, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
๐Ÿ‘ Like โ€” btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 20:47, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes this is a good idea given the depth of literature available in the area and would certainly improve our coverage of the topic. Anotherclown (talk) 04:27, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
@Peacemaker67: I have just scored a copy of The Path of Infinite Sorrow (Collie and Marutani) at the local market today, which should be helpful with these articles. I also have Bastard of a Place (Brune), Blood and Iron (McAulay), and Pacific Fury (Thompson), and, of course, Keogh's South-West Pacific. Please ping me when you are comfortable with whatever draft you are developing and I will see if I can help out. Cheers, AustralianRupert (talk) 03:04, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
@Anotherclown, Peacemaker67, Btphelps, and Nick-D: G'day all, I've created {{Campaignbox Kokoda Track}}. Not completely wedded to the battles selected, and would welcome any feedback. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:14, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
G'day all, I've created Battle of Mission Ridge โ€“ Brigade Hill now. To be honest, it was a bit of a rush job, so it can definitely be improved/expanded. I am thinking about working on the other articles in the template over the next few weeks or so. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:12, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I've done Ioribaiwa and Oiviโ€“Gorari now also. I have a busy three to six weeks or so at work coming up, so I'm not sure how much writing I will get done in that time, but my intention is to eventually create Battle of Kokoda to encompass both the first and second battles; the Battle of Isurava (removing the redirect) and the Battle of Eora Creek โ€“ Templeton's Crossing, with the last article covering both the fighting during the Australian withdrawal, and then during the Japanese withdrawal/Australian pursuit. If anyone is keen to work on one or more of these, please feel free. I haven't started drafts of any of these, so there's no need to worry about duplicated effort. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:32, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I think I've finished this now, having completed Battle of Kokoda and Battle of Isurava. I will probably take a break from them for a while, and then maybe look to work on one or two for GA. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:08, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Better Map needed[edit]

The discussion is almost impossible to follow without a passable map. Even if someone annotated the existing maps that would be great.Tuntable (talk) 07:03, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

G'day, I've replaced one of the Japanese maps with File:Kokoda trail NE at top.jpg now. Does that help? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:22, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

49th Battalion[edit]

The only involvement of the 49th I have been able to find is the attempted landing of a Company (and mortars of the 39th) at about 27th July, during the first engagement at Kokoda. Intend deleting other references to 49th. A platoon of D Coy 39th arrived earlier but further landing next day did not occur after Owens prematurely abandoned Kokoda (just before first engagement at Kokoda. 2 companies of 53rd preceded Honnor's arrival in advance of HQ 30th Brigade with balance of 53rd but this was after Deniki? Intend making changes per this. Comments pls Cinderella157 (talk) 12:28, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

G'day, can you please specify exactly which references to the 49th you are talking about removing? Brune p. 108 also mentions the 49th on 9 August during the second engagement. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:16, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
A search for"49th" returns 4 hits. Two of these refer to the 49th being deployed along the track as part of 30th Brigade. It is these two specifically. The other two refer to almost two identical incidents during the first and second engagements. I have confirmed the first in the NGF war diary. I am a little concerned that these are not, in fact, the same incident. I am looking into this a bit more though. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:53, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
G'day, removal of those two mentions seems fair enough to me, thanks for pointing this out. I believe that the 49th was largely employed in patrols between the Goldie and Laloki Rivers during this time. I agree there are distinct similarities regarding the two mentions of the abortive flying in of the 49th Bn. I've ordered Williams' The Kokoda Campaign 1942: Myth and Reality from the library and will check the ref to the 49th during the first engagement when it arrives in a week or two, but Brune 2003/2004 p. 108 does mention an attempt to fly the 49th in during the second engagement on 9 August. Thompson's Pacific Fury p. 326 also mentions this incident on 9 August (but does not mention the 49th Bn specifically). Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:40, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I can confirm an NGF op order for the first attempt and in McCarthy. I am seeing an attempt to resupply A Coy by air in NGF diary and 39th diary but no reference to attempt to land reinforcements nor any ref in 49th diary. A drop was made on the 11th(?), after A Coy had withdrawn. Cinderella157 (talk) 12:19, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Keogh p. 180 mentions the drop of supplies which fell straight into the hands of the Japanese. Collie & Marutani p. 77 also mentions this drop of supplies following the withdrawal. Regarding the mention of the 49th Bn in the second engagement, I agree it seems very unclear in the sources if there was a second attempt. Brune uses the words "...when a plane circled the village and airstrip during mid-morning the following day and dropped nothing, and worse, reported to Port Moresby that the enemy were in close proximity...any hope Symington had of the 49th Battalion reinforcing hm from that centre was dashed". I've attempted to reword now. Please feel free to adjust further if you think it needs more. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 13:13, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Seems a more appropriate circumspect was of dealing with this. I note that there was an air recce conducted am(?)) of 10th to try to establish Symington's situation. McCarthy's account appears out by a day, stating A Coy occupied Kokoda midday 9th - not 10th. Still looking into this more. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 04:20, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

I have removed other references to 49th having been deployed up the track. Wasn't certain as to when the strength of 400 was. It probably doesn't include 53rd coys and certainly doesn't include any of the 49th. Adjust further if you think it needs more. I am assuming that this remains consistent with references already in place. Cinderella157 (talk) 04:50, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

The plot thickens[edit]

@AustralianRupert, When I originally confirmed the flight in the NGF diary, I had not confirmed exactly who was on it. Please see where I am working on this. [1] If I am reading the sources (such as McC p 128-129; Anderson p34) state that the flight occurred on the 28 July.

The primary sources are consistent. The flight that did not land (as barricades were being removed) did not occur on 28 July as 39th Bn was reoccupying Kokoda but on 27 July, as Owen was abandoning Kokoda. The flight did not contain the 49th but D Coy 39th Bn. The arrangements for the 49th Bn were to occur on 29th July - after Owen was killed and Kokoda was abandoned in the early (dark) hours of 29 July. NGF war diary indicates arrangements made for coy of 49th Bn to reinforce were made after dusk 28 July. Next entry: report from maroubra 0210-0400 29 July that Maroubra abandoned Kokoda. Next entry: 29 July arrangements for air transport of reinforcements to Maroubra "again suspended". Simply, the 49th Bn company and 39th mortars (is 3 platoon mortars?) didn't fly. There was no attempt to reinforce by air during the second battle.

I understand it is appropriate to consult primary sources on matters of fact (ie dates etc) but not opinion. The points raised are matters of fact and all(?) of the secondary sources are inaccurate in respect to the date and some, in other respects (ie regarding the 49th Bn). It would be useful to confirm exactly what each of the sources quoted have to say.

The following are authors cited wrt this material. I have Mc C and Anderson.

Anderson 2014, p. 34: 2 planes on 28 July near midday. Those on board watched the barricades being moved.

McCarthy 1959, p. 127:2 planes on 28 July near midday. The barricades were being moved.

McAulay 1991, p. 53 Blood and Iron: sometime after 1100 on 28 July, barricades slow to be removed, pilots returned to base (also miffed that someone smashed a window in their new aircraft)

Keogh 1965, p. 176: Sometime after 1130 on 28 July, two planes, barricades being moved, but pilots were unable to see what was going on and who held Kokoda, were recalled by Morris

Brune 2003, pp. 102โ€“103: shortly after Owen deployed his force, two planes containing a platoon from Bistrup's D Company (39th Bn) overflew while obstacles were removed...heated exchange...returned to Port Moresby.

Williams 2012, p. 55. "Ogawa might have seen the two Australian aircraft that circled on 28 July but did not land. They contained 30 men of D Company, 49th Battalion"

I am guessing that one of the early authors got this muddled (either Paull or McCarthy - or both) and it has just been replicated ever since. Initially, when I looked at the NGF diary and the entry for 27 July flight I thought that McC was just out on his dates and the 39th troops it mentioned were the mortars from the 39th that was to go with the 49th Bn company. I was, earlier, working from the premise that what was reported in the secondary sources was essentially correct. It now appears that it is essentially incorrect.

The question is, how to deal with this? @User:Hawkeye7, thought you might have a professional interest in this? Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 06:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

PS Milner (p64-65)is IAW the primary sources wrt the planes. Some of his times appear a little out - ie withdrawal was after dawn on 29th July. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:35, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
It looks like everybody is copying McCarthy (p. 128 btw). Paull does not mention it. Ethically, we should go with the primary sources. Hawkeye7 (talk) 10:34, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
My error re McC. Thankyou for checking Paull. I agree re the ethics. Did you happen to check the primary sources. I think I have this right but a review of the detail would be appreciated - just as a double check since it is going against so much that has been written. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
PS, does Paull concur or is he silent? Could you pls provide a citation and brief details if he concurs. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
No, he is silent. There is no mention of planes circling and turning back. Hawkeye7 (talk) 09:54, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Added some of what McAulay, Keogh, Brune and Williams say, above. It's a tricky situation as I think its a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't...I'd defer to Hawkeye's guidance here, but think that it would be best to clarify with a footnote that mentions the discrepancy/ies. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:28, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
AR, Thankyou for the detail. I agree with Hawkeye's guidance. Just wondering how to handle this. Do I put it in Kododa 1 that the planes landed and then make a note that everybody was wrong or do I put it back to the Japenese advance section and then say that everybody was wrong abour what they claim happened in the future. Still thinking abot it but opinions welcome. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:42, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I think we need to avoid saying that something is categorically "wrong". I would just say that there is a discrepancy and then (very briefly) describe it. I'd probably put it in the First Kokoda section. Anyway, I have to get to bed, sorry. Long day tomorrow. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:24, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
It is not shot (sorry) but then. it does deal with three issues - not just the date. However, I don't say that anybody is categorically wrong ... I just clearly lay out the sources. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:15, 17 May 2017 (UTC)


Malaria was not the issue here that it was at Milne Bay or Buna-Gona - mosquitos did not do well in the highlands. It was only an issue when the Ausralians had withdrawn to Imita Ridge. Dysentery was much more of an issue - as I recall from recently reading Anderson. Walker p 70 - 71, the cited reference does not, by-and-large, support the text in the article where it is cited, needs to be rewritten and perhaps moved to geography? Cinderella157 (talk) 07:08, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I agree it seems out of place where it currently is. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:48, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

US 32nd Division and flanking move[edit]

IAW WP:BOLD, I have moved the relevant sections from the battle section to the aftermath. My rationale is that this was not an intrinsic part of the battle as it occurred. Quoting Metatron in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Advice on writing an article, "You need to beware throwing in the kitchen sink, just because you can", I think that space devoted to those sections is disproportionate to the significance to the article - particularly this detail is covered elsewhere. I would submit that the topic is more relevant (to something approching this degree of detail) to the New Guinea campaign or, perhaps better, the Battle of Bunaโ€“Gona, where it is dealt with in detail (see also - order of battle article). I therefore propose therefore propose a parsing of this section more appropriate with the context. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:37, 24 April 2017 (UTC)


I have seen a number of suggestions regarding a need to review this article. I have been putting this off. The spawning of daughter articles makes this somewhat simpler - thanks to all involved. I make the following observations:

  • The campaign essentially began with the Japanese landings.
  • The article would benefit from a "Prelude" section which deals with the immediate intentions of the Japanese forces and the deployment of the 39th - as well as the geography etc.
  • A lead could be written to the "Battle" section. The battle could then be divided into the advance and the retreat.
  • There are "issues" such as: logistics, air support, command and heavy weapons. These could be dealt with in a couple of ways: in the way this was done in the Battle of Buna-Gona, without having a formal "Prelude"; or, in the "Battle" section, after the battle summary but before the detailed treatment of the battle.
  • Now that there are daughter articles, some detail can be parsed. Attention can be paid to "issues" and ensuring continuity.

Cinderella157 (talk) 00:33, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Track or Trail?[edit]

I have rewritten the "Geography" section and included a discussion of nomenclature as a subsection. However, I believe it is probably better moved to the ""Aftermath"? Cinderella157 (talk) 01:33, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I think it could work there. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:57, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Intro to battle section[edit]

@AustralianRupert and others, I have drafted an introduction (presis) to the battle section in a sandbox.[2]

A critical eye would be appreciated - in all respects but particularly dates and other details. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 14:26, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

G'day, thanks for having a crack at this. I've taken a look now. I think it is a good overview, but I think it is a bit too long and potentialy does too much for an intro paragraph. (Particularly as the article is already quite long and I assume you wish to expand some of the content about "issues" as well). I'd suggest just a single (albeit potentially longish) paragraph that outlines very broadly the detail that would follow, forex that there was the Japanese landing followed by an Australian withdrawal with fighting along the track, and then a counter offensive. The detail then comes below that. I think some of what you have written could be merged into the paragraphs that area already there to improve them, though, so what you have written certainly wouldn't be wasted. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:07, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@AustralianRupert, Thanks for copy edit and comments. You will see I have put this in and done some reordering of sections. Doing this makes it easier to see my intended development of the article. The present "Logistics" is off beam. I see it being refocused and expanded. I have moved material dealing with the reasons for the Japanese withdrawal to this area. I see two other topics about issues going in here - the allied command crisis and heavy weapons. To discuss all of these, I think there needs to be an overview in slightly more detail than can be provided by a single, long paragraph - in order to provide context for these topics. Having said that, I appreciate your comments regarding size. The end result for the overview might be something in the middle.
Regarding overall size: The "Prelude" lacks details about the Japanese forces, planing and intent (ie that the initial advance was a reconnaissance in force) and then there is the deployment of Allied forces for defence of Kokoda that put B Coy in position. These would be the "usual" Allied fores/Japanese forces sections that typically appear in the prelude section. As for the existing detail of the battles, I can see some of this being parsed down because of the work you have done on the daughter articles - the finer details more correctly belong there. In consequence, overall, I don't see a great change in the article's size. You will already see reductions in some areas as these are refocused while some ares have been expanded. Hope this is making more sense. Not necessarily fussed on some of the heading titles. Comments always welcome. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:30, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

strength and casualties[edit]

Have been looking at the strengths and Casualties in the campaign box. An Allied strength of 30,000 is for all of Papua if not PNG and is not the strength committed to the campaign. There were four brigades committed by the Australians (while the 49th Bn of 30 Bde wasn't committed, the 3rd Bn was and the 2/1st Pnr Bn did not deploy forward even though it was supposed to?) At a nominal strength of 4000 ea Bde, this would be 16,000. With typically only the rifle Coys deployed and under nominal strength - battalions appeared to deploy at 500-600. With 700-800 as a nominal strength (which over estimates the Bn strength but allows for other brigade units - mostly support but also engineers) the 12 battalions would have fielded 8,400-9,600. So, 8,000-10,000 would appear reasonable. McCarthy reports the Japanese at about 6,000 - based on 6 battalions (2 regiments plus attached units but less work parties etc not deployed forward). This is more reasonable than the original quoted figure which included Milne Bay and Buna-Gona (I believe). Of this, the source given says that 6,600 were killed. Now my maths may not be great but ... From research for the Battle of Buna-Gona, about 900 survivors gathered at the mouth if the Kumusi River and 200-300 (additional?) were able to withdraw to Buna-Gona. This indicates casualties in the order of 4,500 to perhaps 5,500 (allowing for an understatement of the strength committed) - 5,000 would be a reasonable estimate. Does anybody have any better figures/sources or a reasonable way to deal with this? Cinderella157 (talk) 10:05, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

G'day, I think Williams The Kokoda Campaign 1942: Myth and Reality might have something on it. (I'm still waiting for the library to send it to me, though). I wonder if Anderson To Kokoda might have some consolidated figures also, but I don't have this source at the moment. Williams' chapter in Karl James' book would probably also answer the question (but I can only get snippets of it on Google Books): [3] Anyway, I found something that might help a little. This provides a good break down of casualties for the Australians: [4] (broken down for Kokoda, Milne Bay, Buna-Gona and Goodenough), while this provides figures of personnel who served (unfortunately, not broken down by area): [5]. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:11, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Australian casualties battle are fine thank. McCarthy gives these and they marry up. I have Anderson atm and I just had a re-look. He ends at Kokoda and doesn't give an analysis of casualties - but if you come acress anything ... Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 13:41, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
G'day, just got Williams' book. Haven't had much time to digest it, but a couple of figures: (of the Japanese Nankai Shitai) "no more than 3,500 advanced along the Kokoda Track" (p. 3). Re casualties: "From the Japanese landing in Papua in July 1942 to the end of the battle of Ioribaiwa in September both sides lost about 900 battle casualties" (p. 6). Later (on p. 235), "total battle casualties for the Kokoda campaign, from first fight at Awala to Ovivi-Gorari, were about 2,050 Japanese and 1,760 Australians". On quick glance, I couldn't find a consolidated figure for the Australians committed, but for each battle I think there is a discussion on relative strengths and casualties...however, it wouldn't be possible to simply add these strengths as that would likely lead to double or even triple counting. What is clear, though, is that the numbers were a lot more equal than many would think. On p. 241, Williams concludes: "more than twice as many Australians than Japanese fought on the Kokoda Track." I wonder if, potentially, the best solution might be to talk about "peak strength" at the front rather than "total strength". Anyway, I will keep reading. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:08, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Appreciated. Agreed re peak strength (as at?). Cinderella157 (talk) 14:04, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Still trying to work that out, but potentially we could list the figures for the first major battle, and then the last? Not sure... Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:04, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I can easily validate that there were approximately 1,200 survivors. It might be easier to report a number of survivors in this field? Cinderella157 (talk) 23:33, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Added something now. Please feel free to add your information about the 1,200 survivors, too. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:33, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Adding this in case it proves useful later: Williams p. 46 provides: "[Japanese] infantry, who did the lion's share of the fighting in Papua, was about 4,660 strong. The Australians placed almost twice this number, close to 9,000 infantrymen, in harm's way along the Kokoda Track". AustralianRupert (talk) 09:30, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

New battle section[edit]

@AustralianRupert (and anybody else), I know where I want to go but I am at a crossroad atm. I see four paths.

  • First, is to parse out the existing "Battle section" and then tweak it for continuity and detail - particularly in the Australian advance. I have done a rough hack job here.[6] While the original text reads well, I see a number of issues of accuracy, which only serve to remind me why I have been putting this off.
  • Second, is to draw on the daughter articles - parse these down in detail and then check continuity between them. Again, I have done a rough hack - parsing down the battle sections from each of the daughter articles.[7]
  • Third, is to build upon the overview I have inserted into the article. I was hoping that there was a course of less resistance but Anderson flows fairly well and might be a good article to summarise.
  • Fourth, I can scratch away at what is there piece by piece. This will likely cause some continuity issues. There are issues of accuracy that extend across sections in the existing article and the existing section breaks are a little arbitrary with other threads peppered through it (ie command). I could work on the Australian advance and see where that goes or perhaps command and logistics? I could then pull these bits out of the "battle" and then see what it looks like. On the up side, this is a series of incremental achievable steps.

Your thoughts pls on the alternatives. Cinderella157 (talk) 14:27, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Command crisis[edit]

Have added a section on allied command and the command crisis. My thoughts are that it is sufficiently identifiable as a subject that it could be a separate article. It would link to a few pages. The first two sections could be transposed to make the article. What would be a suitable title?

By creating it as a separate article, the material I have added could be parsed down a fair bit. At the moment, I am going through the preexisting material to identify material now redundant by virtue of the new section. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:19, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

I am holding a version of the existing article (before parsing out command material) here[8] Cinderella157 (talk) 00:37, 5 May 2017 (UTC)


@User:AustralianRupert, I have a short paragraph at.[User:Cinderella157/sandbox 6] I want to add this at the head of the Geography section. I need this for context for logistics. Do you have "A Bastard of a Place"? It is not in the library atm. Point is, I don't have anything that says as much as what I have written - as hard as I have looked. If you had a ref you could cite, it would be appreciated. Then it could be added to the article. Feel free to massage and insert into the text. TIA Cinderella157 (talk) 08:38, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

No worries, I have Brune (two copies in fact, for some reason...). I'm pretty sure Keogh mentions some of what you have written also. The Allied Geographical Section might have produced a terrain study that could be relevant, also. You can download some of them from here: [9]. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:45, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you @User:AustralianRupert for adding and expanding on what I had done. I think it does very well. I think though, that air strips at Buna, Gona and Popondetta is temporally latter. Pretty certain Buna existed before the Japanese landings but not the others. Popondetta was definitely cut from scratch later by the Allies. I will edit out Popondetta and Gona on this basis. Thanks always for the tidy-up too. This PC seems to have a habbit of double adding pastes. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 01:29, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Most sources refer to the need to construct an airfield at Buna, though I have seen one which reports that the Japanese extended an existing field - will have to locate though. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:56, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
No worries. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:50, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


Added new section on logistics. Presently deals with allied logistics. Based on previous discussions (mainly at Buna-Gona article), this could be further developed to include Japanese logistics, papuan labour and medical evacuation - probably as separate sections?. Hope this covers the all the necessary issues in appropriate depth. Will need to parse out "duplicate" reference appearing in other parts of text.

@User:AustralianRupert, I believe that Brune likely has a reference to "biscuit bombers" and injuries from falling supplies. If you have a chance to add something on this, it would be appreciated - probably somewhere near where packaging is discussed? Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 02:32, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


Hi @User:Anotherclown, as resident artillery expert, you might like to have some input into this. I think that there needs to be a section on heavy weapons. Specifically, this would deal with the general lack of heavy weapons with the Australians (Vickers MG and 3in mortars) and reasons for this. The 3in was dropped forward in both phases of the campaign? One I believe one was used in the withdrawal but use was suspended due to breeching detonation on firing associated with dropped ammunition? A couple of Vickers may have been available in the advance? Of course, there are the guns at Imita. Limited supply of 3in ammo.

On the otherhand, the Japanese had MMGs and a number of guns?. Material refers to guns and (medium?) mortars, particularly at Isurava. I recall a source that said these mortas were confused with one of the two types of guns? Was there a telling advantage in range of their guns compared with the 3in?

Quotes and examples of issues through campaign. These are the things I would be considering if and when I tackle this. Any help would be appreciated. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:58, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day. Actually I'm no expert on artillery so apologies if I have given you the wrong impression previously about this (although I have had some practical experience with the stuff in a professional sense). Happy to help where I can though of cse. Some points:
  • To the best of my knowledge the Japanese deployed a number of artillery types during the campaign, including I believe 75 mm, 37 mm and some mountain guns (unsure exact types - could they be any of these: Type 38 75 mm field gun, Type 94 75 mm Mountain Gun, Type 1 37 mm Anti-Tank Gun?). If I recall there is some reference to this in Peter Williams 2012 book, The Kokoda Campaign 1942: Myth and Reality but I don't have access to this.)
  • I don't have a reference for it but I'd imagine all of these would have outranged the Australian 3 inch mortars (probably Ordnance ML 3 inch mortar which would have had a range b/n 1,500 to 2,500 m approx. depending on the model), where as the Japanese 75s probably would have ranged between 6-7,000 m.
  • There is a little in Dexter The New Guinea Offensives p. 683 about Japanese mountain artillery although this is in the context of much later operations (in Nov 1943) so I'd suggest using with caution. He states: "The Japanese "mountain guns" encountered in New Guinea were usually either the 75-mm "infantry gun" (range 7,800 yards) or the 75-mm "mountain gun" (range 8,750 yards). Normally an infantry regiment had six 70-mm guns and four 75-mm guns; and the divisional artillery had 36 75-mm guns." Unsure if this aids in identifying type and narrowing down the correct type to wiki link to though.
  • Collie and Marutani p. 177 identify one of the Japanese units and at Oiviโ€“Gorari as the 55th Mountain Artillery Regiment and refer to it using "mountain guns".
  • Certainly AS forces did use mortars during the campaign (ammunition was air dropped see McCarthy p. 272 for instance) and Vickers medium machine guns; however, I think even their availability was limited. According to Kuring (2004) Red Coats to Cams p. 172: "In 1942 the infantry battalions sent to fight on the Kokoda Track and at Buna-Gona-Sanananda were lightened by leaving their vehicles, and all or most of their Vickers machine guns, and 3-inch mortars in Port Moresby. However the high cost in casualties when infantry units were forced to carry out frontal assaults again the firepower of carefully sited Japanese positions led to increased firepower being allocated to the Australian jungle warefare infantry battalion of 1943."
  • McCarthy expands a bit on this, referring to the equipment of the AS 16th Bde following its arrival in late September 1942. Stating: "For each battalion one 3-inch mortar with twenty-four bombs and one Vickers machinegun with 3,000 rounds was carried." (McCarthy p. 281)
  • Horner The Gunners pp. 336-344 has bit on the issues re AS artillery during this campaign, although it is a little thin. I've made a few notes below of the relevant parts.
    • In the early stages of the campaign Australian artillery was concentrated around Port Moresby and due to difficulties in moving the guns forward the Australian militia that met the first Japanese thrust were were without artillery support (Horner pp. 336-337).
    • 1st Aust Corps began arriving in August 1942 but was not joined by its artillery (Horner p. 337).
    • Following the withdrawal of the AS 25th Bde to Imita Ridge the AS 14th Field Regiment (less one battery) was deployed to the plateau area just south of the Kokoda Trail to cover likely avenues of approach in support of the AS 14th Bde which had been moved forward due to concerns about the potential for the Japanese to break out into more open terrain (Horner p. 341).
    • From this position two guns (Ordnance QF 25-pounder) were toward towed forward to Newton's Dump, before moved by caterpillar tractor to Owers Corner. An observation post was established on Imita Ridge, and on 20 Sept the two guns at Owers shelled the Japanese posns at Ioribaiwa from a range of 11,000 yds. Short on supplies and now engaged by AS artillery the Japanese had already been ordered to withdraw at this point.
    • To maintain artillery support another gun from AS 14th Field Regiment was then dismanted and man-handled forward, taking 50 men five days to carrying just 3 km due to the steep jungle-covered mountainous terrain. Ammunition also had to be carried. However, by time they were in posn and read to fire the Japanese were out of range (Horner pp. 341-342)
    • AS 1st Mountain Bty was formed in July 1942 in response to urgent request from Morries (GOC NGF). Equipped with 3.7 inch pack howitizers it arrived in Port Morseby in early October but found its horses unsuitable due to humidity and had to move guns by jeep or native carrier (Horner p. 342).
    • AS 7th Div drove the Japanese backe over the Kokoda Trail throughout Oct and first half of Nov, prior to crossing the Kumusi River and closing on final Japanese strongholds at Gona and Sanananda, while US 32nd Div prepared to attempt to seize Buna. During this advance the field regiment had no role (Horner pp. 342-343).
    • Horner concludes by saying that the Australians "had not been able to deploy their considerable artillery force against the Japanese but, as the enemy withdrew into a defensive perimeter on the north coast, there seemed to be more possibility of using this fire support. It did not turn out that easily." He then goes on to examine Buna, Gona and Sanananda etc (Horner pp. 343-344).
  • There is a footnote in McCarthy South-West Pacific First Year p. 365 which provides some context re mobility issues posed by the 25 pounders that might be relevant (although its in the context of later operations by Urbana Force). I'll paste it here in case it helps: "The transport of the Bullforce and Blackforce guns was the first move air of 25-pounders in this theatre, and was a remarkable achievement in itself. Unlike the mountain guns the 25-pounders were not made to be transported in pieces. They had to be detached form their carriages and the pieces were then not only heavy but clumsy. It was then most difficult to load them into aircraft and the danger of them going through the floor was very great."
  • Hopefully some of this is helpful. Anotherclown (talk) 05:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Dropped some 3in down 81 tubes myself. Pretty certain they had both types of guns (mountain and infantry) but only a small number. As you indicate some of this is more for Buna-Gona but it is a start. Thanks for having a look. And I thought I had all of the references fixed too ... Regards and thanks Cinderella157 (talk) 07:22, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
No problems at all. Anotherclown (talk) 00:04, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, following on from a point above, Williams has a whole chapter on Japanese artillery. He mentions 37 mm guns (pp. 156-159), 70 mm battalion/infantry guns (pp. 153-159), and 75mm mountain guns (pp. 153-160). He also states that the Nankai Shitai brought a total of 16 artillery pieces to Papua, moving 13 into the mountains and used 15 at Oivi-Gorari.(p. 152). On p. 161 Williams writes: "Japanese artillery provided an important, perhaps decisive, role on the battlefields of the Kokoda Track. Except for a few days after Ioribaiwa, when two Australian 25lb guns fired from Owers' Corner at the Japanese holding Ioribaiwa Ridge, the Australians had no artillery support...Australian light mortars and Brens could not touch the Japanese artillery beyond a thousand metres and, before the arrival of numbers of 3-inch mortars, with three times the range and three times the explosive power, the Australians had nothing with which to counter Japanese artillery". Not sure if this helps. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:00, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Great stuff. Working on the Australian forces atm. Lots of ?? in draft for me to fill in details of dates etc and find refs. Think I will have a good draft tomorrow but might need some help. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:41, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

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"Throughout the Kokoda campaign the Japanese held one distinct advantage over the Australians: artillery. The Japanese use of artillery pieces in each Kokoda battle was a force multiplier, and the Australians were never able to match the Japanese ranged weapons."
"The Japaneses had 16 artillery pieces in Papua, 13 of which were used during the Kokoda campaign. These consisted of six 75 mm guns, four 70 mm guns and three 37 mm guns. They used their artillery in three roles: indirect fire support, direct fire support, and close support of the infantry."
"The physical effort involved in moving these weapons across the Kokoda Trail was immense. Although the guns could be disassembled and carried in pieces, on 75 mm gun alone weighed 540 kilograms. The greater weight, however, was the ammunition, with each shell for the same gun weighing eight kilograms. Approximately 940 men were responsible for carrying the guns, ammunition and other paraphernalia across the Owen Stanleys."
"While it is difficult to ascertain the exact percentage of killed and wounded, conservative estimates suggest that the Japanese artillery was responsible for around 35% of casualties. What cannot be quantified is the impact of the artillery on Australian morale. The helplessness felt by the men who were subjected to relentless bombardment without the means to retaliate sapped both their number and their spirit."

Also on this page is a picture of a Type 92, 70 mm Infantry Gun. Anotherclown (talk) 07:59, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Very much appreciated. Hope this is going in the right direction. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:40, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Also Anderson p. 222 identifies the Japanese mountain guns as Type 41 75 mm Mountain Gun (so my speculation at the top of this discussion thread about possibly being Type 94s looks like it might have been off the mark). Anotherclown (talk) 02:36, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Additionally, according to Anderson p. 220 the Australians also had an SBML 2inch Mortar at platoon level (in addition to the single 3-inch mortar at battalion level). Anotherclown (talk) 02:42, 30 May 2017 (UTC) ยท

I am trying to make a start on this section. Have pinned down the number and type of Japanese artillery I think. Have taken specs from wp except for type 41 gun from Anderson. Need to look for sources for specs. There is also the perennial question of who and what was in headquarters Company of and Australian infantry battalion at that time. Have clear sources that mortar platoon of 6 tubes. An anti-aircraft platoon with unknown arms. I think I have seen reports of an anti-tank platoon (but these might be unreliable) armed with? They appear to be a 6 gun platoon armed with either a 2 pdr (AP only) or a 6 pdr (AP and HE). How many Vickers did a battalion have? The MG Coy of 39 Bn was obsoescent but could have had 9 - 12 guns depending on whether they were 3 or 4 section platoons - the latter being used in the MG battalions. But the AIF battalions didn't have a MG company. Any help with this would be appreciated. Also understan that a brigade would have an artillery regiment in support with two batteries of 12 25-pounders each. I want to say: this is what they potentially had but initially, they took non of it. See [10] for developing context. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 05:24, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

IRT establishments there is some information at this website here which *might* help (just not sure how reliable it is). Re the specs for the Type 41 Mountain Gun from Anderson p. 222: max range 7,000 m, weight 544kg (could be broken down into 11 pieces, heaviest of which was 95 kg, rate of fire: 10-12 rounds per minute, muzzle velocity: 400 m/sec, ammunition HE and AP, projectile HE (5.8 kg), caliber 75 mm. Anotherclown (talk) 05:34, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
"Infantry Battalion, Middle East - 1941" ORBAT from Kuring Redcoats to Cams, p. 494:
Battalion HQ
Headquarters Company - consisting of: Company HQ, Signal Pl, Anti-Air Pl (4 x LMG), Mortar Pl (6 x 3 in mortars), Carrier Platoon (13 x UCs, 13 x LMG, 4 x Atk Rifles), Pioneer Pl, and Admin Pl
4 x Rifle Company - each consisting of: Company HQ, 3 x Rifle Pl (inc Pl HQ with 1 x 2 in mortar, 1 x Atk Rifle, and 3 x Rifle Sections each with 1 x LMG). Anotherclown (talk) 05:48, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Kuring doesn't answer the Vicker question unfortunately. The other source does appear to be exactly what it purports - a reproduction of the establishment table including the document number A.I.F. II/12FS/4 March 1942 for An Infantry Battalion(higher establishment) (M.E.) It should be in the LHQ material if it has been digitised. At least it answers the question about MMGs and Anti-tank (being 2pdr at the time. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:43, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Anotherclown, if you still have Anderson, I think there is a pic of carriers carrying a large box slung off a pole. If you see it and it has the AWM collection number, could you send the number please. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 12:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately I returned the book to the library last week. Anotherclown (talk) 23:53, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

air operations[edit]

Copied present section en-mass to New Guinea campaign as level appears more appropriate there. Planned rewrite more focussed on campaign than New Guinea "theatre". Cinderella157 (talk) 08:09, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Japanese forces (and now Australian forces)[edit]

New section added. I am saving heavy weapons for another section - so not included here. I am a little sketchy on just where (and when) the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 44th came into things. Bullard can be a bit hard to follow at times. He gives a date that the 1st joined the main force on 14 September having landed 27 August. The 3rd move forward from Basabua but it is unclear just how far. Any help in clearing things up would be appreciated.

Once an Australian forces section has been added, I see pretty much the last 2 paras of the strategic context section going? Cinderella157 (talk) 04:07, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Australian forces now added. Last two paras of strategic context can now go? Third last sentence reads: "in preparation for an Allied build-up along the Papuan north coast." (citing Keogh p 166) If somebody has this handy, is Keogh linking deployment to planned Allied strip construction at Buna? Cinderella157 (talk) 06:50, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Not sure deleting the majority of the strategic context section is a good idea, to be honest, as it would unbalance that section, in my opinion. Anyway, re Keogh p. 166, he states: "On 15 July General MacArthur issued orders for the first forward move in this area [meaning Buna-Gona]. These orders directed that a small force of Australian infantry and American engineers should march across the Kokoda Trail to Buna where they would be joined by another party moving by sea. The object was to construct an airfield at Dobodura. Actually the overland part of this movement had already begun, though it had an entirely different aim. On 20 June General Blamey...had ordered Morris to take steps to secure the Kokoda area and its airstrip...Preceded by the PIB, the leading company of the 39th was to leave Illolo on 26 June. Actually the company did not leave that point until 7 July. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:31, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

From Milner (starting page 51):

   The Plan To Occupy Buna
   When the news was received at GHQ that Dobodura was an all-weather site, it was decided to establish an airfield there with all possible speed. On 13 July General Chamberlin called a meeting of the representatives of the Allied Land Forces, the Allied Air Forces, the Antiaircraft Command, and the supply services to discuss in a preliminary way the part each could expect to play in the operation. A second meeting was called the next day in which the matter was discussed in greater detail and a general scheme of maneuver for the occupation of Buna was worked out.19
   The plan was ready on the 15th, and instructions to the commanders concerned went out the same day. The operation, which was given the code name PROVIDENCE, provided for the establishment of a special unit, Buna Force, with the primary mission of preparing and defending an airfield to be established in the Buna area. At first the airfield would consist only of a strip suitable for the operation of two pursuit squadrons, but it was eventually to be developed into a base capable of accommodating three squadrons of pursuit and two of heavy bombardment.
   Brig. Gen. Robert H. Van Volkenburgh, commanding general of the 40th Artillery Brigade (AA) at Port Moresby, was to be task force commander with control of the troops while they were moving to Buna. An Australian brigadier would take command at Buna itself.
   The movements of Buna Force to the target area would be in four echelons or serials, 
   covered by aviation from Milne Bay and Port Moresby to the maximum extent possible. Defining D Day as the day that Buna would first be invested, the orders provided that Serial One, four Australian infantry companies and a small party of U.S. engineers, would leave Port Moresby on foot on D minus 11. These troops were scheduled to arrive at Buna, via the Kokoda Trail, on D minus 1, at which time they would secure the area and prepare it for the arrival of the succeeding serials.
   Serial Two, 250 men, mostly Americans, including an engineer party, a radar and communications detachment, some port maintenance personnel, and a .50-caliber antiaircraft battery, would arrive at Buna in two small ships on the morning of D Day. The incoming troops would combine with those already there and, in addition to helping secure the area, would provide it with antiaircraft defense.
   Serial Three, the main serial, would include the Australian brigadier who was to take command at Buna, an Australian infantry battalion, an RAAF radar and communications detachment, the ground elements of two pursuit squadrons, an American port detachment, and other supporting American troops. This serial was due at Buna on D plus 1, in an escorted convoy of light coastwise vessels, bringing its heavy stores and thirty days' subsistence for the garrison.
   The fourth serial would consist of a company of American engineers and the remaining ground elements of the two pursuit squadrons that were to be stationed in the area. It would reach Buna from Townsville by sea on D plus 14, accompanied by further stores of all kinds for the operation of the base.
   The attention of hostile forces would be diverted from the Buna area, both before and during the operation, by attacks upon Lae and Salamaua by KANGA Force and the Allied Air Forces. Since the "essence" of the plan was "to take possession of this area, provide immediate antiaircraft defense, and to unload supplies prior to discovery," no steps were to be taken to prepare the airdrome at Dobodura until Serial Three had been unloaded, lest the enemy's attention be prematurely attracted to it.20
   Colonel Robinson, who was to be in charge of the construction of the airfield, was cautioned that no clearing or other work was to be started at Dobodura until the engineers and protective troops had disembarked and the ships had been unloaded. Lt. Col. David Larr, General Chamberlin's deputy, who had been detailed to assist General Van Volkenburgh in co-ordinating the operation, made it clear to all concerned that its success depended upon secrecy in preparation and execution. Every precaution was to be taken to conceal the movement, its destination, and its intent. Above all, the existence of the airdrome was to be concealed from the Japanese as long as possible.21
   Movement orders for the first three serials were issued on 17 July. Serial One was to leave Port Moresby at the end of the month, 31 July. It would arrive at Buna on 10-12 August, a few days after the Guadalcanal 
   landing, which, by this time, had been advanced to 7 August.22 

End Quote

Consolidating this: "Serial One, four Australian infantry companies and a small party of U.S. engineers, would leave Port Moresby on foot on D minus 11. ...Movement orders for the first three serials were issued on 17 July. Serial One was to leave Port Moresby at the end of the month, 31 July."

I find Milner to be generally well referenced and accurate. From NGF Diary, Order was received for Providence on 17 Jul and then delayed 7 days on 18 Jul. It was planned to use 39th Bn however, initial order to deploy 39th was not for the purpose of Providence. Instruments for the execution of Providence were being put in place at the 11 hour. MacArthur had an interest in Kokoda (Milner 43) but not because of Providence. The recce for airfield occurred on 10-11 July (Milner p50) I think it is a matter of weight. MacArthur was looking to develop air bases - of which Milne Bay was one and considering something in the Buna area - this could be in the strategic context. It is one thing to say that the 39th was advantageously positioned for this. It is another to imply that it was per-positioned for the task. This then becomes a matter of weight. Most sources do not draw this bow (being too long?). It is raised in the "Australian forces section" and can be kneaded re this discussion - IMO. What is presently in the "strategic context" gives the wrong weight. These are my thoughts. Cinderella157 (talk) 13:27, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Working on a balanced solution that will incorporate Keogh's material and provides a smooth transition between thestrategic context and the forces sections. Have provided amended last 2 paras of strategic context. More to follow. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 04:04, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like a good idea to me. My main concern was that it seemed you were talking about removing the paragraph starting "The Japanese military considered invading Australia in early 1942 ..." which I think should be covered in some way in the strategic context section (whether in its current form, or some other way). Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:17, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
@User:AustralianRupert have made changes to strategic context and Australian forces sections so that, hopefully the strategic context flows into the two sections on forces while considering your opinion. Hope this is ok. I have also used your quote to better clarify the relationship with Providence. I think that the original text: "in preparation for an Allied build-up along the Papuan north coast" was a misrepresentation of what occurred and of Keogh. Regards and thanks Cinderella157 (talk) 05:28, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

14th Brigade[edit]

Hi @User:AustralianRupert, If you could please, does Brune (or somebody else you have handy) state when it arrived at Port Moresby ie: "By x date, the 14th Brigade, consisting of the 3rd, 36th and 55th Battalions had arrived at Port Moresby." I have refs but they are a little messy and McC is ambiguous. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:45, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, Brune p. 561 just provides "May 1942". World War II Sea War, Vol 6: The Allies Halt the Axis Advance (p. 114) provides 15 May 1942: [11]. Horner's General Vasey's War provides some time after 18 May: [12]. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:39, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I will say that the 3 batallions arrived in May and reference Brune. If that does not sound ok, let me know. The exact date isn't as critical as that there were 3 battalions. Thanks Cinderella157 (talk) 09:16, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
What you have written seems fine to me. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:17, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Ilolo or Illolo?[edit]

McCarthy uses Ilolo while the green map used in the article uses Illolo. Any I did some searching but haven't found anything definitive. Any thoughts on standardised spelling to be used across articles? I think Illolo is more used but that is not a certainty. Cinderella157 (talk) 04:26, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, the general map of the Kokoda Track on Brune p. 86 lists it as "Illolo". I'd probably go with that spelling as it is consistent with our map, so it should hopefully avoid confusing our readers. Either way, though, I don't really mind. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:15, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
I would concur Cinderella157 (talk) 11:05, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Campaign Boxes[edit]

Suggest moving Japanese seizure of Bunaโ€“Gona from New Guinea Campaign to Kokoda Track Campaign. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:09, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Seems fair enough to me, although I think just to be sure you should post a quick comment on the talk page of the New Guinea campaign template first, to see if there are any objections. Are you planning of working on the Invasion of Buna-Gona article? I'd be keen to see what you come up with. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:17, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Done Cinderella157 (talk) 05:38, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Changes made. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:12, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Japanese landings and initial advance[edit]

I think that much of this section could be moved to the main article: Invasion of Bunaโ€“Gona and then be summarised here. The main article lacks most of the detail here. Landings section could be modified by deleting the second paragraph of exiting text. Text from here could then be added to follow from the end of the existing text. I have posted to Invasion of Bunaโ€“Gona regarding this Cinderella157 (talk) 06:14, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Definitely makes sense to expand the child article and provide a reduced summary here. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:22, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

First engagement battle of Kokoda[edit]

@User:AustralianRupert re strength 130-140 in kikoda for first battle. Existing article cites Wiliams p55. Same figure given in Battle of Kokoda (citing McAuly and Colli&Marutani ?). McC p 127 gives force inc PIB (20) at 80. Anderson p34 as 81- 130. I recall an analysis (Williams?) that the lower figure did not include PIB and ANGAU. Don't want to contradict Battle of Kokoda. Anything to clarify would be appreciated.

PS hope this is generally heading in the right direction. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:18, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, you are right, Williams pp. 53-54 provides some commentary on this in relation to First Kokoda: "The number of defenders of Kokoda is usually stated to be 77 or 81. These figures are a little short for B Company, 39th Battalion alone, but far short of the total force of Papuans and Australians...The battalion war diary initially counted 72 men returned to Deniki after First Kokoda and 20 still missing, but a thorough check in a message of 2 August to NGF send there were now 12 missing believed killed and 27 missing believed deserted. It appears that 39th Battalion assembled possibly as many as 111 men at Kokoda and to this should probably be added 20 PIB, four men from ANGAU, upto nine RPC and four signallers from 30th Brigade. The total is 148, but there is some uncertainty here with 39th Battalion and RPC numbers, although it is safe to say that at least 130 Australians and Papuans defended Kokoda against 200 Japanese." I've slightly tweaked the Battle of Kokoda article now. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:56, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Making you aware that of the total force, 2 sections (of 16 Pl under McClean [McC p 127] were left at Deniki. Does Williams mention this? and is 148 inclusive of this? Also tweak you made doesn't make clear that Williams is being referenced? Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:11, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
PS - B Coy is often cited as 100 (under strength) + McCleans 30 less two sections(20? left at Deniki) less deaths, injury and missing ... You do the maths :) Cinderella157 (talk) 09:15, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Haven't found this mentioned in Williams yet. His wording implies that the figures he provides are only those at Kokoda, and he references clarifying notes written by Gavin Long that relate specifically the figures Long provides on p. 127. I've further adjusted Battle of Kokoda per your suggestion to make it clear that it is Williams that provides the 130-148 figure. It would be possible to include other estimates by way of contrast if you feel it is important. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:15, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Hi AR, I am dealing with this by saying that Williams does not make this clear [13] the Note reads: "McCarthy reports a force at Kokoda as 80, inclusive of the PIB and notes two sections (nominally 20) left at Deniki under command of McClean. Williams gives a detailed tally of the force available to Owens totalling 148, however; it is unclear wheter this inclusive of McClean's detachment."
- citing McC p127 and Williams pp 53-54 per your above. Hope this is satisfactory?
Could you pls confirm the page of the 200 Japanese you have quoted above. At present, I have cited this as pp 53-54 but would like to narrow this down if it appears on only one page. My draft of the first battle is completed pending the issue of the planes. I was intending the second para to be a note but have left it in the main text atm. Regards and thanks.
PS Williams citing Long at P127? My limited reading of Williams is that he may have something worth saying but his figures and conclusions don't always gel. The analysis, in referring to figures at Deniki after first Kokoda are inclusive of the force that had been left there?

Cinderella157 (talk) 11:02, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, the figure of 200 Japanese appears on p. 54 alone. Not Long p. 127, unpublished notes from Long regarding McCarthy pp. 124 & 127. To clarify, Williams (p 54) provides: "It appears that 39th Battalion assembled possibly as many as 111 men at Kokoda and to this should be added probably 20 PIB, four men from ANGAU, up to nine RPC and four signallers from 30th Brigade.[24]". Footnote 24 then reads: "Gavin Long papers, relating to McCarthy, South West Pacific Area, pp. 124 & 127, AWM67 2/17". Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that and your clarification re Long now makes sense. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:40, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Cameron takes command[edit]

Hi @AustralianRupert, Cameron had a poor opinion of B Coy. I recall that, as he was moving forward, he came across a party of B Coy that coloured (is this an acceptable way to describe it?) his opinion. Can't find this in what I have but I am pretty certain this is in Brune. Furthermore, Brune? explains their presence as being misinterpreted. Would appreciate your assistance. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:48, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

PS the 39th had five (rifle) companies. I understand that the normal establishment would be for four rifle companies, an MG company an Support Company. I figure that (in the militia) the MG company was raised as a rifle company instead (probably due to a shortage of gun). Any thoughts on how to explain E Company of the 39th arriving at Deniki when (nominally) it shouldn't exist? Cinderella157 (talk) 09:54, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Re: E Coy, 39th diary refers to MG Coy rather than E Coy. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, my understanding is that early in the war the 2nd AIF and Militia infantry battalions had different establishments for a period of time. While the 2nd AIF MG Coys formed the 2nd AIF machine gun battalions (such as the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion (Australia), the Militia infantry battalions kept theirs for a while longer (until 1942). Eventually, they were taken away and used to form units such as 7th Machine Gun Battalion (Australia). Ian Kuring's book Red Coats to Cams probably provides some detail about that (but I don't have it, unfortunately). Anyway, McAulay p. 58 provides: "Captain Merrit's E Company (retitled from Machine Gun Company)". Brune pp. 106-107 mentions Cameron's feelings towards B Coy, with Brune providing an opinion that he came across a few men who had gone bush, and applied his opinion to the whole company. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:46, 17 May 2017 (UTC)


@AustralianRupert, I am getting a little frustrated with this. Pls see [14] I have got to a point where I feel blocked without enough sources available. I only have McC and Anderson - plus the existing articles to work from. McC is a little confusing and Anderson isn't a lot better - one has too much detail and the other, not enough. I could go to the 21st war diary? When I worked with you on the main article I had Brune and it seemed much clearer. Anyhow, I have written what I think the section should (as far as I can unravel things) say but I am feeling at an impasse atm. Perhaps you could have a look at where I am? I think I might give this section a break and go on to "Eora Creek - Templeton's Crossing" unless you could help me find the way through the woods. You will appreciate that I am trying to find a middle ground between the overview and the main articles. As the article develops, I am sure that the overview can be parsed. Consequently, I am deliberately (trying to) omit all of the detail that might appear in the main article while not compromising accuracy. It would be nice to keep a continuity of development through the battle section. Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated. Cinderella157 (talk) 12:04, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, no worries, I will take a look. Sorry I've been pretty tied up at work this week due to recent events, so I haven't been able to help at all. Anyway, there's no dramas with using the war diary in my opinion so long as it is for bare facts and isn't solely relied upon, if that helps. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:39, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@AustralianRupert, thankyou for that help. I now have something, if you might look at it [15]. It is pretty much what you have already looked at - just finished off. There is one ref from Brune you might provide a page for - {sfn|Brune|2003|p} in second last para. Pretty certain he covers this. You might add another too or McC p203. I am sure that Paull had a sketch map showing Japanese MG, mortars and artillery on the ridge but I don't have that. Anyhow, if you think it is ok, it could go across. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 03:24, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, added something now. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 07:26, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@AustralianRupert, thanks for that. Do you want to move it across so you can tweak the edit history? I have just added the image that was in the original to the draft so it can just be dropped in. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:58, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, as it is just a single section, not an entire article, it isn't possible to move the edit history across without creating a very confusing history, I believe. I think in this regard, it would just be best if you link to the sandbox page in your edit summary when you copy paste it across. That will ensure appropriate attribution. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:19, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@AustralianRupert, done. Hope this is ok. Did the monobook thing for references. Had to fix up one you added re Committee of 144thbInf Regt. Hope my solution is ok. Regards. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:18, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes that looks fine to me. At this stage, my only suggestion is to try to combine some of the citations. For instance, in some places there are two, three even four refs, e.g. [1][2][3][4]. I think if you use {{Sfnm}} it will potentially give it a cleaner style. Very much a minor point, though, of course. Nice work. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@AustralianRupert, Hear what yo are saying re references. Already occurred to me but I was leaving it at this stage. Trying to get most of it togeather and then polish it. The same for links I think = where they fall in the sequence. It is nice to have some positive affirmation that I am heading in the right direction. Isurava was just getting a little confusing. Regards and thanks Cinderella157 (talk) 11:19, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Eather takes command[edit]

@AustralianRupert, the lead say this was as at 14 September. Try as II might, I can't confirm the date. Can you find a confirmed date and citation please? Cinderella157 (talk) 14:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, I found the following: AustralianRupert (talk) 06:21, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Thompson 2008 p. 353: "On 14 September, the fresh 25th Brigade from Australia, commanded by Brigadier Kenneth Eather and clad in the Australian Army's new jungle-green uniform, had taken over from Porter's 21st Brigade at Ioribaiwa".
Keogh 1965, p. 213: "On the night of the 13/14th, 2/25 Battalion moved into position in rear of Porter's centre"
Brune 2003, p. 243: "Blamey arrived at Port Moresby from Brisbane on 12 September. It will be recalled that at this time Maroubra Force had withdrawn to Ioribaiwa but that Eather's 25th Brigade was set to begin operations near that village the following day"
Williams 2012, p. 143: "Although Eather was not officially placed in command of Maroubra Force until 17 September, he exercised command at Ioribaiwa under the instructions of his divisional commander, Major General Arthur Allen, and with the compliance of Porter. Having consulted Porter, already on the ridge, Eather decided to leave Porter blocking the track while using his own brigade to swing around both flanks..."
Thankyou for that. I decided to make the text a little vague and the quote from Williams will make a suitable note. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:23, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

An interesting sideline[edit]

@AustralianRupert@AustralianRupert, Just read an interesting sideline in the war diary of 16th Bde requesting supply of cricket sprigs (among other things ... [16] (p 12 of pdf) Sort of makes you wonder what they were up to. Also noted drop of 500 prs boots and 300 prs of socks (p 9 of pdf) and the irony of being ""bombed" with biscuits and bully beef (p8 of pdf} Perhaps not strictly in-line with the use of a talk page but I justify it by providing references. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:58, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps the sprigs helped with gaining a foothold in the mud along the track? Not sure...? The important thing to note, though, is that a war diary is written by an officer (sometimes an Ops CAPT or even LT) who might have a sense of humour, or not, so sometimes they can focus on things that are a little off beat. I know of an entry in the war diary of a certain engineer regiment from a much more recent conflict that focuses a couple of paragraphs on opinions of the sappers' field culinary skills, and the availability (or more accurately lack thereof) of toilet paper in a certain FOB, for example. :-) Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:12, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Gaining more insight into 2nd Battle at Templeton's Crossing - Eora Creek. Adding it here but what I am writing could be parsed back to the main article and then expanded upon. Anderson was a little misleading in his structure (for me at least), putting the initial contacts in a preceding chapter and then the main body (Leading to) Templeton's Crossing chapter dealing with those both on the divided tracks and with the Japanese overlooking the crossing, I think, threw me out. Though looking at the chapter headings now, they make sense. I am also reading Anderson(?) referring to the Australians using the M36 grenade and even a reference to it being 36 mm (diameter) - though perhaps somewhere else. (sprigs and grenades - go figure) In the old rat packs you had to save up the toilet paper for about 4 days (it was the John Wayne type) - which roughly coincided with the efficacy of the food. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 10:34, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

To Templeton's Crossing[edit]

@AustralianRupert, per my last, it did occur that there might have been a genuine need for sprigs but only if the unit cobbler had been busy at work (they were on establishment then). More seriously, Anderson quotes Williams that the 667 of the Stanley Detachment were deployed 520 on the Myola track and 147 on the Bellamy track and then critises the 2/25th for its lack of progress. I would rather quote Williams directly. Would you mind confirming Williams with specific pages: 1) the figures; and, 2) the criticism. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:25, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, Williams p. 193 provides the figure of 520 men and p. 194 provides: "it was also true that the 2/25th, who faced a third their number of Japanese, for some reason had not made a wholehearted effort". I haven't found mention of the figure 147 yet. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:30, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
From Second Battle of Eora Creek โ€“ Templeton's Crossing: "pitted against 986, essentially mirroring the situation during the first battle in this vicinity.{sfn|Williams|2012|pp=192โ€“193}" Just wondering the time line of this figure. Might it be at Templeton's Crossing as Colonel Tsukamoto now commanded 144th and had reinforce the Stanley Detachment. Also:

Between 22 and 27 October, the Japanese reinforced their position around the village, bringing forward reserves that had been resting around Kokoda and Oivi, drawn from a variety of units, which were placed into well prepared positions. All told, the Japanese held the village with around 1,375 men, supported by five artillery pieces. ... (Williams 2012 pp197โ€“198)

Would 1,375 be at the start or finish of the Battle at Eora Village - given Horii had sent every available man forward from Kokoda-Oivi? Bullard is particularly unhelpful but suggests 41st (or parts) were sent forward. Also, this mentions 5 artillery pieces which I take to be from Williams. Could you please clarify a specific page for the number of artillery. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 02:47, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, 1,375 were in loc by 27 October (p. 197). This includes a small detachment of 92 men from the 2/41st (p. 197). The artillery figure comes from p. 198. The 986 figure is from pp. 191 & 192, which is the Stanley Detachment on 3 October. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:32, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I can only say that the figures don't gel. 660 odd in the forward positions from Templeton's held by mainly 2/144th(attributed to Williams) then reinforced by mainforce 144th (at Templeton's) from what I gather and then reinforced by every available to total only 1,400 odd immediately before the main Australian attack. To me, something just isn't right - and this all points to Williams? Just an observation. I will try to make what I can from these inconsistencies (unless you can see something I don't). Many thanks (nonetheless) and regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:17, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, yes, I see part of the problem... I can't count it seems. Sorry. Williams provides the following: "On 22 October there were, including 120 Japanese who arrived that day, close to 700 in the Eora village position. By 27 October an additional 375 had arrived..." That would mean only 1,075 at Eora Village. However, the figures from 3 October of 986 (p. 192) + reinforcements of 495 between 22-27 October (p. 197) = 1,481. (Incidentally, the following refts are provided: 3/144th 90 men, 2/41st 92 men, 55th Eng Regiment 30 men, 2nd Wireless Section 24 men, 55th Div Field Amb 22 men, 55th Mount Arty Regt 120, Okamoto's detachment 10 men = 488). These figures probably muddy the waters more, though. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:57, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Haha. Not your fault. I think that there are holes in Williams. I will try to make the best with what I have and many thanks for your efforts. When I finally get home, I will get a hold of Williams. RRegards Cinderella157 (talk) 12:07, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Initial engagement south of Templeton's Crossing part of "2nd Templton's Crossing - Eora Creek"[edit]

@AustralianRupert, As a "fair call" I am (going to) "cite from" Second Battle of Eora Creek โ€“ Templeton's Crossing, ref 20, quoting Maitland to indicate the start and end dates of the battle - ie that initial contacts from 11 October were part of the second battle. Specifically, was this your source for the dates of the battle? And can I cite this as an original source in good faith for these dates or can you please provide a citation IAW this. Incidentally, I was a steward at (one of) his dining out nights as Maj Gen and for some reason the menu card has surfaced near the top of one of my many piles. A good night was had by all. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 14:23, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, the dates for Second Eora seem confusing now I look at it. Williams p. 186 provides 12-28 October; Maitland p. 142 provides 8-30 October and I think Anderson p. 18 (I don't have the book anymore to double check) provides and 11 October start. This [17] provides 13-28 October. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 10:15, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
With thanks, I have Anderson and he lists 3 separate battles that are not linked to the battle honour. I will stay with Maitland since my recollection is that he links his dates to the battle honour and this fits better with what I am saying. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:22, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Second phase โ€“ Australian counter-offensive */ Moved some material just to put it between headings[edit]

I did this just so there wasn't this big white space taken up with heading, See original edit with revised text ten make what you will of it. Cinderella157 (talk) 12:31, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

A milestone[edit]

@AustralianRupert and anybody else, The revision of the battle is now done - though having said that, there is still a lot of scope for more work to get the balance right between the overview, the material in this article and the offspring articles. In this vein, I have already identified moving material from here to expand the main article on the Japanese landings at Buna-Gona. There are a number of sections still to be reviewed - mainly in the aftermath but also the Japanese reasons for withdrawal and the lead. I see the strengths and casualties being expanded as a analysis. Finally, I see three/four new sections to fit in with logistics etc: heavy weapons/artillery, medical, papuan labour and I am now thinking about equipment. And then there is the polishing, including images. Yes, it has grown but I can see it being parsed back. It is now about 100k readable prose from nearly 70k at the start. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:40, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Nice work. One minor query I have is in relation to ref 202 which says "Quoted in Anderson". Is it possible to provide the page number from Anderson for this, please? Definitely agree that expanding the main article on the Japanese landings at Buna-Gona is a good idea. I think also that the article on Second Eora probably could be expanded with the info you've developed here. Whether or not that would see a reduction in the detail here on that topic, though, probably needs to be discussed. Anyway, thanks for your efforts. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 07:58, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Done - it was a visibility issue with sfn Cinderella157 (talk) 09:49, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Papuan labour[edit]

@AustralianRupert have said "There are many testaments of praise for the care rendered." If you could find a couple more citations - would be great. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 02:39, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm pleased to see this section added, and the balanced coverage it provides (colonial-era myths about 'fuzzy wuzzie angels' volunteering their services have long been discredited). Nick-D (talk) 02:50, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
I've added a para on the Japanese treatment of Papuan carriers, which appears to have been far worse than that of the Australians. This is a topic which could be further fleshed out. Nick-D (talk) 06:23, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
I've added a couple of quotes I could find in Brune. I hope this is what was requested. If not, please let me know and I will keep looking. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:54, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
I would have been happy with just a couple of citations but that does even better thanks. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:19, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

New ORBAT article[edit]

G'day. FWIW I have started Order of battle of the Kokoda Track campaign in case others are interested in building on it. Thanks. Anotherclown (talk) 05:29, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Nice work, thanks. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:32, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Brigade Hill - mortars[edit]

@AustralianRupert re my edit at this time: 10:14, 31 May 2017. When I quoted two mortars originally I was pretty confident of a source to this number specifically. My vague recollection is that you found reference to a second mortar or to a date which was significantly latter than the 39th war diary for the first mortar. @1st Brig war diary at Brigade Hill refers to Au mortars (plural) and Potts' report (p 111 of war diary) refers to a section of mortars, which is, by definition, 2 (but could be 3 while 4 would be two sections and a single mortar would be a det). Pretty confident in saying there was a section [of two] mortars (from p 111) but something more definitive would be better. If you can remember (was it McAuley?) ... Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 10:39, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

G'day, McAulay p. 186 mentions three 3-inch mortars, which had been airdropped at Myola and carried to Efogi. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:12, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Indication of date and qty? The 39th mortar was about Isurava and probably carried forward by 2/14th. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 12:33, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
G'day, Williams p. 131 provides three 3-inch mortars with 105 rounds airdropped to Myola, but does not provide a date. McAulay p. 186 provides three 3-inch mortars with 40 rounds airdropped at Myola. No clear date is provided. McAulay p. 135 mentions the 39th Bn mortar being carried up by the 2/14th. The date isn't clearly articulated, but from the context I believe it was on 27 August. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:14, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Artillery - reprise[edit]

Added section heavy weapons, which I am sure will get a good critical eye. I have tried to incorporate all of the suggested material (for which I am very much appreciative) and hope that I have accurately used it. I have left out the light mortars in this section since both sides were equipped with similar but might mention it in equipment. I am thinking of making "other equipment" a subsection of this new section. I will cover things like uniforms, radio gear (of which the Au 108 set[?] was heavy and unreliable [moisture] compared with the Japanese equivalent). Ingeneral, our equipment was heavy and theirs light - and perhaps honed by service if I have a ref. I have Anderson which will be my guide but anythig else will be welcome. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 12:26, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Other equipment[edit]

I could say something like: The IJA had not integrated motor vehicle transport into their force structure to the same extent as the British Commonwealth and United Stated. In consequence, much of their equipment was light weight and man-portable or used pack-horses. Their doctrine and equipment had been refined by nearly a decade of conflict and five years of open warfare in China. But I don't have the sources that say as much. The section is a start even if a little broader coverage could round it off. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 06:53, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Another milestone[edit]

This is now the final structure as I have envisioned it. I see a slight expansion of logistics to cover the Japanese, a review of a couple of sections which should be size neutral (more-or-less) and some parsing and review for continuity. I have rewritten the battle sections from scratch and tried to pitch them at the right level of detail. An exception is the Second Templeton's Crossing - Eora Creek and the initial landings (which I have already reviewed wrt to the child article). I would like thoughts on the other battle sections. ATM, the article is a little over 100k readable prose. Are there any comments or suggestions regarding size? I have asked about making an article of the "command crisis" but have had no feedback - particularly re a title? Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 07:33, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

G'day, just a quick look at this stage. First suggestion, I wonder if the reasons for Japanese withdrawal section should be moved to the aftermath. Also, I definitely think Second Templeton's should be reduced in this article, and the main article expanded. Re the command crisis: probably not a stand alone article, in my opinion, but I wonder about potentially covering it in a secondary article (potentially Maroubra Force or some other parent formation?) Anyway, sorry I have to turn in. Will look again tomorrow evening. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:31, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

adjusted order of sections[edit]

Just trying this out. Wondering if this is an improvement or not? Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:30, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Source re reasons for withdrawal[edit]

Bugger me if I can't find it now. Read recently that post-war interviews stated the opposition experienced at 2nd Kokoda and/or Isurava caused 17th Army to reconsider continuing to advance. Bullard notes orders not to continue advance on 8 Sep and 14 Sep but not this reason. Help to identify source and brief quote to give context. Anderson p45 refers to delay in following up from Deniki but this isn't it. Help pls. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:00, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

G'day, Williams p. 58 talks about the delay caused by Second Kokoda also. On p. 62, though, he states "the delay imposed [after Isurava] was of small importance for, as will be described in the following chapter, Seventeenth Army had already decided to postpone the Nankai Shitai's attack on Port Moresby" (the next chapter then talks about the influence of Guadalcanal, p. 86). This site, though, possibly has some of what you are referring to: [18]. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
That is exactly it thankyou. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:07, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Reasons for Japanese withdrawal[edit]

@AustralianRupert, sorry, but I was a little delayed in checking all the refs. WRT the third para, I largely retained what existed but could have parsed this down based on 3rd last para in Background of the Buna-Gona article. It appears that, once let loose, Horii was intent on a dash for Port Moresby. It appears that he was only reined in by a direct and unabiguous order and perhaps because the supply situation had finally reached a crisis point (Horner Crisis of command p167 says he resisted his battalion commanders in not pushing on). It appears he was pushing on with the hope of capturing supplies to relieve the situation (but I don't have a solid ref to this). While this happened at Isurava, it didn't happen later. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:58, 4 June 2017 (UTC)


@AustralianRupert and others, I am looking at the overview and the main part of the battle. Compared with the daughter articles, the main article sections are about 66 to 50% of the size of the battle sections in the daughter articles. Having said that, this article also include: preamble, linking material between battles and some analysis. At a rough estimate, the actual material for the individual battles in the main article is at 30-50% of the daughter articles. At this point, having made some significant edits already, I am not seeing a lot of scope to parse the main battle section further nor the overview. Perhaps his needs some more eyes? Comments Pls. As an aside, I have some material I want to add to the logistics re Japanese but otherwise, the text is pretty stable up to the aftermath. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 10:43, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Sick and wounded evacuated to Rabaul[edit]

@AustralianRupert, do you recall seeing anywhere something like 2,000 sick and wounded were evacuated during the course of the campaign. It isn't the DVA site's section on casualties since this is for all of the campaign and it comes to ca 4,000 sick and wounded total. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 05:09, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

G'day, Williams p. 170 provides: "By 31 October the Australian and Japanese had evacuated from the front line for medical reasons approximately 2,800 and 1,400 repectively ...[sentence about medical supplies]... As a consequence the end of October Japanese daily evacuations jumped to 90 a day, and by 16 November, after the Kokoda campaign concluded with the battle of Oivi-Gorari, both sides had evacuated about 3,500 sick men". Also on the same page, "By 27 December Australian medical casualty evacuations from the Kokoda Track and the beachhead battles totalled about 4,860 whereas Japanese losses in the same category exceeded 6,000". Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:44, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Not quite what I was hoping for but thankyou for the effort. Was hooping to be able to reconcile some of the numbers better. I am done as far as the rewrite goes. Now for the polishing. Though I think there is possibly a tiny little more scope for analysis. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:24, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Vasil Lucas[edit]

@AustralianRupert, came across this image and added it for the humanist side. Could go in medical or somewhere else. Also added AWM caption to image as written. Your call if it stays or is moved or the caption modified. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 13:07, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

PS could even move him into the ref section? - Just for something different. Cinderella157 (talk) 14:08, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
G'day, yes I think putting it in a note/ref would be a good solution as it is probably a bit too long otherwise. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:48, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

copyright on war art pre 1945[edit]

What would be the copyright status of Australian war art (by enlisted war artists) created during their enlistment say pre 1946 (ie during the war) in the first case or shortly after? Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:18, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

G'day, not sure if it would be considered a government work or not. If not, and if it isn't a photograph (i.e. it's a painting), then to be in the public domain I think the creator must have died before 1 January 1955. If it is a government work, then I believe it would be public domain 50 years after creation. I'm not an expert in this area, though. Nikkimaria is very clueful in this regard and could probably give a better answer than me. Can you provide a link to the image that you are thinking of using? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:40, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Generally speaking, works by enlisted war artists would be considered government works. Cinderella157, see {{PD-Australia}}. Nikkimaria (talk) 10:31, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
@Nikkimaria, Thankyou. To be specific I am intending to add to commons the sketch of Sgt Sonopa [19] by William Dargie, 1943. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 10:48, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes - compare the tagging here. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:44, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Just to add to the above, most of the WW2-era artworks on the AWM's database were produced by the official war artists, who were commissioned by the Australian Government to research and produce works which were government-owned upon completion. A potential complication though is that many works were completed well after the war so you need to be careful with dates. Nick-D (talk) 10:48, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

There is some good art compared with photos. Is before 50 yrs safe per AR? I have added the sketck of Cpl Sonopa. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:18, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Not quite - we also need to consider status in the US. If it's by a government artist it must have been created before 1946. Nikkimaria (talk) 11:56, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Or unless the AWM has marked it 'copyright expired - public domain' or similar on their database. Nick-D (talk) 08:27, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

looking for a a particular picture[edit]

If anybody has a copy of Anderson handy, I think there is a pic of carriers carrying a large box slung off a pole. If you see it and it has the AWM collection number, could you send the number please. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 00:53, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Looking now. I got a copy from the library last week. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:27, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
G'day, I couldn't find anything that matched your description, unfortunately. The closest, I think, is this: [20], which appears on p. 147 but it is a casualty that is being carried. Can you recall roughly what topic was being discussed around where the image was? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:50, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
I did a bit of a search of the AWM collection (old site). This might match your description: [21]. Is that it? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:58, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
It isn't that one thankyou. I have been looking but just haven't found it. The box is quite large and the image closer. I am looking for one to go in the allied logistics section and then the images are pretty well done. I could add a 3in mortar and a vickers but these would have to come from Buna-Gona. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:16, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Gday. Could it be this image by Damien Parer [22] (AWM 013002)? The description you give above seems about right. It appears in Dudley McCarthy's South-West Pacific Area First Year: Kokoda to Wau opposite page 194. The caption there is "Native carriers on the Kokoda Track with a two-man load weighing about 70 lbs." Anotherclown (talk) 09:24, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Ha! I just found that one in Ham, too, and was trying to post it, but got an edit conflict message. ;-) Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 09:29, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Bingo and thanks to both of you. I was getting frustrated with the AWM and I had to take Anderson back. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:32, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Have tried to populate with images that "illustrate" the text and thereby add to the content and are appropriate to where they appear. I work on about one per section if it fits and for bigger sections that one just goes out of view as one just comes into view. I also try to avoid images already used in related articles. On this basis I have about a full compliment now but could take one or two more with a little juggling. I'm not saying my choice is the best, so feel free to comment, suggest, move or add. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:45, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Where to from now?[edit]

I am continuing to review what I have written (and many thanks to AR for oversight) but i would like to get this to a higher standard as the anniversary falls. Many hands? Where to now? Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 13:44, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

G'day, perhaps peer review first (before maybe GAN), although I know a couple you put through peer review recently didn't get much attention. You could potentially also ask a couple of our resident Milhist editors such as maybe Nick-D, Hawkeye7 and Ian Rose for an informal peer review? Happy to help, but I have to send some of my books back to the library soon. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 04:15, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

@Anotherclown, @User:Nick-D, @User:Hawkeye7, @User:Ian Rose and anybody else. Per suggestion by AR, I would invite you to participate in an informal peer review of the article. Some of you are already aware that over the last two monthes there has been a substantial review and rewrite of the article, which, I hope, has been a significant improvement - in part, prompted by the anniversary (please also see the talk above re changes made). I also acknowledge that the size of the article has also increased substantially. While the overall size is substantial, nearly 200k (about 2.5 times the original), the readable prose is a bit over 100k and about 1/3 more than the original. You will see that I have included "topics" under the battle section and the overview of the battle provides context for these. There is then the narrative of the battle, which provides less detail than the "offspring articles" (mainly created by AR) and which links these articles. The trick is to link these articles, ensure continuity between them and the main article and to provide the right mix of detail at the overview, the battle detail of the main article and the "offspring articles". I am, perhaps, too close to the content to see where this balance can be improved. WRT the topics, I also see that the "command crisis" could be relocared but I don't see where. If it were, where this might be. I don't see Maroubra Force as being the right place - it too needs some work and I am trying to address this (see talk on that page). I will also post to MILHIST to invite others. Your comments and participation in improvement of the article would be gratefully appreciated. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 09:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi, If time permits I'll post some comments this weekend. Nick-D (talk) 11:28, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Thankyou for the responses so far and any more that may come. Please be assured that I value your contributions and the time you have taken. My immediate responses to the issues raised is likely a matter of how to address these wrt sources. It may also be because of a different perspective but I believe strongly in building a consensus, discussion and value a third opinion. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 09:50, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

  • Suggest moving "Papuan Labour" and "Medical" under "Logistics"
 Done, though not certain about it. Another opinion would be good.Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Sandler (2002) is not used. Suggest removing it.
 Done Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "MacArthur also had a poor opinion of the Australian troops and no real appreciation of the conditions under which the fighting in New Guinea was being conducted." MacArthur had spent the best part of 40 years fighting in mountains and jungles, so the second part is not credible.
    A nice source for this is Williams, p. 202: "MacArthur had arguably gained as much practical experience of mountain warfare as any senior Australian officer except perhaps Herring" Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
    Nearly 40 years of service, yes. Combat experience consists of an expedition to Veracruz, described as tropical savanna in which his significant contribution was to acquire locos. Less than a year at the Western Front and shooting some bandits in the Philippines - before the Japanese invasion - in which he gained the nickname "Dugout Doug". If Herring's experience (per Williams) was obtained in Greece as CRA, this is hardly a Stirling endorsement of either (wrt mountain or jungle fighting) since Greece was still a mechanised campaign (ie, relied heavily on wheeled and tracked transport and fighting vehicles). From Horner (1978 p212): "Rowell had no more experience of fighting in the mountains than Herring, Hopkins or Blamey". There is a counter-point to this quote which has already been addressed; however, in conjunction with Williams, it further questions the "credibility" of MacArthur as a jungle and mountain fighter of 40 years experience. Tea an scones at Owers' with Forde just doesn't cut the mustard - particularly when you look at a cross-section of the track and how the country changes north of Owers'. Did he send anybody from his HQ forward to gain an appreciation? Sorry, but there was hardly an Australian officer from brigadier up that probably had less fighting experience (noting the exception of Rowell to a degree - being evacuated from Gallipoli but subsequently serving in Greece). He did improve and gain experience but at this point, I believe that the assessment is both reasonable and supported by sources. This is a matter on which we differ, I am sorry, not withstanding a consensus. Sincerely, Cinderella157 (talk) 09:53, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
    Herring spent three years fighting in the mountains in Greece during the Great War. Rowell's experience in the Great War was eight weeks at Gallipoli. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:15, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "By this manoeuvre, MacArthur ensured that Blamey would be the scapegoat if Port Moresby fell." This is backed by the opinions of three popular (and unreliable) historians. I am not aware of an instance of MacArthur scapegoating. Rather, MacArthur's action was related to the quote above: "aggressive leadership is lacking". (In Curtin's case, his understanding of military matters was so poor that he thought that Blamey and MacArthur should be leading the troops at the front.) Suggest removing this.
Added Horner to the list of references cited. There was certainly manoeuvring by MacArthur. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
But not scapegoating. Just the usual American thing of sending in someone to kick butt. As he did in Buna, and later Biak. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Quoting Horner (as cited): "MacArthur had already laid the groundwork for shifting the blame onto the Australians". He was positioning Blamey to be a scapegoat - as distinct from subsequently making him a scapegoat. I have said that he "would be" in an eventuality that did not result - as opposed to him actually becoming one. Is there a difference in understanding of what I am trying to say? Cinderella157 (talk) 08:36, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
unless you disagree and pls remove Cinderella157 (talk) 12:26, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Standing by subordinates who botch battles was not to Allen's credit
Stood by subordinates at Templeton's Crossing (need to source reply to Blamey in McC at that time). By the time that Lloyd had botched things, the die was pretty much cast. Though he did not try to blame Lloyd for a poor choice at the start which added to the delay by a couple (or 3) days. In this, there is integrity (OR on my part). I probably need to recast this in the preeceding way? I deliberately omitted some detail for simplicity but you have picked up on it. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:12, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the wording is the problem here. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Will work on this per above. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:14, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I have rewritten this here but need to cross-check with Anderson (see ??) before I can add. Unfortunately, it may well be a month or more before it arrives. Anderson (p 208) says that he botched it. It is either the "command crisis" or "Eora Village" sections where I believe he likely identifies the downward pressure leading to Lloyds initial decision. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "Blamey (and Herring) wanted Allen to maintain pressure on the retreating Japanese and push home the advantage." MacArthur and Rowell also desired this. All were frustrated by his lack of aggression. Williams says "Evidence from Japanese sources makes Allen's handling of the battle look even worse than it did to his superiors at the time" (p. 205)
Not certain how you think I should deal with this differently. There are good reasons to pursue a fleeing enemy hard, juxtaposed by putting ones neck in a logistical noose when you know you cannot be supplied effectively. Allen demanded the support he needed to meet with the expectations placed on him but they weren't forthcoming. On the otherhand, the Japanese had already done the Harold Holt - so he wasn't pursuing a fleeing enemy. He was faced with a dilemma but more importantly, the rationale for pushing them was moot, such that his approach was subsequently more justifiable. Furthermore, which I didn't touch upon, It appears that Allen's replacement was likely inevitable as Herring had broached the matter with Vasey (see Horner 1978,p=203 and perhaps Anderson, that I don't have atm). I have relied on Anderson to present a somewhat balanced view of a somewhat complex situation to unravel. The quote from Williams would need more context. Is it because they didn't advance from Imita earlier, or because they didn't advance fast enough? But was the 16th Bde ready earlier? But Allen was not criticised for when he advanced but how fast he went when he did. How do you suggest I should address this? Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Not fast enough. Just 2 km per day against no Japanese opposition. As we say in Melbourne, a goal umpire covers more ground than that. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps? "Willams (p 205), however, observes that Allen's advance was nonetheless slower than might reasonably have been expected and that the criticisms leveled at him and leading to his sacking are somewhat justified." Would this (or similar) reconcile the POVs if included? Cinderella157 (talk) 09:53, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
 Done Though for a trip of 160km that takes 8 days march, this is 20 km per day and patrol rate is about 1/4 of march rate or slower if you need to clear obstetrical such as creek crossings or clear over crests. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • The wrapping of supplies in blankets or sacks was not "primitive". This was part of a deliberate policy to use packaging that would prove useful whenever possible. In fact, this took a while to learn; blankets were initially dropped separately during the Kokoda campaign; but it would become standard practice in later campaigns.
Do you have a source that says this was a "deliberate policy"? I will include it. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:16, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Mallett, "Logistics and the Cartwheel Operations", in Dean (ed) Australia 1943 (p. 179): "The air maintenance companies preferred packaging such as sacks, sandbags and blankets, which were useful to the troops." Which is actually sourced from A Report on Maintenance by Air in New Guinea in NAA (Vic): MP729/6 246/1/25. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Will work on incorporating this since, while sources describe this as "primitive" (by later or more modern standards) there is also method in the madness (which had occurred to me without you pointing it out). There is also perhaps something more to be said about speed, height and multiple passes in increasing recovery but I omitted this level of detail per size but in a sub article, it could be included. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:14, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
 Done Cinderella157 (talk) 12:13, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I know this is going to sound really nit-picky, but the three aircraft destroyed in the raid on 17 August 1942 were not Dakotas. They were two ex RNEIAF C-56 Lodestars (VH-CAG and VH-CAL) of the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron and an ex-KNILM Douglas DC-5 (VH-CXA) of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron. [A DC-3 was put out of commission for two months.](Imperato, 374th Troop Carrier Group, p. 55; Kelly, Allied Air Transport Operations, p. 346)
Not at all, I have simply quoted Gillison. in essence he says: "On 17 August, a Japanese air raid on Port Moresby destroyed five aircraft and severely damaged eleven others when the aircraft had been parked close together. Of these, seven Dakota transports were destroyed or put out of commission, leaving only one in service." He described the transports as Dakotas (ie C-47s) and seven transports were put out of service, leaving only one operational. The number destroyed, put out of service is 4 (your sources) v 7 from Gillison? Is there some common ground in saying one transport was left serviceable? If so, I can work around it that way acknowledging the differences between the sources. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't see how they can be reconciled; but Kelly is more reliable, given that he cites the serial numbers of the aircraft involved. Both Kelly and Imperato are in agreement on the number and models of the planes. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
So neither Kelly nor Imperato say how many serviceable transports were left? Cinderella157 (talk) 09:13, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Watson, Richard L. The Army Air Forces in World War II. Volume IV (1950)p 94 "destroyed three B-26's and a transport, and did damage to eight other planes". It gets even messier, though the point is that this had a significant impact. But the best way to deal with it? Await your reply. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:23, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
McCarthy (p. 198) says "an air raid on the 17th had destroyed or severely damaged the five available transport aircraft." Wolf says (p. 166) "three bombers and seven transports were destroyed". Moremon (p. 174) says that no aircraft were available for dropping until 23 August, when they got a DC-3 back into commission. (The 21st TCS only had two of them.) Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:48, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I found this source which gives details of all the aircraft destroyed or damaged, with footnotes to more sources. Hawkeye7 (talk) 13:08, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Thankyou for this (I think - only because it is cloudier). I will work on this to the extent that it is cloudier (with a note to this effect) but quote Gillison to the extent that there was one plane left serviceable but no planes per Moremon til 23rd? Unless you have a better suggestion? Cinderella157 (talk) 13:28, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
See my attempt to address this. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:05, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "Dean observes of Rowell, that his only failure was an inability to work with Blamey and that Blamey was more culpable in that, he was unwilling to risk his own position. He should have shown more trust and loyalty toward his subordinate; negated MacArthur's manoeuvring and avoided the situation." ["manoeuvering" is a misspelling] This is attributed to Pater, but the footnote is to David Horner. It definitely doesn't represent Peter's view. Nor would he have agreed that it Rowell's only failure; indeed the article itself already notes another failure. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:05, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Amended by attributing to Horner as is correct. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:58, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Note that the article disputes this assessment, noting "faulty [staff] work by inexperienced staff". Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
True, but I am not aware of sources that refer to this as a reason for Rowell's sacking? Cinderella157 (talk) 09:35, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Hawkeye7 (talk) 13:58, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

It was MacArthur's reason for sending Blamey up there. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:42, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
There's a couple more like this where the words need more consideration:
  1. In the lead there is a mention of "political manoeuvring" by MacArthur and Blamey. What is that meant to mean? It would not be unreasonable for an American reader to interpret it as a reference to MacArthur's political ambitions in the United States, and I don't believe that was the case.
  2. "The generalship of MacArthur and Blamey has been criticised for being reactive rather than proactive in the defence of New Guinea" First of all, it should say "Papua", and this is not the case; MacArthur tried to get the troops to Buna before the Japanese landed. That's proactive.

Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:42, 23 June 2017 (UTC) โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ I don't see references that point to "faulty staff work" as being the specific reason MacAthur sent Blamey north. What I do see is a quote from Vasey that GHQ was up and down like a barometer in a cyclone at the reversals, a loss of resources (bombing of 17 August) and an unrealistic response to make do with what they had with some additional resources. The political manoeuvering was MacArthur trying to distance himself from a defeat in New Guinea and Blamey trying to preserve his job. These are developed in the appropriate sections that follow. The comment is made jointly at MacArthur and Blamey. It pertains to the politics between generals and the Australian goverment at the highest levels of the military and is supported by sources. It is a long bow to draw if you suggest this is alluding to MacArthur's latter political aspirations even if they were in his mind at the time. MacArthur and Blamey did too little too late. Again this is supported by sources, such as Milner, that indicate the Japanese intentions. MacArthur may have tried to get troops to Buna but this is only one matter and was it timely? - no. There is more to this statement than just that. There is the whole disposition of Allied forces leading up to the landings at Buna or Milne Bay. They were both behind the eight ball (Blamey and MacArthur) and you can't blame one without the other unless the junior has failed to comply with the senior. If you disagree, please edit and source. I can only work with what I have. As for the distinction between Papua, the Territory of New Guinea or the Island, it is a moot point since I was intending a reference to the island as much as the Australian territories or Papua specifically. Your position is appreciated and I hope that this can be resolved to the betterment of the article. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 12:22, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

I know what you're trying to say, but the reader of the lead may not be able to read the rest of the article. I will have a go at it. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:44, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Comments by Nick-D[edit]

The article is certainly much improved. However, I'm concerned that it's now over-long and its structure is needlessly complex. I have the following high-level comments and suggestions:

  • WP:SIZERULE recommends that articles be not much bigger than about 60 kb of readable prose (though this isn't a hard and fast rule, and I'm guilty of getting articles to FA which weighted in at well over this). At present this article has 109 kb of readable prose, so is clearly too long - it will likely overwhelm interested readers, especially as most will be seeking a summary of this very well-known but complex campaign.
From above, you will see that I acknowledge the issue of size and have asked for some assistance in how best to deal with it. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 09:39, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Some suggestions to reduce the word count and simplify the structure are to:
    • Remove the 'Overview' section - the lead should cover this
      The lead is intended as an abstract. The previous lead was mainly devoted to the battle and did not cover the "issues". I believe that the present lead is relatively "tight" and that to incorporate a sufficient level (more) detail back into the lead would take it outside the the guidelines (particularly per number of paragraphs). The present structure is: Abstract (lead); Introduction (Background); Overview; issues; narrative of the battle; and, conclusion. My rationale for this structure is that the "issues" require a "context" (ie the overview) for perspective and that the "issues" then put the "battle" into context. On this point, I would disagree but would welcome further discussion. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 12:03, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    • Move the commentary about why the Japanese offensive failed and the problems with the Allied commanders in the early sub-sections of the 'battle' section to the relevant parts of the narrative and final section and seek to streamline this - this is repetitive and a bit confusing
      These two "issues" span a period of time. This was one reason for taking them out of the battle narrative, which is chronological. The sackings span from the 21st Bde moving forward to after the Second Battle of Eora Creek - Templeton's Crossing. The Japanese withdrawal also spans from early August until Ioribaiwa and the end of September. It appears that Horii, once let off the leash could not be recalled by his masters? The previous article dealt with these matters in the way that you suggest and I found that they broke up the narrative and made it disjointed. That is why I chose to deal with these (and other) issues separately and in this way. This structure does however require linking statements in the overview and main narrative as flags for the reader but should be such that they are not overly repetitive. I have acknowledged that there is likely a need to polish the article in this respect and your observation confirms this. I have also said that atm I am a little too close to the text to see where this can and should be improved. On this suggestion then, I would disagree with a restructure but I am happy to discuss the matter further. Cinderella157 (talk) 05:44, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
    • The Allied logistics for this campaign would make an excellent stand-alone article, and the material here could be greatly streamlined - as most readers will be overwhelmed by the detail here there's a danger that they won't appreciate the importance of the logistical side to the campaign
      As soon as I have finished the article I am currently working on, I'll get going on this. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:56, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
      I have no issue with this and would appreciate the you taking this on.Cinderella157 (talk) 05:44, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
    • Look to reduce the level of detail on individual battles - we have articles on all of them
      I agree with this (and the overview). Though (per above) I am a little too close to the text atm to see where this can and should be improved. If I understand correctly, you believe that addressing this point will then resolve your next point? Cinderella157 (talk) 05:44, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • The article also seems somewhat weighted towards the experiences of the Australian forces, despite the existence (and use here) of good quality sources on the Japanese. Trimming material on the Australian forces will help to redress this balance.

I also have some specific comments on the article's text:

  • " Much of the Australian 8th Division, deployed to Malaya, Ambon, Timor and Rabaul was captured as the Japanese rapidly advanced" - virtually the entire division was destroyed. From memory, only one of its brigade HQs and an artillery regiment which were stationed at Darwin and the tragically small number of soldiers who escaped from the battle zones remained by March 1942.
    I was less than absolute because of Sparrow Force's resistance and that about 1/4 of Lark Force escaped. Happy for a change. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:54, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
    "All three of the original battalions of the 23rd Brigade had now been rendered ineffective . In retrospect, it seems regrettable that they were not re-formed round the officers and men who evaded captivity or were not with their units at the time. Some 400 officers and men of Rabaul force escaped (and, indeed, the 2/22nd was re-formed in a way for a period in 1943 when a 3/22nd Battalion, an amalgamation of the 3rd Battalion and survivors of the 2/22nd, existed). After the loss of Australian battalions on Crete they were re-formed round cadres of survivors not much larger than those possessed by the 2/21st and 2/40th. As it was, the 23rd Brigade Group, which still possessed its headquarters, the 2/14th Field Regiment, most of its field ambulance, and some sub-units, was filled by adding militia battalions; for a period it retained also the 2/4th Pioneer Battalion which had replaced the 2/22nd when it was sent to Rabaul." (Wigmore, p. 490) Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:12, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Thankyou Hawkeye7, should I change this, and how? It is after all, a matter of a word or two. Cinderella157 (talk) 12:30, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Suggest a better wording to this sentence please and then it can be qualified by a note incorporating this detail. Cinderella157 (talk) 12:46, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
"The entire Australian 8th Division, deployed to Malaya, Ambon, Timor and Rabaul was captured or rendered ineffective as the Japanese rapidly advanced"? Cinderella157 (talk) 12:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
 Done Cinderella157 (talk) 06:32, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "In response to the threat, the Government appealed to the United States for assistance and the 6th and 7th Divisions of the Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) were brought back from the Middle East (the 9th Division was not released until the start of 1943)" - the Australian Government didn't request that the 9th be returned at this time (it was effectively traded for US Army units which were dispatched to Australia). This material is probably too detailed for this article.
I think that to say the 6th and 7th were recalled (but not the 9th until later) is appropriate. It is one sentence in a paragraph of three that establish the overall strategic context at three different levels. To discuss the reasons why the 9th was not released earlier would be too much detail. A third opinion is welcome though. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:34, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
My main concern is is over the word 'released' which implies that the Australian Government wasn't able to gain permission to bring the division home. From memory, it didn't seek this at the time, and if it had done so the request would have been acted on given that the AIF remained under Australian control at all times - and quite possibly with less argument than was the case when the request was made in late 1942. Nick-D (talk) 11:14, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Could not be "released" tactically v's politically (see McC p21). It is not a big deal for me and a third opinion is a simple solution? Cinderella157 (talk) 04:43, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Nick is correct. What we want here is some wording that cannot be misinterpreted as one of the Zombie myths. The Australian government did not initiate Stepsister; the British government did. And the retention of the 9th Division in the Middle East was with the concurrence of the Australian government. In fact, Blamey had to mount a solid argument for the 9th Division's return. General MacArthur argued against it, saying that moving troops from one active theatre to another was a waste of shipping; he argued that it made more sense to move troops from an inactive theatre (ie the United States). Blamey won, as was invariably the case when then the two differed. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
@Hawkeye7, You have made an edit that removed the reference to the 9th Div. I could quote McC (p21) "The 9th Division was still in the Middle Eastโ€”and was likely to remain there since the British leaders considered its retention of the highest importance" but consider this resolved? Cinderella157 (talk) 10:56, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Moreover, if the article discussed the Australian government's fears of invasion in early 1942 it should also note that it was confident that there would not be an invasion by May that year due to intelligence gained from signals intelligence, as well as the victories in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway.
Firstly(and foremost), I think this would be adding more detail than necessary. Secondly, I would need the sources and Thirdly, these events (this campaign) are happening from June 1942. There was also a steady encroachment on Australia at Rabaul, Lae, the Coral Sea and Guadalcanal from December through to June.
  • The 'Geography' section doesn't really capture just how rugged this terrain is. 75 years on from the campaign there still aren't any roads connecting Port Moresby to other PNG cities due to the difficulty of the terrain (my only contact with it has been from looking out the window of a plane headed into Port Moresby, and it sure looked impassable). From memory, various sober accounts note that this was some of the most difficult terrain where fighting took place during the war.
I concur and recall words to the effect: "some of the most difficult terrain where fighting took place during the war", though I am trying to find a source. If you have something, please insert. I think it is probably best at the beginning or the end and, most probably, at the end as a concluding statement/paragraph. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 09:21, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • " While the Curtin government was largely steadfast in recalling the 2nd AIF from the Middle East against considerable opposition from Churchill" - yet it agreed for two of the six infantry brigades and one of the two divisional HQs involved to be diverted to Ceylon as part of the compromise with Churchill at a time when it feared a direct assault on Australia was possible. Churchill (and Roosevelt) also rapidly agreed for most of I Australian Corps to be transferred from the Middle East - his preference was for it to go to Burma rather than Australia or the Netherlands East Indies.
This statement is made to contrast the way the Australian government interacted with the two nations. Yes, the government did agree to the two brigades being diverted to Ceylon in light of the situation. And then Churchill dragged the chain and kept them much longer than was agreed. I think, that in the context the statement is accurate and verifiable. Yes, there is a lot more behind getting the AIF back to Australia. But some of this is unnecessary additional detail. Or am I missing your point again? Cinderella157 (talk) 05:15, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
You are totally missing the point. The British government ordered the 6th and 7th Divisions to Indonesia, not the Australian. When it became clear that Indonesia would fall before they could affect the situation, the British government proposed diverting them to Burma. Curtin opposed this, asking that they be sent back to Australia. There was no pressure from the government to bring back the 9th Division. See my comments above. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

The point I am trying to make is that the Curtin government would acquiesce to MacArthur but had stood up to Churchill. This is my point. "The Australian Government, accepting Sturdee's advice, maintained its insistence that the 6th and 7th Divisions should return, and in so doing greatly offended Mr Churchill." (Barton Maughan, 1966, p 528) and I am sure I can quote more as probably you can but this doesn't improve the article nor does it address the basic premise - that Curtin would argue with Churchill but accept MacArthur's advice over Blamey's in a way that compromised his relationship with the government. And perhaps this was something of Blamey's creation in trying to wear too many hats. I have tried to summarise in a brief statement a complex issue for the sake of brevity. Is there a better way to briefly say this? Cinderella157 (talk) 14:54, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

The point you are trying to make is wrong, and you just struck a counter-example: Curtin accepting Blamey's advice to return the 9th Division to Australia over MacArthur's. (MacArthur did come around to Blamey's point of view.) Blamey was indeed wearing three hats: CinC AMF, Commander Allied Land Forces, and GOC New Guinea Force. The problem with that was that these three roles required him to be in three different cities (Melbourne, Brisbane, Port Moresby). And that problem was caused by the Curtin government. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:40, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
"The delicacy of Blarneyโ€™s position, which was a result of the governmentโ€™s complete dependence on MacArthur" (Horner, 1978, p207 as cited in the article at this point). See edit offered Cinderella157 (talk) 08:39, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "While this campaign, Milne Bay and the sea battles of Coral Sea and Midway ended the threat to Australia, the Australian government continued to warn that an invasion was possible until mid-1943" - as above, this isn't correct. The threat had been extinguished before the operations in Papua and the Solomon Islands, and the Australian Government knew it. The Allies were actually moving onto the offensive at this time (starting with the landing at Guadalcanal)
There is a difference between reality (as you are pointing out) and the spin given to the citizenry (which is what the source, and I am trying to say) "While this campaign, Milne Bay and the sea battles of Coral Sea and Midway ended the threat to Australia,". Perhaps I need to make this clearer that continuing government warnings were hype? Cinderella157 (talk) 10:23, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that would be an improvement. Nick-D (talk) 10:33, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Suggest: "nonetheless, the Australian government continued until mid-1943 to warn the population that an invasion was possible." Cinderella157 (talk) 10:58, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
But this campaign didn't end the threat to Australia - such a threat did not exist at the time it was launched. At worst, the Japanese would have used Port Moresby as a base to launch air raids against northern Australia and ships in the area. Nick-D (talk) 00:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
The prelude has made it clear that there was no threat of "invasion" but there was, nonetheless, a threat to Australia, that was alleviated by these three events. The salient point is that the government continued to warn after these events. I am not opposed to change but I think this is a reasonable statement "in context" unless you have an alternative to offer? Cinderella157 (talk) 12:04, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Nick-D (talk) 00:14, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

What threat to Australia was there, and what did the campaign do to change this? Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:51, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ The threat to Australia was that it would be isolated, neutralised and ultimately subjecated. The campaign defended Port Moresby and it was strategically significant to both the Japanese and the Allies. Guadalcanal was "equally" (or more) significant but the position there had not been "fully" resolved. The point, however; is that the government "continued to warn", more than that the danger "actually" existed but also that these events "collectively" resolved the threat. It is a relativly minor matter of perspective. How is is resolved? Cinderella157 (talk) 12:49, 23 June 2017 (UTC)


G'day I've made a few changes to some headings just now [23]; however, if this isn't considered helpful I'll gladly self-revert. Essentially my main change was the 2nd level heading "Battle" which I changed to "Campaign" (as in reality this was a campaign made up of a number of battles so it seemed more logical to use this term to me). Equally I have "promoted" the phases of the campaign (i.e. "First Phase", "Interlude", "Second Phase" and "Advance on Buna-Gona") to be 2nd level headings in their own right. My primary reason to do this was to separate them previous section which was quite long and covered a broad range of topics. To me this might help delineate where the article changes from a mostly thematic focus to a chronological one. Happy to discuss other viewpoints on this of cse though.Anotherclown (talk) 04:45, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

Works for me. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:14, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
Campaign is certainly better and on the other, I have no objection if. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 07:54, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

Geography #2[edit]

Some problems in this section.

  1. "The administrative centre of Port Moresby had an airfield and basic port facilities". Actually there were two airfields. Aside: Note that in BrEnglish, the term "aerodrome" is used. The American forces continued to use "aerodrome" for the existing dromes, but when they built one themselves, they use USEnglisg, and called it an "airfield".
  2. Footnote 30 doesn't cover this; you need another reference. I'd be particularly grateful if you could find one for the second two sentences. I have started assembling the article on logistics in User:Hawkeye7/Sandbox7

Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:18, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

On your first point, I have made an amendment. On your second point, this has caused no end of confusion as to what you are referring to. I think you mean citation 30 as opposed to note 30? Plse see Talk:Kokoda Track campaign#Geography and revision [24] You will see that this paragraph was a collaboration with AR, with AR fleshing it out a bit more and adding the citations - so I am sorry but I wasn't the one that "sourced" this specific material. I'm sorry that I don't have a lot of material atm - I had to send it back before I left the big smoke of Ipswich and I am waiting for inter-library loans to come to my tiny libraray in the sticks. By the second two sentences do you mean: "The pre-war economy was based primarily upon copra and rubber โ€“ with plantations established intermittently in coastal regions โ€“ and mining.[28] The administrative centre of Port Moresby had basic airfield and port facilities"? If you can confirm, I will see what I can dig up. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 05:19, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
The section reads: "The administrative centre of Port Moresby had basic airfield and port facilities. There were no roads beyond the vicinity of Port Moresby and, by modern standards, these were little more than tracks. As a result, travel north of Port Moresby was largely undertaken by air, or sea." The first sentence is true, but the source doesn't cover it. I'm not certain about the second an third sentences. Hawkeye7 (talk) 08:57, 27 June 2017 (UTC)