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Quiz about A Bastard of a Place
Quiz about A Bastard of a Place

A Bastard of a Place Trivia Quiz


The Kokoda Track campaign was one of Australia's bloodiest - and proudest - moments of WWII, where undermanned and under equipped militia units held off a Japanese advance long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

A multiple-choice quiz by Crackshot1994. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
328,223
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
12 / 20
Plays
260
- -
Question 1 of 20
1. Who was the first Australian officer to engage the Japanese infantry after they landed in New Guinea? Hint


Question 2 of 20
2. Where did a platoon of B Company, 39th Battalion first go into action against the IJA? Hint


Question 3 of 20
3. What happened to Sam Templeton? Hint


Question 4 of 20
4. The 39th Battalion, been a militia force, was not as well-equipped as the regular AIF. Which World War One-era machine gun, part of the battalion's arsenal, was used in the fighting? Hint


Question 5 of 20
5. How many men did the Japanese believe they have defeated when they captured Kokoda village? Hint


Question 6 of 20
6. The Australians retook Kokoda village after it fell.


Question 7 of 20
7. A major problem during the fighting was the poor logistics of the Australians, as they didn't have an airfield to fly equipment in and out of. How did the Australians solve this problem? Hint


Question 8 of 20
8. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner commanded the 39th for much of the Kokoda campaign. He first saw action as a regular AIF soldier against which army? Hint


Question 9 of 20
9. Isurava, 29th August. Which AIF soldier was recognized for outstanding bravery against the Japanese and was given the only VC for the campaign? Hint


Question 10 of 20
10. The fighting at Isurava has been compared to which famous battle? Hint


Question 11 of 20
11. The story of the 39th Battalion has passed into legend. However, one militia battalion would later be excoriated for its role in Isurava. Which battalion was it? Hint


Question 12 of 20
12. General MacArthur felt that the Australians were unable to match the Japanese in fighting.


Question 13 of 20
13. How close did the Japanese come to Port Moresby? Hint


Question 14 of 20
14. The US 32nd Division were able to perform a successful outflanking maneuver during the campaign.


Question 15 of 20
15. What happened as the Australians started the counteroffensive? Hint


Question 16 of 20
16. General Blamey accused Australian troops of running like rabbits after Kokoda


Question 17 of 20
17. What happened to the Japanese commander, Tomitarô Horii? Hint


Question 18 of 20
18. Australian troops were shocked to discover evidence of Japanese war crimes. Which atrocities did the Japanese commit during the campaign? Hint


Question 19 of 20
19. It would be remiss to create a quiz about the Kokoda campaign without mentioning the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels". When were they officially recognized by the Australian government? Hint


Question 20 of 20
20. When the Kokoda campaign came to an end, where did the 39th Battalion next go into action? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Who was the first Australian officer to engage the Japanese infantry after they landed in New Guinea?

Answer: John Chalk

Lieutenant John Chalk commanded a rifle platoon of the Papuan Infantry Battalion. His unit ambushed Japanese forces on the night of 22nd July, 1942, a day after the landing, before retreating to fight another day.
2. Where did a platoon of B Company, 39th Battalion first go into action against the IJA?

Answer: Awala

The platoon was sent by B Company's CO, Captain Sam Templeton, to reinforce a unit of the Papuan battalion that was under fire from the Japanese.
3. What happened to Sam Templeton?

Answer: He went missing in action

On 26th July, Templeton left his company to deliver a message to reinforcements warning them they might encounter Japanese troops. He was never seen by his troops again. He is assumed to have been captured, interrogated then killed by Japanese troops. A Japanese survivor of the campaign claimed to have buried Templeton.
4. The 39th Battalion, been a militia force, was not as well-equipped as the regular AIF. Which World War One-era machine gun, part of the battalion's arsenal, was used in the fighting?

Answer: Lewis Gun

The Lewis Gun was used as a light machine gun in World War One. Although largely superseded by the Bren in WWII, it still found service in the war as an infantry weapon, including on Kokoda.
5. How many men did the Japanese believe they have defeated when they captured Kokoda village?

Answer: 1,200 men

The militia had put up so much resistance that, when they took Kokoda, they believed they had faced 1,200 men. In reality, they battled only 77.
6. The Australians retook Kokoda village after it fell.

Answer: True

On August 8th, 1942 three companies of the 39th counterattacked the village. C and D Company were pinned down by the Japanese, but Noel Symington's A Company actually retook Kokoda. However, they were forced to withdraw on the 9th.
7. A major problem during the fighting was the poor logistics of the Australians, as they didn't have an airfield to fly equipment in and out of. How did the Australians solve this problem?

Answer: They found a dry lake bed and used it as a drop location

Lieutenant Bert Kienzle discovered a dry lake bed on 3rd August. He named it Myola, after the wife of his CO.
8. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner commanded the 39th for much of the Kokoda campaign. He first saw action as a regular AIF soldier against which army?

Answer: Italian

Then a Company Commander in the 2/11th, Honner's unit first went into battle against the Italian army in North Africa.
9. Isurava, 29th August. Which AIF soldier was recognized for outstanding bravery against the Japanese and was given the only VC for the campaign?

Answer: Bruce Kingsbury

Private Bruce Kingsbury of the 2/14th battalion joined a counterattack at Isurava. His withering Bren gun fire was said to be a decisive factor in the enemy retreat. He was killed by a sniper and honored posthumously.

John Edmondson was decorated for action at Tobruk, Jack French at Milne Bay and Edward Kenna at Wewak, New Guinea.
10. The fighting at Isurava has been compared to which famous battle?

Answer: Thermopylae

The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC has passed into military legend. Isurava, where the 39th held off vastly superior Japanese numbers until AIF reinforcements arrived, has drawn comparisons to the famous fighting.

Interestingly, Australian and New Zealand troops in Greece actually took part in defending the real Thermopylae against German troops.
11. The story of the 39th Battalion has passed into legend. However, one militia battalion would later be excoriated for its role in Isurava. Which battalion was it?

Answer: 53rd Battalion

The 53rd was sent to protect the right flank. Facing a Japanese force, they were infiltrated and a number of senior officers killed, causing the 53rd to retreat. Although the hole was plugged before the Japanese took advantage of it, the 53rd were sent back in disgrace.
12. General MacArthur felt that the Australians were unable to match the Japanese in fighting.

Answer: True

MacArthur told General George Marshall that "the Australians have proven themselves unable to match the enemy in jungle fighting. Aggressive leadership is lacking". This was after they retreated from Brigade Hill. This judgement remained a sore spot with many Australians.
13. How close did the Japanese come to Port Moresby?

Answer: They could see the lights of the city and the Coral Sea

From Ioribaiwa, they could see the lights of Moresby and the Coral Sea. However, due to the poor condition of the Japanese and their supply lines, shortly afterwards they were ordered to withdraw.
14. The US 32nd Division were able to perform a successful outflanking maneuver during the campaign.

Answer: False

The 32nd Division was sent to outflank the Japanese. However, the route chosen for the march was impractical and the 32nd never engaged a single Japanese soldier. Their ranks had been decimated and they earned the nickname "The Ghost Soldiers". The 32nd wouldn't go into action until the battle of Buna-Gona.
15. What happened as the Australians started the counteroffensive?

Answer: They fought Japanese delaying actions until finally reaching Kokoda village

The Japanese used delaying actions with as much determination as the Australians. This slowed down the Australians and this resulted in the relief of their commander, "Tubby" Allen. His dismissal became a sore point to the Australian soldiers. Kokoda was retaken on 2nd November 1942.
16. General Blamey accused Australian troops of running like rabbits after Kokoda

Answer: True

During a visit to the Kokoda veterans, Blamey told the Australians that they had been beaten by inferior forces, and "it's the rabbit who runs who gets shot, not the man holding the gun." This did not make him popular amongst the veterans, and some said he was lucky to escape with his life. Blamey was frustrated because he felt the fighting withdrawal was not as glamorous or as quick as his superiors, including MacArthur, would have liked.

But it probably saved Port Moresby.
17. What happened to the Japanese commander, Tomitarô Horii?

Answer: He drowned during the retreat

Horii was killed in November 1942 during the Japanese retreat. His raft capsized and he drowned whilst crossing the Kumusi river.
18. Australian troops were shocked to discover evidence of Japanese war crimes. Which atrocities did the Japanese commit during the campaign?

Answer: All of these

Dead Australian and Japanese soldiers were eaten by desperate Japanese. Prisoners were also said to be tortured, and two female missionaries were killed by the Kempeitai (Japanese secret police).
19. It would be remiss to create a quiz about the Kokoda campaign without mentioning the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels". When were they officially recognized by the Australian government?

Answer: 2008

Unfortunately, they were not recognized for their bravery until 2008. It is believed that they saved many lives by carrying wounded Australians. Not a single injured soldier was abandoned by the "Angels".
20. When the Kokoda campaign came to an end, where did the 39th Battalion next go into action?

Answer: Buna-Gona

The 39th Battalion were part of the American-Australian force that fought on Buna-Gona from November to January. The 39th returned to Australia and was disbanded after the battle. The men were sent either to other militia units or the regular AIF.
Source: Author Crackshot1994

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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