“Java was heaven; Burma was hell and New Guinea is where nobody comes back alive” (Anonymous Japanese soldier)
Dear members and citizens of the Returned Services League, The club has noticed that there have been disagreements towards our decisions to change the permanent display of World War 1 artefacts to artefacts from the Second World War focussing on Australia’s involvement in Kokoda.
The Kokoda track Campaign is worthy of commemorating as Australia for the first time during the Second World War was in danger of being invaded. As Australia was aiding Great Britain in Europe Australia had no good soldiers to send to Kokoda so the only soldiers left were not so well trained Militia. “I will never forget my first day in action against the Japanese in new guinea. My knees were knocking, my heart was pounding and I was FREIGHTEND” (Soldier QX12104)
Australian soldiers were immensely outnumbered to the Japanese and out trained at jungle fighting compared to the Japanese. This called for drastic measure to survive the oncoming attacks from the Japanese but what was really needed was backup and fast for the Australians. “I struck this Japanese and he rose up from the grass and we were face to face with each other and I think he was just as bloody scared as I was. I was just lucky I could pull the trigger first” (Jack Manol)
Japanese soldiers had confidence coming into the war knowing that they would win, all Japanese soldiers were trained highly and told that failure was not an option. Japanese soldiers overpowered Australian soldiers in numbers but were lacking motivation half way through the attack due to soldiers dying of starvation and friends being lost along the battles. “I am tired of New Guinea, I think only of home, I wish I could eat a belly full, I have hardly eaten for 50 days, I am bony and skinny, I walk with flattering steps, I want to see my children.”
Australians and Japanese both faced one of the toughest parts through out the heat of...