Jap commander Gen Horii addresses his men at Ilimo, telling them they will withdraw and “prepare for a future offensive”.
“Our withdrawal will not be the result of the superiority of the enemy. It was aimed to recover the health and strength of the troops. To compare this with a defeat shows a gross misunderstanding.”
He urges his men to prepare for “brave and active counter attacks”. He calls on all his men “whether combatants, non-combatants or Army employees” to “recover their fighting strength”. Those who read between the lines know Horii is warning all his men that they will be fighting to the death.
Meanwhile, at dawn a small Australian patrol creeps into Kokoda unopposed.