17 December 1942

Australian tanks finally arrive at Buna as Allied High Command turns to the Australian 18th Brigade, which had inflicted the first-ever defeat of the Japanese on land at Milne Bay in August and early September, to take the lead in the assault against at least 1000 Japanese defenders on the easter side of Buna.

For weeks the Americans have been unable to make any significant headway against these stubborn Japanese defenders, who are resolved to fight to the last man. Eventually General Blamey persuades MacArthur to hand responsibility for the defeat of Buna to the Diggers.