This is the fifth episode in our Kokoda Track series looking at the performance of the 53rd Battalion. This episode looks at the final day of the Battle of Isurava. Japanese troops in increasing numbers, with increasing persistence and increasing ferocity forced Australian troops to withdraw.
The support from D Company, 53rd Battalion fails to materialise and Sublets attack has insufficent troops to be successful. Japanese troops infiltrate behind him and threaten to attack Alola and cut the 2/14th of from their line of withdrawal. As the 2/14th withdraws, it comes under very heavy attack and this causes the withdrawal to deteriorate rapidly.
Following the fall of Isurava, the 53rd Battalion is split up. Some of the troops move to Myola to assist with logistics, and some have their weapons taken off them and are sent back to Port Moresby.
Have a listen to the podcast to get an understanding of the Battle of Isurava and what role the 53rd Battalion played in it.
We finish the episode with an assessment of the Battalion, including the thoughts of Frank Sublet, an officer who was a Company commander during the battle, fighting with companies from 53rd Battalion and he would go on to be the CO of the 2/16th Battalion.