"A Bastard of a Place"

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Fluffy05 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:39 am

I have read the Peter Brune books. They are dry but a fantastic read.

If a picture says 1,000 words you have just filled a book and my mind with the pictures of the terrain.

Even having served with the ARA I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed with the hardships our soldiers went through in different theatres of war. Kokoda was certainly different to North Africa.

My Grandma always told me to be proud that Sir Thomas Blamey was one of my ancestors but the more I read the more I was disgusted at his behaviour. I am still stunned he was promoted so highly in the Australian Army given he was fired for corruption as the head of the Victorian Police. He was a fat bastard who could have done with a good march along Kokoda.

Thanks for taking the time to share these outstanding pictures and stories.

Cheers,

Allan

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:14 am

Cheers "Fluffy".


I'll bite my tongue on the subject of the good General ;)

Sorry it has taken a while guys. I have just realised going back over the disks what a paucity of photos I have of Deniki. This is partly due to the fact that on the way "up" you are shell-shocked from the start of the savage climb into the mountains and going the other way, you are "almost home" and happy to take a quiet rest and a drink before starting the final descent.

I will make sure to get some detailed photos next time!!

On the weekend I will post Kokoda and Isurava photos,

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:12 am

Ok..FINALLY>>>>

Kokoda Plateau. Rough line of base of plateau(red) Aussie positions in between red and green area roughly.
Airstrip in direction of arrow.

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Looking roughly west off plateau.

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Looking south from northern side of the point of Plateau. It is about the size of a football (rugby) field. This is a pretty good idea of size as it is now used as...a rugby field!

(the airstrip is over to the center left in the distance..but below sightline.)

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The sort of terrain from Kokoda along the flat heading towards Hoi (where the climb up to Deniki starts.


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Deniki, looking down from the little plateau to Kokoda (airstrip centre, Kokoda Plateau about in V of dead tree.)

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Looking East
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To the West the ground rises fairly sharply.

Tomorrow, Isurava.
Last edited by Kokoda Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:31 pm

A bit of information regarding the Kokoda Plateau, hopefully of use in laying out boards, assigning terrain types etc.

The slope is quite steep and whilst not a long climb (at the lowest point it is probably only 60-70 feet to climb up the side, at the highest 180-200ft) it is exhausting in full pack. To do it with grenades being rolled down and people shooting at you would be quite daunting. It is easy to see why the position was chosen to defend and also easy to see how, in the darkness, the Japs could have believed they were up against a Battalion!

I have climbed it up the gully in the photo below which whilst the easiest route (you can see how high it is from the house below) it would subject you to fire from both sides and directly above, in a murderous little space. BTW, it was dry and hot when I climbed up that way (you usually walk around to the road) if it were wet I would label it a severe case of this thread name! There is no way short of a "The Nek" type effort that an assault could be made directly up there. Probably a four/five man frontage at the bottom and one or two men as you get to the top. You can see the slope..which is pretty even all the way around the plateau. Having reached the top in this area you would still be assaulting up a gentle slope. Whilst not physically challenging the slope would allow fire at you from "above" and from different angles, making cover hard to find/use.

Image

The little video on this page, bottom right, is a good flyover and worth looking at.

http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/batt ... kokoda.php

The next photos have the approximate slope, size and locations added to them. (not my photos BTW)

Image

Image
Hope this all helps someone.
Last edited by Kokoda Guy on Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by oozeboss » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:39 pm

It all helps tremendously, and is a major motivating factor in my currently painting Japanese.

It'll take me yonks to build up a table or two of terrain, but this glorious thread will be the primary source guiding my work.

Mucho gratitude.
"We are all worms.
But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

Winston Churchill

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:58 pm

My very great pleasure mate.

If you have any questions, feel free to email/PM me or ask here.

Tonight, Isurava...my favourite place in the world.

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by fanai » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:27 pm

Thanks Darryl this is amazing to actually view the topography
Painting is a Journey not a destination
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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:26 pm

No worries Ian, thank you.

Slight hitch with internet connection and real life time last night. Isurava tomorrow morning Wild West time (afternoon for you living in the Evil Empire to the East :) )

As a bonus I have been madly painting Mathew's 28mm Aussies and have been spending a lot of time with the .303's sitting next to me for reference. I will do some close up photos of them and the Pattern 1907's.

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by oozeboss » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:46 pm

Out of curiosity, which unit do you have in mind as you are painting up your diggers?

(Mine are must probably going to be the mighty 'Mud over Bloods", but I'm torn between having them in their desert pattern as worn on the actual track, or their green dyed kit worn at Gona.)
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But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:02 pm

Mate I got two Platoons.
I'm doing one as a scruffy 39th in a mixture of light KD, darker/dirtier KD (the one that looks a little grey), blue/grey WW1 type shirts and webbing in a mixture of "proper" slightly darker KD and the darker still, more yellow stuff, you also find. I've used mostly Slouch Hats (propped up by some doctored Artizan aussies too). I've knifed in extra holes and tears to their uniforms and used green stuff to add bandaged wounds to some of them. A couple of Artizans were just right to add jungle sticks to as well.

I'll add some photos progressively to Display Cabinet. viewtopic.php?f=73&t=6480

The other I will do as bright and shiny KD clad 2/14th or 2/16 in mostly Tin Hats. (I won't be adding colour patches so they can be either) I believe colour patches and rank insignia were very quickly removed in the main.

Finally, I have some old Blaze-Away 303's that I have used to add rifles to the Officers.

With the extra figures and reducing the 39th guys to 8 or 9 per section, I will have enough to make 4 sections of each which will allow me to add the fourth sometimes and use the oversized Platoons as a company tactically ie 4 sections acting in the way 4 platoons do within a company. And particularly later on, 40-50 as a company strength is not unreasonable anyway!!

"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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Re: "A Bastard of a Place"

Post by Kokoda Guy » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:14 pm

Isurava.

From the top rear of the main area...was a native garden. The hill in the background hides Kokoda. The four pillars are around 6'-6'6" tall. This gives you an idea of the size of the whole area..not big.

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Looking over the lip of the main defenses...you constantly see the problems for an attacker!!

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The memorial sits in the main positions, Kingsbury's Rock is just over to the right off screen and down the hill few yards

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From the next "step" up the position. Kingsbury's rock is down in the approximately between the right most guy and the tallest green tree in the background.

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Kingsbury's Rock.

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The slope is easier up that right side and a successful flanking move would have been deadly..hence the VC...

Another idea of scale...the "top battlefield" in almost it's entirety.

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Although it doesn't show the individual company positions (available in any one of a hundred books) this map shows how the position was chosen with front creek forming a great first defensive line / Standing Patrol position and Back Creek providing a secure water source as long as the position held. The terrain, as can be seen by the contours, is very steep and difficult all around. Overall a great choice of ground and a vital one for the rest of the campaign.

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Front Creek a not inconsiderable obstacle and still 5 or 10 minutes hard struggle up to the main battlefield.

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"I've never shot a man who wasn't at the end of my bayonet."
- Bayonete Pete, a man largely unclear on small arms tactics

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