Quite a few of these books are out of print but may sometimes be found in 2nd hand shops or internet searches.
|TO KOKODA AND BEYOND (out of print, sometimes a copy comes up on e-bay))
Victor Austin The Story of the 39th Battalion 1941-1943. the Unit’s own Official History Melbourne University Press 1988 IBSN 0 522 84374 3
|TO KOKODA AND BEYOND (2nd Edition) also now out of print
Victor Austin The Story of the 39th Battalion 1941-1943. the Unit’s own Official History.Updated with a few corrections to lists and some more photos.Australian Military History Publications 2007 IBSN 0 522 84379-4
Peter BruneThe Battle of Beach- Head 1942Allen & Unwin 1994 IBSN 1 86373 637 9
|THOSE RAGGED BLOODY HEROES
Peter BruneFrom the Kokoda Trail to Gona beach 1942Allen & Unwin 1991 IBSN 1 86373 060 5
|RETREAT FROM KOKODA
Raymond PaullOne of the first books written about the Kokoda TrackWilliam Heinemann Ltd 1958
Joseph DawsonThe personal reflections of SGT Joe Dawson, B Company 39th BattalionPrivately Published
|RALPH HONNER KOKODA HERO (ORIGINALLY ISSUED AS ‘WE BAND OF BROTHERS’)
Peter BruneA biography of Ralph Honner (CO 39th Bn.) Soldier & StatesmanAllen & Unwin 2000 IBSN 1 86508 285 6
|A BASTARD OF A PLACE
Peter BruneThe Australians in Papua – Kokoda- Milne Bay-Gona-Buna-SananandaAllen & Unwin 2003 IBSN 1 74114 403 5
|THE ESSENCE OF KOKODA
Patrick LindsayLike Gallipoli Kokoda represents a traditionHardie Grant Books 2005 IBSN 1 74066 31 4 4
Peter FitzSimmonsFollow the heroes and villains of the New Guinea CampaignHodder Headline 2005 IBSN 0 7336 1615 1
|The Spirit of Kokoda
Patrick LindsayThen and Now – Patrick Lindsay has achieved a great feat: He has captured the spirit of the Digger General Peter Cosgrove, former Chief of the Australian Defence ForcesHardie Grant Book 2002
|Blood and Iron
Lex MacaulayThe Battle for KokodaHutchinson Australia 1991 IBSN 0 09 182268 4
|Shadows of War
Ryoko Adachi and Andrew McKayHear the voices of veterans and the silence of Japanese history. Ryoko Adachi grew up in Japan and now lives in AustraliaIndra publishing IBSN 1 92978713 5
Paul Ham‘Never in my life, in the worst part of Gallipoli, or anywhere, had I seen soldiers who looked so shocked and so tired and so utterly weary as those men’Brig. John Rogers, Austrlia’s Director of Military Intelligence, 1942Harper Collins 2004 ISBN: 0732276934
|Field Guide to the Kokoda Track:
Bill JamesA historical guide to the Lost Battlefields (includes awaterproof map) ‘The true, the noble and the brave do die in body but their spirit dwells forever in the habitations and hearts of those they loved and served’. So reads our honour board. This book ensures their spirit will live on. Stan Bisset MC, OAM, MID Veteran of 2/14th Bn Kokoda Press 2006 PO Box 804 LANE COVE NSW 2066 Australia
|The Bone Man of Kokoda (Year Published: 2008)
Charles HappellKokichi Nishimura was a member of the 2nd battalion, 144th Regiment of the Japanese Imperial Army. In 1942 he fought along every foot of the Kokoda Track being the only man from his company to survive the campaign. As he was evacuated he swore that one day he would return and bring his comrades home to Japan for proper burial.In 1979, he shocked his family by returning to New Guinea to search for the remains of Japanese soldiers. For the next 25 years, Nishimura lived alone along the Kokoda Track. Armed only with a metal detector, a mattock and a shovel, he searched for his dead comrades.In 2005 Nishimura, then in his mid-eighties and seriously ill, was forced to return to Japan. His story is an incredible adventure that gives us a radically different viewpoint on a battle that has become part of our national myth. Nishimura’s life and quest above all offer a poignant reminder of the futility of war. Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia ISBN-10: 1405038365 ISBN-13: 9781405038362
|Angels of Kokoda
David MulliganAngels of Kokoda is a riveting novel based on Australian battles along the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during World War II. The story centres on the intertwined lives of Derek, the son of Australian missionaries at the Gona Mission, and his ‘bloodbrother’ Morso, a native Papuan boy of the same age.When all women and children are ordered back to Australia, Derek and Morso disappear into the jungle. At the same time that the Japanese land at Gona, the two boys and Derek’s father become part of the small band of Diggers who save Australia from Japanese invasion.Published and reprinted by Lothian Books 2006 ISBN0 7344 0849
|1942 -Australia’s Greatest Peril
Bob Wurth1942 was the year of Australia’s greatest peril – as Darwin was destroyed by bombing, Australian ships were torpedoed within sight of our coast, midget Japanese submarines attacked shipping in Sydney Harbour, and the Japanese army invaded New Guinea on its inexorable march south. This is the real story of the genuine and imminent threat to Australia in that fateful year. On the beautiful Inland Sea of Japan – the heartland of the Imperial Japanese Navy – and in frenetic wartime Tokyo, zealous staff officers and their illogical admirals debated the invasion of an almost defenceless nation. The Imperial Japanese Army, meanwhile, opposed the attack, foreseeing a looming military quagmire. In Australia, Allied defence chiefs all but dismissed the chances of holding Darwin. For months, Australia’s fate hung in the balance ISBN-13: 9781405038607ISBN: 1405038608
|PACIFIC FURY Peter Thompson How Australia and her Allies Defeated the Japanese Scourge PEARL HARBOR; SINGAPORE; CURTIN’S vs CHURCHILL; DARWIN BOMBING; POW CAMPS; THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY; KOKODA; BUNA; KAMIKAZE PILOTS; HIROSHIMAThese words alone are enough to convey the terror, courage and drama of the Pacific War, when the balance of power stood on a knife-edge and when the future of Australia was on the brink – threatened by Japanese aggression on the one hand and British deception on the other. After a conflict that took an unimaginable number of lives and ended with the unleashing of the most powerful weapon the world had ever seen, the Allies emerged victorious. Australia, however, was criticised by Churchill and his generals for showing cowardice in the face of the enemy and for not caring about the fate of other nations. The endorsement of these claims by several military historians today shows that the smear has not gone away. Peter Thompson presents an account of the conflict that places Australian voices and action at the heart of the struggle.Based on exclusive interviews with eyewitnesses and written with all the pace and verve of a master storyteller, Pacific Fury brings the people and the battles to life in a sensational history not to be bettered in a generation. ISBN: 9781741667080 PUBLISHER:William Heinemann Au|
Patrick Lindsay A richly-illustrated and beautifully-designed hard-cover production, interweaving images and narrative to capture and explore the remarkable spirit of Kokoda – the history, the people and the place.Patrick draws on his experience of many Track crossings, writing books and documentaries on the subject and his deep friendship with many of the Kokoda veterans to present readers with the next best thing to walking the Track itself.Featuring never-before seen photographs taken during the campaign and a series of specially-shot images of the Track and the people who live along it, Kokoda Spirit takes readers on a journey of discovery to one of the world’s last frontiers as they walk in the footsteps of the Diggers and Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who fought along the Kokoda Track to preserve Australia’s…ISBN978 1 74066 769 2 PUBLISHER: Hardie Grant Books
|THE PATH OF INFINITE SORROW (The Japanese on The Kokoda Track)
Craig Collie & Hajime Marutani This is a well researched and very readable story of The Kokoda Campaign of 1942 from the other side. It presents a chronicle of the Nankai Shiiti (South Seas Force) of the Japanese Imperial Army (IJA) from Rabaul to loribaiwa, and then the deeply humiliating retreat (designated in Japanese, “To change the marching order”). This Japanese experience of Kokoda provides a totally different perspective from the popular viewpoint most Australians have seen or read about.
Bringing together accounts or the campaign from captured diaries, Second AIF unit diaries and recollections from six Japanese survivors, the story starts with a detailed background of why Japan went to war with America. It ends with the account of a former medical orderly who returned to Papua New Guinea in 2005, to offer 250 miniature straw sandals to the spirits of his long dead comrades to “ease their long walk into the after-life”.For veterans of the campaign this may be a difficult book to read. It does not shun the brutality, acknowledging both sides took very few prisoners. It also deals frankly with the serious medical problems encountered by both sides.The authors are also frank about their use and reliance on oral history. As Alistair Thomson pointed out in ANZAC Memories: Living With The Legend, we often readjust our memories to create a more favourable position when retelling dramatic times in our lives.
It is to be hoped that Allen & Unwin will translate this story into Japanese and see it gets published in Japan.
Reviewed by Roland Millbank, as published in Reveille – NSW RSL JournalCraig Collie has been a television producer for over 35 years and Hajime Marutani is a translator-interpreter and was a researcher for the Australian War Memorial’s Australia-Japan Research Project. They met when working on the production team of Beyond Kokoda, the award winning documentary series presented on The History Channel in Australia. They live with heir families in Sydney and Tokyo, respectively.Published by Allen & Unwin
|MUD OVER BLOOD Revisited Stories from the 39th Infantry Battalion 1941-43, Kokoda to Gona, 2nd edition.
Foreword by the Governor General, Major General Michael Jeffery, Compiled by Carl JohnsonCarl Johnson is not a newcomer to compiling war books so Mud Over Blood is not only very well presented but it is done in a manner straight from the heart and as such is a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the individual soldier.The book comprises recollections of Battalion members, a collection of short stories, which form the basis of this book. In January 1943 the enemy was finished, but after numerous desperate battles, so was the 39th Battalion – so depleted with death, wounding and sickness that they were disbanded. Mud Over Blood, containing hundreds of photographs of those involved, is an excellent book and would not only be a great present for ex-servicemen but should be in all public libraries and schools. The reasons for this are two-fold. First the 39th Battalion with their unstated bonding caused the enemy enough delay and uncertainty to enable Australia to get AIF troops back from overseas. Secondly, without advocating war as a means to an end, the younger generation of Australia would do well to read and understand that Australians in Australia could well be a subservient people today if it was not for those men who were prepared, and did, lay down their lives for King and country. ISBN 0958106037, 304 pages, size A4, Hard Cover, approx. 500 photos,Published 2006 by Jenkin Australia Pty Ltd, Available on this website SHOP
|The Architect of Kokoda
The Kokoda Track has become one of the most potent and identifiable symbols of Australian resilience from any of the theatres of war we’ve ever part of as a nation. But it’s interesting that in most of what’s been written about this iconic series of tracks through some of the most Papua New Guinea’s most inhospitable terrain that played such a vital role in one of this country’s most significant World War Two victories, the name Bert Kienzle is rarely mentioned.
Yet the former gold miner has been described by many as the “architect of Kokoda”, who’s efforts in blazing tracks through the PNG jungle and cementing relationships with the region’s natives laid the foundation for Australia’s success.
Now, his story has been told by his daughter-in-law Robyn Kienzle in a book called “The Architect of Kokoda”.
Format: Paperback – Published: 26th July 2011
RRP $35.00 (Many booksellers quote a lower price)
|“Kokoda: That Bloody Track”
This a factual graphic novel (or traditional Battles Comic) that tells the true story of the Kokoda in July and August 1942.
Well written by Dave Howell this book is designed in a format that engages children and adults alike. The colourful format and engaging artwork is designed to encourage new readers. Your nonagenarian veteran reviewer was engrossed by it and commends it to all..
This campaign is placed within the wider context of the Second World War. Eyewitness accounts and original diaries are included to add a personal perspective. The human tragedy of warfare is clear; warfare was (and is not) noble or glamorous. The Japanese perspective is included through the use of soldier’s diaries. Where possible, Japanese and native languages (Motu and Pidgin) are included to provide a cultural balance with translation boxes included. Kokoda was a tragedy – men and women suffered in a titanic struggle across the most forbidding terrain imaginable. The eventual Allied victory is placed within the cost with the many hundreds of damaged lives – Australian, Japanese, American and native.
This is the first part of two and is available in bookshops and newsagents now. The reviewer looks forward to the promised second volume.
Single or multiple copies can be ordered through Kokoda Historical. To order a signed copy ($9.95) of the book please email with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org Prices includes GST at 10%