The Kokoda Trail is the location of what many consider to be probably the very finest hours of the Australian Army in WWII. It has a very high emotional connectivity with many Australians. Both old and young and walking the Trail has become almost a right of passage for many Aussies.
The Kokoda Trail is something that I have yet to do personally, but it is high on my “to do” list. I have however read a lot about it. And a book that tells the story very well from the Australian side is Paul Ham’s Kokoda. Which illustrates well what makes most Aussies so likable and (from a personal perspective) why I am so proud to be one!
Aussie traits such as giving it a go even when the odds seem impossible. Looking after your mates no matter what. Are why the word Kokoda resonates so much down under!
However, there are always two sides to every story. And the Japanese version is much less well known, but equally as harrowing as the Australian one.
The Japanese side of the story also goes a long way to explain why they did things that seem incomprehensible to most people.
Devotion to Emperor Hirohito. Extreme obedience no matter what the circumstances. And absolute loyalty are the overwhelming characteristics that strike you upon reading about their side of things.
Two books that tell quite compelling aspects of that story are the very well written The Path of Infinite Sorrow and the quite incredible Bone Man of Kokoda.
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