Those Ragged Bloody Heroes

From the Kokoda Trail to Gona Beach 1942

Peter Brune
AUD $26.95

The definitive account of the Australians on the Kokoda Trail - a story told through the eyes of the Australians who fought there, many of whom have now passed away.

The Kokoda Trail is part of Australian military folklore.

During July to September 1942 the Japanese set about the capture of Port Moresby by an overland crossing of the Owen Stanley Range, and a landing in Milne Bay. To oppose a force of 10,000 crack Japanese troops on the Kokoda Trail, the Allies committed one under-trained and poorly-equipped unit - the 39th Battalion, later reinforced by Veterans of the 21st Brigade, 7th Division AIF. These were then men of Maroubra Force.

The Australians put up a desperate fight. They withdrew village by village, forcing the Japanese to fight for every inch of ground. Finally at Ioribaiwa, the Japanese turned away, beaten and exhausted. The Australian soldiers' reward for their remarkable achievement was denigration by the High Command - General Blamey called them 'running rabbits'.

Then in December 1942 when the fighting at the beachheads had produced little success, the former members of Maroubra Force captured Gona after heavy fighting - but at tragic cost.

Those Ragged Bloody Heroes is the story of those battles told as never before, through the eyes of the Australian soldiers who fought there. It is a story that raises serious questions about the planning and command of the Kokoda and Gona campaigns.

Those Ragged Bloody Heroes is a stirring history of triumph, tragedy and controversy set in the mud and steaming jungle of the Kokoda Trail and the fireswept beaches at Gona.

Author bio:

Peter Brune is a leading authority and writer on the Australian campaigns in New Guinea in World War II. He has had exclusive access to much of the information he has gathered over recent years, including interviews with many of the survivors, several of whom have now passed away.

First published in 1991, Those Ragged Bloody Heroes was Peter's first book. He has gone on to write a number of bestsellers; The Spell Broken, We Band of Brothers, and A Bastard of a Place and has co-authored with Neil McDonald 200 Shots: Damien Parer and George Silk and the Australians at War in New Guinea

Peter Brune is a school teacher and lives in Adelaide.

Category: Military
ISBN: 9781741145595
Table Of Contents: Foreword



1 Peace in our time

2 The threshold of fear

3 The devil's design

4 No do-or-die stunts

5 A desperate baptism

6 On our last bloody legs

7 Confident even cocksure

8 Unawed in the gates of death

9 Rupert's clinic

10 Full of fight but utterly weary

11 A question of momentum

12 92 this way

13 The rabbit that runs

14 To the beach-head

15 Not to reason why

16 Embarrassed to be alive

17 Silent



Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: August 2005
Page Extent: 420
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Battles & campaigns