Kokoda (by Peter FitzSimons)

  • by Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by Lewis FitzGerald
  • 16 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For Australians, Kokoda is the iconic battle of World War II, yet few people know just what happened and just what our troops achieved. Now, best-selling author Peter FitzSimons tells the Kokoda story in a gripping, moving story for all Australians.
Conditions on the track were hellish - rain was constant, the terrain close to inhospitable, food and ammunition supplies were practically non-existent, and the men constantly battled malaria and dysentery, as well as the Japanese. Kokoda was a defining battle for Australia - a small force of young, ill-equipped Australians engaged a highly experienced and hitherto unstoppable Japanese force on a narrow, precarious jungle track - and defeated them.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Tribute to Fighting Australians

This rendition kept me awake all night, with tears of sorrow and chest pumping pride.

Despite the petty politics of the 'high ups' these few men were there to do a job. Stop the Japs. They did, but at a cost.

This book is about mate-ship and lost mates. It makes you proud to be Australian to learn more of the New Guinea campaign's details and the privations endured by our fathers and grandfathers in support of their families back home.
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- Mark T Ryan "Say something about yourself!"

Indomitable spirit

I had never heard of Kokoda before listening to this book. That is a shame. I am not likely to forget the name now. This is one of the more amazing chapters in the annals of war.

It is very much a story of the indomitable spirit of common soldiers called upon to perform impossible tasks with inferior equipment, little or no training, some of the worst terrain in the entire world and stupid, pig-headed leadership at the highest level. FitzSimons does a fine job of keeping us engaged with the narrative even as the action of the men on the ground is reduced to an interminable, repetitious slog between indefensible positions which are held in the face of overwhelming odds and casualties only to be given up as the serial holding actions continue. He does this by giving us detailed and moving accounts of individuals and etching in our minds indelible images of moments of extraordinary heroism and gallantry. Nor does he fail to include Japanese participants among these glimpses of war's exquisite anguish. In addition we are regularly taken to the rear to witness the unpardonable, ego-driven pig-headedness of MacArthur and the Australian high command which failed the troops in almost every way.

This is an account made all the more gripping because it played such a pivotal role in turning the tide of the Japanese expansion in the South, holding the door shut while the U.S. put Marines in place on Guadalcanal where they would dig in to face their own ghastly ordeal. Without Kokoda, there would have never been a victory at Guadal and the war would doubtless have lasted significantly longer. The poorly trained, unprepared, mostly unsupported men of the Australian home defense forces at Kokoda deserve to be remembered with reverence, and this book tells their story brilliantly. I highly recommend it.
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- David "Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2011
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd