Friday, February 22, 2008

Kokoda - Day 2

The men of Kokoda fought a terrible battle against overwhelming odds - and yet they were not overwhelmed. They suffered huge casualties at Isurava and the fighting back through Templeton's Crossing, Mission Ridge, and Brigade Hill.

They fought in the worst conditions imaginable - the climate and the incredibly difficult terrain adding to their burden. Ultimately they fought the enemy to a standstill and saw him turn at Ioribaiwa and retreat back over the Kokoda Track.

History records that these men made possible a tremendous victory. They stopped a downward thrust that - if successful - would have exposed the entire Australian mainland to invasion. So significant was their achievement that the historians are now unanimous in agreeing that the battles of the Kokoda Trail saw the turning of the tide - a tide that could well have engulfed a young nation.

Theirs was a victory - not only of the jungle battlefield - but a victory of sacrifice and selflessness, a victory of mateship, a victory of courage, a victory of endurance, a victory over adversity - and a victory even of humour - but above all a victory of their indomitable spirit.

Rest well - Day 3 will be fast upon you.

15 comments:

photowannabe said...

Whew, that looks exhausting but very fulfilling. Thanks for the history lesson with those pictures.

dive said...

Thank you, Jules. I'm going to have to read up on that battle; it sounds truly heroic.

oldmanlincoln said...

I think, if you check, that there was a movie based on this very subject. Or I saw something like this when a child during the war.

Nice story and interesting narrative, Jules.

quintarantino said...

Hum ... Jules, I'm loving the walk and the landscapes but are you sure that the bridge offers no danger?

Mr. T. , our mutual friend, is right behind me and carrying a big basket for our picnic...

And mind you I'm no feather myself ... oooppppsssssss!!!!

Daniel J Santos said...

Interesting post, thank you for let me travel in your photos.

M.Benaut said...

Jules, I had an uncle who fought here, but he has never recounted his experiences to the family, as far as I know.
I have a letter that he sent me when I was born, addressed to Dear Little Baby.
I must now dig deep and find it.
This sends shivers up my spine.
Sorry to have been absent for all of this week, but I had an unexpected event.
Tomorrow, I will be answering a question that you posed the other day and hope it may cause a smile.

I look forward to more Kokoda as it unfolds.

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great post series of posts this is going to be and a nice tribute as well.

alicesg said...

Nice information about the Kokoda. I guess you all have a good time hiking and enjoying the place there.

lv2scpbk said...

Nice photos and looks like a nice walk.

Willow said...

Beautifully written tribute to those brave men!

Gordon said...

A great coverage of a significant event of the second world war. I have a couple of young friends who recently took part in a Kokoda Trail trek.

Squirrel said...

Endurance is right--imagining the sacrifice of the men of Kokoda is sad. They had to be brave and strong.

the challenging terrain would be fun maybe for hikers, not so much for fighters. You'd have to stay hydrated--!
but the climate would do me in, even if the terrain was flat. Heat is one thing I cannot take & , add any humidity and I'm down. (must be the fur coat)
I am a Squirrel from the North Country.

GMG said...

Hi Jules, here I am trying to recapture your last posts on my weekly visit… Great story about Kokoda, with some beautiful pictures! Also loved the Pandanus, as well as the trunc long way from home!
I’m still strolling around the streets of Sofia at Blogtrotter. Have a great weekend!

Jules said...

Hi All

You have to be extremely fit to do this trek so I guess that would count me out!!!

m benaut - wow it would be great to see that letter!!!!

Chuckeroon said...

Yes.........

I was "priviledged" to see the New Guinea jungle on a trip once. What a thought! Made a point of visiting some of the War Graves.