Australian War Memorial
Milne Bay Magic Tours
Offers a range of tours including a WWII tour of the Battle of Milne Bay and a creek bed filled with abandoned Japanese landing craft....
For a bird’s-eye view, walk up the steps in town to the hospital, take the right fork and keep going for a couple of hundred metres.
Milne Bay Game Fishing Club
The well-organised Milne Bay Game Fishing Club can advise on boats and is happy to find some gear for you, particularly during one of...
The Jetty is built on a wharf next to the Alotau International Hotel.
By the Bay Restaurant
Has a tasty, if somewhat eclectic mix of Western and Asian dishes as well as pizza.
Australian War Memorial information
The recently commissioned Australian War Memorial has a detailed description of the Battle of Milne Bay. There's a service here on 26 August every year, commemorating the beginning of the Battle of Milne Bay.
In 1942, at 23:30 on 25 August the Japanese Imperial Army started invading Milne Bay. In just two landings a few days apart, the Japanese established a 2,400-strong army near Ahioma. Unlike Kokoda, the battle of Milne Bay was not to be a protracted affair; it would be over in just 12 days.
The Japanese fought skirmishes with the Allies and their base suffered early casualties under a fierce RAAF aircraft-led barrage. On the moonlit nights of 26-27 August the Japanese attacked, forcing the Australian battalions to withdraw to the Gama River. Pressing their advantage the Japanese attacked again the next night, this time pushing the Allies backwards to the converted No 3 airstrip, amid furious fighting.
Three times the Japanese charged wildly across the open before a hail of fire, and they were repulsed each time. The tide of the battle had turned, the Australians had been reinforced and the attackers became the defenders. The Australians launched counter attacks and the Japanese sent warships to help their embattled troops. A week later the Japanese Navy called their invasion off and starting evacuating troops. It is estimated that 750 Japanese and 161 Australians were killed at Milne Bay; many more were wounded.
In the broad canvas of the Pacific war, it was not a major victory. Its significance as the first Allied land victory in the Pacific boosted morale far beyond Milne Bay's bloodied shores.
See www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/milne_bay.htm for more details on the battle.