Komiatum Ridge

Komiatum Ridge was a long, sprawling feature that stretched north-west from the key height of Mount Tambu and rose between the Buirali and Buiwarfe creeks. Like many ridges and hills in New Guinea, Komiatum Ridge was important because a track ran along it, and in this case it was the main route for Japanese supplies and reinforcements travelling from Salamaua to their positions at Goodview Junction and Mount Tambu - sited to block the Australian advance from Mubo. In April 1943 the Australian 2/3rd Independent Company began harassing the Japanese on Komiatum Ridge from their position on Bobdubi Ridge (the next major feature to the west); however, it was not until August that Australian forces closing on Salamaua were in a position to launch an attack on it. By this time several attempts to capture Mount Tambu by direct assault had failed, so it was decided to cut the Japanese supply lines to the north and starve them out. Patrols from the 2/6th Battalion began searching for routes onto the ridge in early August, and A and D Companies attacked on the morning of 16 August. They established themselves astride the main track with little difficulty but spent the next two nights fending off counter-attacks as the Japanese sought to open the track through to Mount Tambu. Critical to the 2/6th Battalion's success was the 42nd Battalion, which had established itself on the next ridge to the east - Davidson Ridge - and was therefore able to fire its machine-guns across the front and rear of the 2/6th's positions. On 19 August Australian and American patrols found Mount Tambu abandoned.