- Edition: Reprint
- Used – Very Good Cond. (basic wear)
- Format: Softcover
- Author: Philip Bradley
- War: WW2
The Australian Seventh Division In The Ramu Valley – From Kaiapit To The Finisterre Ranges
The War Diary Of 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade Of South Australia CMF (later AIF) During World War 2, 8th December 1941 To 30th April 1944
Milne Bay To Bougainville
In 1939, WW2 seemed far away for the average Australian, except for the men of the Australian Infantry Force (AIF).
The 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions were ordered to the middle east, the 8th Division ended up in Singapore, to fight for the mother country under the command of the British forces.
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941, the mood changed in Australia. Realizing Australia could now be under threat, the Government made the CMF a fulltime service; so the 3 year part time CMF became permanent for the duration of the war.
The AIF were not pleased when they found out that under the terms of the CMF service, the CMF could not be sent overseas to fight. This created resentment between the two groups, when the AIF called the CMF ‘choco’s’, short for chocolate soldier; meaning they would melt under fire when things became hot. Another disparaging term was ‘Koala’s’, short for a protected species.
The CMF mau not have been able to be sent overseas, but in the 1940’s Papua New Guinea and Bougainville were under the Mandate Australia. So the Militia in 1942 were finally able to do service outside the Australian mainland to protect Australian from Japanese invasion.
The 7th Australian Infantry Brigade at Milne Bay fought the turning point of WW2 in the South Pacific on the 31st August 1942. These ill trained men found themselves fighting against the well trained force of Japan, the 3rd and 5th Kure Special Naval Landing Force. It would become known as the Battle for Milne Bay, fought at No. 3 Strip. Number 3 Strip was located a few miles north east of Gili Gili at Milne Bay on the Southern tip of Papua New Guinea.
The battle broke the invicibility of the Japanese Imperial Force, for it was the first time for it was the first time the Japanese had been beaten on land. It was from this battle, the Japanese were slowly driven back to Japan.
The Chocos proved to the AIF that they wouldn’t melt under fire and that their blood was just as red as the AIF’s.
After Milne Bay the 7th Brigade, as part of the 3rd Division, moved to Bougainville to relieve the American forces and fight the Japanese at Little George Hill, Arty Hill, Pearl Ridge, Barara and Slaters Knoll before the war ended on 15th August 1945. They finally left Bougainville in 1945.