- The battle for Isurava: Fighting in the clouds of the Owen Stanley 1942
The battle for Isurava: Fighting in the clouds of the Owen Stanley 1942
Following the Japanese invasion of northern New Guinea at Gona in July 1942, the Australian militiamen of B Company, 39th Battalion, spent four weeks fighting a delaying action against a crack Japanese force that outnumbered them by three to one. By mid-August the rest of the battalion had arrived, taking up position at Isurava, in the heart of the cloud-covered mountains and jungles of the Owen Stanley Range.
The battle for Isurava would be the defining battle of the Kokoda campaign and has been described as Australia’s Thermopylae. It was here that Australia’s first Victoria Cross in the Pacific war was awarded, when the Japanese conducted several ferocious attacks against the Australian perimeter. Private Bruce Kingsbury led an Australian counterattack, rushing forward with his Bren gun and saving the situation when all seemed lost - he was killed leading the charge.
The outnumbered and poorly-equipped Australians managed to hold back the Japanese advance for almost a week, before a month-long fighting withdrawal towards Ioribaiwa Ridge. Their sacrifice provided time for the Australian 25th Brigade to be brought forward - finally forcing the Japanese to withdraw just as they glimpsed the lights of Port Moresby.
Details: Non-fiction, published 2022.
Format: Soft cover, photographs, 364 pages.
Dimensions: 23.0 cm (h) x 15.3 cm (w).