Shaggy Ridge (1944) newsreel
Copyright expired - public domain
Newsreel footage of conditions at Shaggy Ridge in New Guinea shows the steepness and harshness of the terrain in which Australian troops were fighting. This would have been shown at cinemas throughout Australia. British Pathé FILM ID: 1356.13
['Shaggy Ridge' displayed on screen.]
Out of New Guinea there comes another heroic story of Australian courage and tenacity. Shaggy Ridge hangs like a great knife blade over the great Ramu Valley. The key to the ridge itself is a razor-sharp spur known as 'Green Sniper's Temple'. From it, the Japanese completely dominated the Australian positions. Many costly attempts were made to wrest it from them.
For 2 months, the Aussies gazed at it longingly. Then in one master stroke, the pimple changed hands. Following a whithering bombardment from artillery and aircraft, the Australians stormed the almost-sheer face of the ridge at the point of the bayonet, scaled the precipitous wall, and captured it in 2 hours.
You can judge for yourself what a miracle of effort that must have been as you see how the men have to make their lung-bursting climb in single file. [music] Men burrow in on the crest of the crag. To them go the angels with fuzzy hair, the new Guinea carriers whose unswerving loyalty deserves special mention. Straining upwards, dragging not only their seemingly lead-weighted bodies, but ammunition boxes and supplies.
Here you have some of the men who made that assault up the almost-perpendicular slope of the pimple, defying Jap machine guns and the law of gravity at one and the same time. Many a painful journey has to be made by those who are made casualties in this triumph over the seemingly impossible.
In the central Ramu Valley near Bogadjim, there's a place called 'Johno's Jungle Joint'. Like a shaft of light in a dark room, is the banner of the Salvation Army. An oasis in the jungle battle ground of Australia's fighting men.