Kokoda and Japan (letter)by Neville LewisNews Weekly
, November 14, 2009
Brian Harris is mistaken when he states (Letters, News Weekly
, September 19) that the Owen-Stanley-Kokoda battle was the first military defeat inflicted on Japan in World War II.
The Kokoda Trail campaign began in mid-1942 until the Japanese were driven from their last stronghold at Gona in January 1943. It was a very trying campaign, fought under appalling conditions, and was undoubtedly a major factor in halting Japan's southward march; but it was not Japan's first military defeat in that war. That took place at Milne Bay, just before the Kokoda Trail campaign.
The 2/9, 2/10 and 2/12 Australian Infantry Battalions were the units largely responsible.
I'm sure that this information is correct, because I was a member of the 2/33rd Australian Infantry Battalion which took part in the Kokoda campaign in 1942.Neville Lewis,