BATTLE FOR DENIKI- 12 August 1942
With the recapture of Kokoda highly unlikely, Maroubra Force established a defensive position back towards the south at Deniki.
Deniki is balanced high on a valley, spectacularly overlooking Kokoda and the Yodda Valley. It is the the start of the valley that Eora Creek runs through and is the beginning of the treacherous winding mountain track through the Owen Stanley’s ranges.
From Deniki the Australian soldiers could see the Kokoda airstrip and Kokoda village and this provided a great viewing platform for the Australian’s to be able to react if it the Japanese were preparing to out flank them.
The Japanese were well aware of the benefits Deniki provided, after three days of preparation the Japanese commenced attacks on Deniki.
On the 12th of August 1942 the Japanese began initial probing attacks of the Deniki position. As the physical positions of the defending infantry were identified the Japanese directed accurate artillery fire onto their locations. Strong attacks via frontal infantry assault and artillery bombardment continued until the morning of the 14th of August.
On the morning of the 14th of August the Australians withdrew from the Deniki position and fell back towards Isurava. The withdrawal was well timed as soon after the force departed the position the Japanese assaulted in force once again and found Deniki had been abandoned.