the kokoda campaign 1942 myth and reality

Australian Army History Series Hardcover Books’ The Kokoda Campaign 1942 Myth and Reality ‘ By Peter Williams


The Kokoda Track, nestled in the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea, holds a special place in Australian military history. As a seasoned tour guide with a passion for the Kokoda campaign of 1942, I understand the significance of this challenging trek. In this article, we delve into the must-read book, “The Kokoda Campaign 1942: Myth and Reality” by Peter Williams. Let’s uncover the realities of what happened on the Kokoda Track during World War II and why this book is an essential read for anyone interested in trekking Kokoda.

The Author: Peter Williams

Peter Williams, through his meticulous research, seeks to dispel myths surrounding the Kokoda campaign. As a respected figure in Australian military history, Williams brings a unique perspective to the harsh conditions of the Kokoda Track. His book, published by Cambridge University Press, is a valuable addition to the Australian Army History Series.

What Really Happened on the Kokoda Track?

Unravelling the Myth

Williams’ work focuses on the strategies, tactics, and battle plans employed by both the Australian and Japanese forces during the Kokoda campaign of 1942. By combining narrative with historical analysis, he explains what really happened on the Kokoda Track, challenging preconceived notions and shedding light on the realities of this pivotal moment in Australian military history.

Australian Army’s Perspective

“The Kokoda Campaign 1942” underscores the Australian Army’s resilience in the face of adversity. Williams emphasizes that, contrary to popular belief, the Australian forces were rarely outnumbered. The book provides insights into the Australian Army’s suffering and great losses, offering a nuanced understanding of their experiences during the campaign.

Importance of the Book as Part of Australian Army History Series

Second Only to Gallipoli

In the Australian national consciousness, the Kokoda Track in 1942 is second only to Gallipoli. Williams’ book places the Kokoda campaign in its rightful historical context, highlighting its importance in shaping Australia’s military identity. For those planning to trek Kokoda, understanding the historical significance adds a profound layer to the journey.

Strategies and Tactics

For the first time, readers gain access to the detailed strategies, tactics, and battle plans employed by the Japanese forces. This in-depth analysis provides a comprehensive understanding of the military dynamics that unfolded on the Kokoda Track during World War II.

The Kokoda Track Today

Harsh Conditions and Historical Significance 

As you embark on your trekking adventure on the Kokoda Track, it’s crucial to appreciate the harsh conditions faced by the soldiers in 1942. Williams’ book serves as a guide to comprehend the challenges that unfolded in the dense jungles and steep terrain. The remnants of the past, such as artillery placements and defensive structures, offer a tangible connection to the history encapsulated in the book.

Australian War Memorial and Beyond

A trek along the Kokoda Track is incomplete without a visit to the Australian War Memorial. The sacrifices made by the Australian Army in defending against the Japanese forces are memorialized here. Understanding the events detailed in “The Kokoda Campaign 1942” enhances the experience as you traverse through the hallowed ground.

Recommendation and Conclusion

A Must-Read for Trekkers

In conclusion, “The Kokoda Campaign 1942: Myth and Reality” by Peter Williams is a must-read for anyone considering trekking Kokoda. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a military buff, or an avid hiker, this book provides a profound understanding of the Kokoda campaign and its impact on the Australian national consciousness. As you lace up your boots and embark on the challenging journey, let Williams’ insights guide you through the footsteps of history on the Kokoda Track.


Q: What is the book ‘Books on Australian Army History ‘ the kokoda campaign 1942 myth and reality ‘ By Peter Williams about?

A: The book focuses on the strategies and battle plans of the Japanese during the Kokoda campaign of 1942 and seeks to dispel myths surrounding the campaign.

Q: What can I expect to learn from the book?

A: The book combines narrative with analysis, highlighting the importance of the Kokoda track in World War II and the Japanese defence and intelligence tactics.

Q: Is the book available in hardcover?

A: Yes, the book is available in hardcover format.

Q: Can I find information about the Pacific war in the book?

A: Yes, the book discusses the Pacific war, including the battle at Guadalcanal and the Japanese Nankai Shitai.

Q: Does the book cover the campaign in Milne Bay?

A: Yes, the book covers the strategic significance of the campaign in Milne Bay during the Pacific War.

Q: Is there a specific rating for the book?

A: The book is well-received and has a favourable rating.

Q: Does the book offer recommendations for further reading or research?

A: Yes, the book provides recommendations for those interested in the Pacific War, the Kokoda campaign, and related topics.

Q: Can the book be downloaded in digital format?

A: Yes, the book is available for download in digital format.

Q: What is the book’s ISBN number?

A: The ISBN of the book is 9781107015944.

Q: Is the book mainly focused on the Australian Army’s involvement?

A: Yes, the book primarily focuses on the Australian Army’s experiences and contributions during the Kokoda campaign in 1942.

You may also like…

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Our Treks