08 June 2010

A lost battlefield.

I will admit that I know very little about the Australian campaign in New Guinea during WWII. I can only imagine how vicious the fighting was/ Still it comes as a big surprise to hear that one of the battle sites has only just been rediscovered

According to CNN an Australian trekker has claimed that he has discovered the site of a significant World War II battle in the jungles of Papua New Guinea

Former army Capt. Brian Freeman, an expert on the Kokoda Trail said that he was led to the Eora Creek battle site where he found the remains of the soldiers. The site was believed to be the location of the last major battle that was pivotal in Australia’s campaign against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea.

Although the site was known to local villages it has remained untouched since 1942.
“It was as if time has stood still. We found ammunition running out in a line from the rifle that was dropped as the Japanese advanced to the rear,” Freeman said.

The presence of large rectangular pits, referred to as rifle pits, also indicated that the location was also a significant Japanese defensive position. “However, it was the discovery of a Japanese soldier sitting up against a tree, only centimeters from the surface still in his helmet, with his boots nearby that began to tell the human story,” Freeman said. The battle of Eora Creek is said to be the single most costly clash of the Kokoda campaign, although different sources cite different casualty figures.

Freeman said they are working with respective governments to repatriate the fallen solders and preserve the site in its “current pristine condition." Until then, no groups will be permitted to trek the site.

If this is true then it is an amazing rediscovery.

2 comments:

Claudia said...

Eerie....

jams o donnell said...

It certainly is!