The Maroubra Force was two largely untrained conscripted militia battalions during World War II. These were the 39th and 53rd – conissting of about 500 men
Their average age was 21. They were called ‘chocos’ because the public thought they would melt like chocolate soldiers in the heat of battle. Most of the 39th were home guard. They knew nothing about jungle warfare. Many had never fired their weapons. Now these warriors of the working day were defending Australia.
They were the force behind the defence of the Kokoda Track.
Just as it looked like the Maroubra Force would be wiped out, Brigadier Arnold Potts arrived with two battalions of about 1000 men: the 2/14th and the 2/16th. Potts was a short, tough and nuggety farmer from Western Australia. He had fought at Gallipoli and in France in World War One and was a gifted military strategist.
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