Toowoomba to Torokina: The 25th Battalion in Peace and War 1918-45

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 448 pages
Author: B. Doneley
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9781921941580
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

In 1942 Australia faced its greatest peril as Japanese forces advanced rapidly southward. The Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia had all fallen and the only land mass of significance between the Japanese and Australia was the island of Papua and New Guinea. If it fell, Australia, too, would be under direct threat.

With the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) fighting in North Africa or entering captivity in Singapore, the defence of New Guinea initially fell to a handful of Militia units. These units, a mix of pre-war volunteers and conscripts, were given the task of defending the approaches to Port Moresby, New Guinea’s capital city. While most Australians are aware of the defence of the northern approach to Port Moresby over the Kokoda Track, few are familiar with the earlier battle to defend the eastern approach through Milne Bay. Without the battles of Kokoda and Milne Bay, Port Moresby would have fallen and with it, New Guinea. One of the Militia units that held the Japanese at Milne Bay was the 25th Battalion (Militia) from Toowoomba and the Darling Downs, originally raised prior to WWI. From Milne Bay, the 25th Battalion went on to fight in Bougainville, clearing the Japanese from one of their last strongholds north of Australia

'Toowoomba to Torokina' traces the proud history of the 25th Battalion from the end of one war to end of the next. It tells the story of the men from Toowoomba and the Darling Downs who answered the call to fight a war that would threaten their country’s very existence. Like their First World War predecessors, they fought a determined foe in hellish conditions with, as the Battalion’s motto decrees, ‘Never a Backwards Step’.

1. A new battalion
2. Outbreak of war
3. The road to Papua
4. Fall River
5. The Battle of Milne Bay
6. After the battle
7. Porlock Harbour
8. Donadabu
9. The Atherton Tableland
10. Madang
11. Bougainville
12. Pearl Ridge
13. To the Puriata River
14. Barara
15. Beyond the Puriata
16. Slater's Knoll
17. The beginning of the end
18. The end
Appendix A: Roll of Honour
Appendix B: 25th Battalion nominal roll
Appendix C: Honours and awards
Appendix D: Citations for awards
Appendix E: Battle honours
Appendix F: Dress and equipment, 1944
Appendix G: Battalion organisation 
End Notes

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Toowoomba to Torokina: The 25th Battalion in Peace and War 1918-45


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