MILITARY historian Professor David Horner has every right to opine that Australia has developed a tendency to exaggerate the significance of our country’s military campaigns, including the Kokoda battle.
It’s his belief, and freedom of speech was among the democratic values more than 100,000 Diggers have given their lives to protect.
However, few are likely to agree with his claim.
The World War II Kokoda campaign, waged by brave young men in the most appalling conditions, must receive due recognition in our history.
Prof Horner says the efforts of our soldiers at Kokoda did not save Australia from Japanese invasion because Japan did not intend to invade our shores.
His assessment rankles with surviving Kokoda veterans, such as Bob Iskov. The 92-year-old discovered maps of Darwin and its defences on the body of a dead Japanese colonel and concluded the soldier wasn’t coming to Australia to “play golf”.
Australia will continue to recognise and honour the achievements and the sacrifices of our Diggers at Kokoda.