17 September 1942

As the Diggers prepare to make last stand at Imita Ridge, the Japanese, now taking up positions opposite them on Ioribaiwa Ridge, receive orders to withdraw. Having no word in their army lexicon for retreat, they are ordered to “advance to the rear!”

It was a shattering disappointment to the Japanese soldiers, who, at night, could see the lights of Moresby, about five days march away.

The Japanese had suffered at least 1000 casualties, including battle deaths and sickness and many of the remaining troops were close to starvation and exhausted as their supply lines had broken.