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Australians at War – The Thin Khaki Line (2002)


During the Second World War, the outlook for Australia in 1942 was grim. When the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbour, only a ragtag group of conscripts was still at home in Australia. The AIF was overseas in Europe and the Middle East. The militia being trained in Australia were called 'koalas’, because they were not to be shot at or exported.

This is the story of what happened when they were sent to Australian New Guinea to defend our shores against the rapidly advancing Japanese.

Curator’s notes

This story of Kokoda is dramatic and emotionally powerful. The filmmakers found a group of articulate veterans who remember those days as if they were yesterday. And the whole episode is illustrated with extraordinary footage from Australia’s wartime cameramen.

The Thin Khaki Line was episode 5 of Australian at War.