DEFENCE OF TOWNSVILLE
DURING WW2

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After the Japanese bombed Darwin on 19 February 1942, Major-General George Vasey issued an operational instruction on 10 March 1942 explaining the role for the Australian Army's Northern Command. Thursday Island and nearby islands were to be defended to the "limit of human endurance". Townsville was to be defended by its local brigade group which was required to be active and aggressive. In the event of impending defeat there was to be a scorched earth procedure implemented and a withdrawal to Charters Tower to the west. Brisbane was to be defended against sea, land and air attacks.

The following is a facsimile of a Most Secret document detailing the Townsville Defence Scheme.

 

 

 

MOST SECRET

The officer in possession of this document will be responsible for its safe custody, and that its contents are not disclosed to any unauthorised person.

The document will be kept in under lock and key when not in actual use.

 

 

 

: :          TOWNSVILLE DEFENCE SCHEME          : :

 

NOTE

1. Although the garrison available for the defence of TOWNSVILLE will be constantly changing, the broad principles on which the plan is based are unlikely to alter to any extent.

2. Amendments, principally concerning changes of units of the garrison, will be issued as necessary.

3. In the event of the unit holding this copy of the scheme being relieved, the incoming unit will take over the document issuing a receipt for it, copy of which will be forwarded to this HQ.

 

 

 

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:            CONTENTS           :

--

PART I    - INTRODUCTION AND OBJECT OF SCHEME
Para 1 Introduction Page 1
        2 Object of Scheme 2
PART II   - INFORMATION AND SITUATION ENVISAGED
         3 Command 1
         4 Control 2
         5 Forces Available for Defence of TOWNSVILLE 2
         6 Topography 2, 3 and 4
         7 Probable Preliminary Operations by the Enemy 4
         8 Subsequent Operations by the Enemy 4
         9 Probable Method of Attack by Enemy on TOWNSVILLE
4
        10 The Coast Road 5
        11 The Inland Routes 5
        12 The Approach by Sea 5
        13 Other Eventualities 6
        14 Conclusion 6
PART III - OUTLINE PLAN
        15 Principles on which Plan is Based 6
        16 Outline Plan 7
PART IV - PLAN
        17 Grouping of Units 8
        18 Initial Dispositions of Groups 9
        19 Tasks 10 and 11
        20 Demolitions 12
PART V - OCCUPATION OF BATTLE DISPOSITIONS
        21 Degree of Readiness 12
        22 Precautionary Stage 12
        23 Action to be Taken on Receipt of Order "Stand To" 12 and 13
        24 Final Stage 14
        25 Action to be Taken on Receipt of Order "Action Stations"
14
PART VI - PREPARATION
        26 Allotment of Units to Groups 14
        27 Reconnaissance 14
        28 Planning 14
        29 Security 15
        30 Training 15

/Part VII

 

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PART VII    - ADMINISTRATION
Para  31 Supplies Page 15
        32 Ammunition 16

Action to be Taken on Receipt of
Order to "Stand To"

        33 Leave 16
        34 Supplies 16
        35 Ammunition 16
        36 Fodder 16
        37 Petrol, Oil, and Lubricants 16

Action to be Taken on Receipt of
Order "Action Stations"

        38 Ammunition 17
        39 Supplies 17
        40 Medical 17
        41 Ordnance 17
        42 Repair and Recovery 17
        43 Provost 18
        44 Prisoners of War 18
PART VIII - INTERCOMMUNICATION
        45 Location of HQ 18
        46 Signals 18
. .
Distribution 19

: ======:

-       APPENDICES      -               

Appendix "A" -
Copy of 5 Aust Div Operation Instruction
No 37 of 24 Nov 42
Appendix "B" -
Diagram 1 - Operational Line Diagram
Sigs 5 Aust Div
Diagram 2 - Wireless Diagram - Recce Groups: to
come into force on "STAND TO"
Diagram 3 - Wireless Diagram - Units other than
recce groups to come into force on "ACTION
STATIONS"
Appendix "C" - Notes on Rivers and Creeks in TOWNSVILLE area
Appendix "D" - Positions Suitable for Delaying Actions
Appendix "E" -
Co-ordinates of Positions Prepared for Beach
Defence Guns
Trace "F" (a)" -
Partially Constructed Defence Positions
Area: STUART - MUNTALUNGA
Trace "F (b)" -
Partially Constructed Defensive Positions
Area: CLEVEDON
Trace "F (c)" -
Partially Constructed Defensive Positions
Area: WOODSTOCK - GIRU GAP
Trace "F (d)" - Partially Constructed Defensive Positions
Area: BOHLE
Trace "F (e)" Partially Constructed Defensive Positions
Area: ROLLINGSTONE
Trace "G" Prepared Regimental Areas and alternative
positions
(a)   PARTINGTON - STUART area
(b)   KILLYMOON - CLEVEDON area
(c)   SEVEN MILE - FOUR MILE - MAJOR CREEK area
(d)   GIRU - WOODSTOCK area
(e)   ROLLINGSTONE area
(f)   MT ST JOHN - GARBUTT area
(g)   MT STUART area.

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MOST SECRET

TOWNSVILLE DEFENCE SCHEME          

Copy No 7
16 Dec 42
Ref Maps: TOWNSVILLE SPECIAL 1" to 1 miles
PALUMA                 " 1" to 1 miles
THORNTON'S GAP " 1" to 1 miles
MT ELLIOT              " 1" to 1 miles
AYR 1" to 1 miles
TOWNSVILLE STRAT 1" to 1 miles
INGHAM              " 1" to 1 miles
AYR                    " 1" to 1 miles

 

PART I
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECT OF SCHEME

1.   The TOWNSVILLE DEFENCE SCHEME has been prepared in this form, to enable a new Commander taking over either all, or part of the forces in the TOWNSVILLE area to become rapidly acquainted with the intentions of the previous Commander, his plan, and the factors that have influenced its preparation.

2.   The object of the scheme is the defence of TOWNSVILLE.

"Your role is the defence of TOWNSVILLE. In carrying out your role you will avoid being shut up in TOWNSVILLE and when its defence is no longer practicable you will withdraw towards CHARTERS TOWERS." (First Aust Army Operation Instruction No 6 dated 4 May 42).

 

PART II
INFORMATION AND SITUATIONS ENVISAGED

3.   COMMAND
      "Fixed Anti Aircraft and coastal defences are under command of L of C areas. "   (First Aust Army Operation Instruction No. 10 dated 13 May).

      "Troops (including VDC) located within the area of field formation, though under L of C Area for local administration, will in emergency, be under the command of the field formation for operations. The Commander of the field formation will decide the time at which he will assume command of such troops for operations, and may make plans and issue instructions concerning actions in an emergency." (GHQ SM 7621 dated 28 Apr 42).

      "In case of landing attacks the Senior Commander of Allied Land Forces on the ground will assume supreme command in the area in which attack is made, including all elements of the three forces therein except bombardment aviation which will remain under the command of the Allied Air Forces Command. " (First Aust Army Operation Instruction No 10 dated 13 May).

/Commander

 

-   2   -

Commander, 5 Aust Div in an emergency, at a time he shall decide, therefore assumes command of all services (except bomber aircraft), whether Australian or Allied, in the TOWNSVILLE area.

4.   CONTROL

(a)   To facilitate control and organisation, command of troops shown in para 5(b) has been vested in Commander No 1 L of C Sub Area, vide 5 Aust Div Operation Instruction No 37, copy of which is attached at Appendix "A".

(b)   An operations room has been set up at HQ 5 Aust Div with direct communications to all units concerned. This layout is shown in diagram at Appendix "B".

5.   FORCES AVAILABLE FOR DEFENCE OF TOWNSVILLE

Order of Battle falls naturally into four sections:

(a)   5 Aust Div less 11 Aust Inf Bde Gp

(b)   Other Australian troops in the TOWNSVILLE area (including RAN and RAAF, shore and ground personnel, VDC, etc).

(c)   United States Army base personnel (including Army Air Corps ground staffs).

(d)   AAF Fighter and reconnaissance units.

NOTE:   11 Aust Inf Bde Gp has been detached for the defence of the CAIRNS and MAREEBA aerodromes, and cannot be depended on to take part in any operation directly affecting the defence of TOWNSVILLE. It will however, remain under command of GOC 5 Aust Div.

6.   TOPOGRAPHY

(a)   General
TOWNSVILLE lies at the foot of CASTLE HILL, a commanding feature 900 feet high at the mouth of the ROSS RIVER in CLEVELAND BAY. The approach to TOWNSVILLE harbour is by a deep dredged channel 28 - 31 feet deep at high water and 22 feet deep at low water South-East of MAGNETIC ISLAND. At low water, vessels of 14 feet draught can navigate West of MAGNETIC ISLAND.

The surrounding country is generally wooded with light timber greatly restricting the field of fire. Native spear grass is everywhere up to 2 feet high in the dry season and until burnt off provides a measure of concealment. The timber is not sufficiently large to be an obstacle to tanks.

(b)   Hill Features
The main mountain range from North approaches the coast about 30 miles north of TOWNSVILLE to within a distance of approximately 2 miles, thence diverging South from the coast, and in the vicinity of TOWNSVILLE lies about 18 miles South-West. Apart from the main range the area is notable for the number of isolated and semi-isolated features which dominate the surrounding country. The most important of these are

(i)   CLEVELAND (1800 feet) on the East side of CLEVELAND BAY joined to the mainland by swamp, mangrove and sand pans.

 

/ (ii)

 

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(ii)   MUNTALUNGA (800 feet) South of CLEVELAND BAY and seperated from the foreshore by swamp, mangrove, and sand pans.

(iii)   ELLIOT (3400 feet) a rugged extensive massif South of MUTALUNGA and seperated from the latter by a narrow valley through which runs the railway from BRISBANE. ELLIOT bars any approach to TOWNSVILLE from the South-East.

(iv)   STUART (1900 feet) an extensive feature 6 miles due south of TOWNSVILLE dominating the BURDEKIN HIGHWAY.

(v)   LOUISA (660 feet) an isolated feature dominating the near approach to TOWNSVILLE from the West.

(vi)   MANY PEAKS (700 feet) at the Western entrance to CLEVELAND BAY and seperated from TOWNSVILLE by low lying open ground, swamp and sand pans.

The features MUNTALUNGA, STUART AND LOUISA are of considerable tactical importance, since they dominate the approaches to TOWNSVILLE, and overlook the city itself.

(c)   Foreshore
In CLEVELAND BAY, East of TOWNSVILLE, the foreshore is swampy and contains many patches of mangrove. East of CAPE CLEVELAND (BOWLING GREEN BAY) to the mouth of the HOUGHTON RIVER is a good sandy beach. East of HOUGHTON RIVER to BURDEKIN RIVER the coast is low lying and backed by swamp. West and North-West of TOWNSVILLE, open sandy beaches suitable for landing are plentiful.

(d)   Rivers and Creeks
Apart from the BURDEKIN RIVER, which is a considerable obstacle, many small streams exist. These are mostly tidal and at high tide present opportunity for penetration by landing craft. HOUGHTON RIVER provides such an approach as far as GIRU.

Details of creeks and rivers showing their value as anti tank obstacles and suitability for landing craft are shown at Appendix "C".

(e)   Approaches
Rail and road approaches which are contiguous, are confined to three defined lanes:-

(i)   South-East - the narrow valley between MUNTALUNGA and ELLIOT joining the BURDEKIN HIGHWAY at STUART.

The approach from the South-east after crossing the BURDEKIN RIVER runs through flat and swampy country to GIRU, where the rail and road bifurcate. A track suitable for motor transport follows the railway to STUART, but the better road passes to the South of MOUNT ELLIOT, joining the BURDEKIN HIGHWAY at WOODSTOCK.

(ii)   South -  the BURDEKIN HIGHWAY to CHARTERS TOWERS dominated by the Eastern portion of STUART feature.

(iii)   North-West - the CAIRNS road overlooked by LOUISA and the main range at a point approximately 30 miles North-West of TOWNSVILLE. This approach closely follows the coast.

/All roads

 

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All roads, other than those referred to above, are earth tracks. The following important tracks within the area in various stages of development:

(iv)   ANTIL PLAINS - ALLIGATOR CREEK via gap between THE SISTERS and ELLIOT.

(v)   ALLIGATOR CREEK - CROMARTY via col between SADDLE MOUNTAIN and ELLIOT.

(vi)   STANLEY - NOME

(vii)   ANTIL PLAINS - ROSS RIVER road via West of MOUNT STUART

(viii)   MINGELA - THORNTONS GAP - TOWNSVILLE.

7.   PROBABLE PRELIMINARY OPERATIONS BY THE ENEMY

The choice of beaches for large scale landings on the QUEENSLAND coast is restricted by the BARRIER REEF which runs from the Northern extremity of the QUEENSLAND coast to HERON ISLAND 40 miles off the coast at GLADSTONE. Passages through the reef for large vessels are confined to a number of points, the protection of which is the responsibility of Allied Naval Forces. Movement by a large expedition from the North, inside the reef, would provide a most vulnerable target for both our air and naval forces. Furthermore, such an expedition would be  without the protection of land based aircraft.

It seems likely therefore that any attack in the TOWNSVILLE area would be preceded by a landing farther North, probably in the vicinity of COOKTOWN or CAIRNS with the object of establishing an advanced base from which a further advance could be undertaken with the support of land based aircraft.

8.   SUBSEQUENT OPERATIONS BY THE ENEMY

Having completed, or at least partially completed, the operation described above it is reasonably certain that the  enemy will advance on TOWNSVILLE with the object of availing himself of, and denying to us, the port facilities and the comparatively good communications both the South and inland. Such an advance might be by land, or by sea under cover of land based aircraft, or by a combination of both. If such an operation were successful he would gain an invaluable sea, land, and air base from which to continue operations to the South.

9.   PROBABLE METHOD OF ATTACK BY ENEMY ON TOWNSVILLE

(a)   It is possible that the advance to the South (vide para 8) would be divided into a series of bounds, with the object of successively securing more advance bases. The most valuable intermediate objective from the point of view of an attack on TOWNSVILLE would be the INGHAM - HALIFAX area. INGHAM is approximately 80 miles from TOWNSVILLE and has available some harbour facilities at LUCINDA POINT. Other advantages include a landing ground at INGHAM and good road and rail communications with the South.

(b)   From INGHAM there are three possible lines of approach:

(i)   The coast road INGHAM - TOWNSVILLE

/ (ii)

 

- 5 -

(ii)   West of the coastal range via MOUNT FOX - EWEN or via MOONGOBULLA - MT SPEC - EWEN, and thence to CHARTERS TOWERS or via THORNTONS GAP to TOWNSVILLE.

(iii)   By sea, landing on beaches North and/or South of TOWNSVILLE.

10.   THE COAST ROAD

The coast road from INGHAM to TOWNSVILLE is suitable for two-way motor transport traffic. Its main disadvantage lies in the fact that movement off the road is restricted by the coastal range to the West, and the coast to the East to an average width of 8 - 10 miles until the range swings away to the South 20 miles North-West of TOWNSVILLE. It is crossed by a large number of creeks and streams, none of which are really effective obstacles.

One of the most suitable areas for blocking this approach lies astride the road in the vicinity of Rollingstone. Notes on other positions for delaying an enemy advance from INGHAM on TOWNSVILLE are included at Appendix "D".

11.   THE INLAND ROUTES

The inland routes through EWEN present almost overwhelming difficulties for a large force. Passages through the coastal ranges are limited to a difficult pass on the MOUNT FOX road and an equally difficult pass through MOUNT SPEC and the PALUMA RANGE from Moongobulla to EWEN. These bottlenecks could be held for a considerable time by very light forces, and considerable delay imposed on the enemy. The inland tracks are unmade but are generally passable to four-wheel drive motor transport in dry weather. It would be possible for a small force, supplied by air in the initial stages, to cut the TOWNSVILLE - CHARTERS TOWERS road, using this route.

It follows therefore, that the MOUNT FOX and MOUNT SPEC roads are of the greatest importance and must be held at all costs. Not only would the enemy thus be prevented from entering our rearward areas, but by retaining these passes we would have avenues for attacking his communications.

12.   THE APPROACH BY SEA

A seaborne landing, covered by land based aircraft, is a natural corollary to a thrust down the coast road. The object of such an operation might be one or all of the following:

(a)   To outflank a defensive position astride the road INGHAM - TOWNSVILLE, by landing a force North of CAPE PALLARENDA.

(b)   To land a force South-East of TOWNSVILLE, probably in the area CHUNDA BAY - BOWLING GREEN BAY, with the object of

(i)     Attacking TOWNSVILLE from the South and
(ii)    Cutting the railway link with ROCKHAMPTON
(iii)   Sending a force by the road GIRU - WOODSTOCK to cut the road and railway TOWNSVILLE - CHARTERS TOWERS.

Such an operation, if successful, would sever our communications in every direction and must accordingly be prevented at all costs.

/ 13. Other eventualities

 

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13.   OTHER EVENTUALITIES

The possibility of concurrent airborne attack cannot be overlooked, although this could be undertaken only after our own air forces in the area had been destroyed. Objects for such an attack could include:

(a)   The seizing of key points in TOWNSVILLE itself.

(b)   The disruption of communications

(c)   The disorganization of supplies

(d)   In the event of the fall of TOWNSVILLE becoming a probability the prevention of the demolition of vital installations.

These objects might also be achieved by a seaborne raid in the close vicinity of TOWNSVILLE, possibly supplemented by the use of parachute troops.

14.   CONCLUSION

It follows therefore, that any plan formulated for the defence of TOWNSVILLE, must include measures to counter the following likely action on the part of the enemy:

(a)   An advance South from CAIRNS and/or INGHAM

(b)   Movement inland via MOUNT FOX or MOUNT SPEC roads

(c)   Landings North of BOHLE RIVER; and between CHUNDA BAY and the BURDEKIN RIVER.

(d)   Seaborne or airborne raids on the city area

 

PART III
OUTLINE PLAN

 

15.   PRINCIPLES ON WHICH PLAN IS BASED

The plan to counter enemy operations as envisaged above is based on the following principles:

(a)   A comprehensive demolition scheme, designed to delay and harass any enemy advance from the North, and to prevent movement from the coast inland.

(b)   The close defence of TOWNSVILLE by troops at present located in the city area i.e. base and L of C troops under cpmmand No 1 L of C Sub Area (vide 5 Aust Div Operation Instruction No 37).

(c)   A mobile offensive role by 5 Aust Div (less 11 Aust Inf Bde Gp). In this regard the following extracts from First Aust Army Operation Instruction No 9 are quoted:

"Fixed defence are of little value as a means of holding the JAPANESE in check. An entirely different method of

/ defence

 

- 7 -

defence must be used. This method must be of a very mobile nature ....

"Prompt counter attack by mobile reserves, which have been held some distance from the beach, is the correct tactic to neutralize and destroy JAPANESE landing parties.

"Aggresive action and counter attack will be the basis of our defence. For this purpose all Commanders must retain as great a portion as possible of their forces in a mobile role, ready to seek out the enemy and strike him hard and often, and so regain the initiative which is always with the attacker."

16.   OUTLINE PLAN

(a)   BASE AND L OF C TROOPS

Units placed under command Commander No 1 L of C Sub Area, vide Part II para 4 (b) of this scheme must be prepared to carry out the following tasks:-

(i)    The close defence of TOWNSVILLE and the beaches in the TOWNSVILLE area

(ii)   Defence against parachutists

(iii)   Prevention of infiltration into TOWNSVILLE

(iv)   Protection of vulnerable points; and anti-sabotage measures

(v)    The Maintenance of order in TOWNSVILLE

(vi)    The demolition of installations in TOWNSVILLE, vital to the enemy, if so ordered.

(b)  5 AUST DIV (less 11 Aust Inf Bde Gp)

5 Aust Div must be prepared to carry out the following tasks:

(i)    The destruction of any enemy force landing between ROLLINGSTONE and the BOHLE RIVER or advancing from the North. Both eventualities may arise concurrently.

(ii)   Provision of a holding force in the CLEVEDON - WOODSTOCK HILL area with the task of opposing an enemy landing in BOWLING GREEN BAY, and holding any advance towards TOWNSVILLE until such time as dispositions can be made to enable the offensive to be taken.

(iii)   The blocking of the roads inland from INGHAM via MOUNT FOX and from MOONGOBULLA via MOUNT SPEC

(iv)   The execution of operational demolitions in the INGHAM area and, if necessary, the destruction of the MOUNT SPEC and MOUNT FOX roads.

(v)   The manning of beach defence guns for the defence of beaches between BOHLE RIVER and ROLLINGSTONE and between HOUGHTON RIVER and CHUNDA BAY.

/ Part IV

 

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17.   Grouping of Units

(a)      29 Aust Inf Bde Gp    (MONFORCE)

Commander, Brig R F MONAGHAN

29 Aust Inf Bde less one battalion
17 Aust Fd Regt (with eight additional field guns for beach defence)
3 Aust A Tk Bty
One section 11 Aust Fd Coy.

(b)       X Bn Gp     (CHUNDAFORCE)

Commander, CO X Aust Inf Btn

X Aust Inf Bn
One battery 5 Aust Fd Regt (with four additional field guns for beach defence)
One troop 101 Aust A Tk Regt
One sub-section 11 Aust Fd Coy.

(c)       L of C and Base Units Gp    (TOWNFORCE)

Commander, Col F R NORTH

All Australian units in TOWNSVILLE area other than those on Order of Battle 5 Aust Div.

(d)      Div Tps Gp

2 Aust Cav Regt (less one mechanised squadron)
5 Aust Fd Regt (less one battery)
101 Aust A Tk Regt (less two batteries and one troop)
11 Aust Fd Coy (less one section and one sub-section)
55 Aust Fd Pk Coy.

The above troops will be directly under command HQ 5 Aust Div

(e)   Owing to the considerable variation in the Order of Battle of United States troops in the TOWNSVILLE area, and the fact that the nature of their duties is likely to require their withdrawal from TOWNSVILLE before an attack takes place, no definite task has been alloted them. During the precautionary stage however, those remaining will be formed into a separate United States group to which a suitable task will be allotted.

(f)   Supply, Medical and Ordnance Services will be centralised, under HQ 5 Aust Div.

/ 18. Initial Dispositions of Groups

 

 

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18.   INITIAL DISPOSITIONS OF GROUPS

(a)   MONFORCE

(i)   One battalion group - BLACK RIVER 7290

(ii)   Remainder of force (less beach defence guns) concentrated in area MOUNT LOUISA - BOHLE RIVER

(iii)  Beach defence guns in prepared positions. Locations are shown at Appendix "E";

(iv)   Infantry parties will be detailed for local defence of beach guns. Sub-units detailed for this task may also be employed in patrolling.

(b)   CHUNDAFORCE

Concentrated in area West of LONETREE HILL 0075, except for beach defence guns located as shown at Appendix "E".

(c)   TOWNFORCE

Disposed in TOWNSVILLE area.

(d)   Divisional Troops Group

(i)   2 Aust Cav regt (less one mechanised squadron).

      One squadron (mechanised) with, under command, one troop 5 Aust Fd Regt and one troop 101 Aust A Tk Regt, based on INGHAM

     One squadron (mechanised) with, under command, one troop 5 Aust Fd Regt and one troop 101 Aust A Tk Regt, based on GIRU.

      One squadron (horsed) based on MOUNT SPEC road at 340192.

(ii)   5 Aust Fd Regt (less one battery and two troops) in divisional reserve in area GAOL 9774.

(iii)   101 Aust A Tk Regt (less two batteries and three troops) in divisional reserve at STUART.

(iv)  One section 11 Aust Fd Coy -

with squadron 2 Aust Cav Regt at INGHAM

       One sub-section, with -

squadron 2 Aust Cav Regt - MOUNT SPEC road.

       11 Aust Fd Coy less two sections and two sub-sections - divisional reserve.

       55 Aust Fd Pk Coy - divisional reserve.

/ 19. Tasks.

 

- 10 -

19.   TASKS

(a)   MONFORCE

(i)   To attack and destroy any enemy force landing between BOHLE RIVER and ROLLINGSTONE

(ii)   To oppose any force advancing South from CAIRNS or INGHAM or from landing points North of ROLLINGSTONE

(iii)   To be prepared to assist the TOWNSVILLE Garrison (TOWNFORCE) in repelling landings in ROSE BAY (I believe this should be Rowes Bay), if so ordered.

(iv)   To be prepared to move to the assistance of CHUNDAFORCE, should the main thrust develop from that flank

(v)   To prevent enemy infiltration towards THORNTON'S GAP and thence on to our L of C at MINGELA

(vi)   Of the force located in the area BOHLE RIVER - MOUNT LOUISA, two infantry companies will be held in reserve and will not be committed West of BOHLE RIVER without reference to HQ 5 Aust Div.

(b)   CHUNDAFORCE

(i)   To attack and destroy any enemy force attempting to land in CHUNDA BAY or BOWLING GREEN BAY or that part of CLEVELAND BAY East of TOWNSVILLE

(ii)   If this is not practicable, to inflict the maximum casualties on the landing force, and deny to it the approaches to TOWNSVILLE from the East.

(c)   TOWNFORCE

As set out in 5 Aust Div Operation Instruction No. 37.

(d)    2 Aust Cav Regt  (Ingham Squadron Group)

(i)   Will maintain standing patrols at ALLINGHAM 053020, LUCINDA POINT, CARDWELL, and TULLY RIVER 029001, with the object of observing and giving early warning of any attempted landing in HINCHINBROOK CHANNEL or on the beaches to the North, or South of INGHAM or any movement South from CAIRNS;

(ii)   Will be prepared to advance North to make contact with an enemy advance from CAIRNS

(iii)   Will cover RAE demolition party, executing demolitions in area INGHAM - LUCINDA POINT, should these be ordered

(iv)   Will inflict the maximum delay on any enemy force either landing in the vicinity of HINCHINBROOK CHANNEL, or advancing from the North

(v)   If driven back, will withdraw via the MOUNT FOX road, and deny its use to the enemy

(vi)   If driven back from the MOUNT FOX road, will cover demolition party destroying road and remain in observation

(vii)  Will keep HQ 5 Aust Div and MONFORCE continually informed of all enemy movements, strengths, etc.

/ (e) 2 Aust Cav Regt

 

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(e)   2 Aust Cav Regt (GIRU Squadron Group)

(i)   Will maintain standing patrols at ALVA and mouth HOUGHTON RIVER

(ii)   Will be prepared to move East to make contact with any force attempting to advance West from AYR

(iii)  When forced to do so will withdraw via road GIRU - WOODSTOCK inflicting maximum delay on enemy

(iv)   Should the main enemy force continue to advance West towards CLEVEDON, will remain in observation, harassing his exposed flank

(v)   Will keep HQ 5 Aust Div and CHUNDAFORCE constantly informed of movements, strength, etc., of the enemy.

(f)   2 Aust Cav Regt   (MOUNT SPEC road Squadron)

(i)   Will patrol beaches between ROLLINGSTONE and PALM CREEK 052016, giving early warning of any attempt to land between these points

(ii)   Will harass enemy landing parties, inflicting maximum casualties

(iii)   When forced to do so, will withdraw up the MOUNT SPEC road, and deny its use to the enemy

(iv)   If  the demolition of the MOUNT SPEC road is ordered, will cover the demolition party, and when this is complete, will remain in observation

(v)   Will inform 5 Aust Div and MONFORCE of enemy strength, movements, and any other information gained.

(g)   Arty

(i)   5 Aust Fd Regt less one battery and two troops, will be prepared to support either MONFORCE or CHUNDAFORCE if so ordered.

While located in divisional reserve area, positions will be occupied, and the regiment prepared to bring down fire on the Southern beaches of CLEVELAND BAY between inclusive ALLIGATOR CREEK 0680 and creek mouth 9883.

(ii)   101 Aust A Tk Regt less two batteries and three troops will be prepared to move to support TOWNFORCE, MONFORCE or CHUNDAFORCE. While in divisional reserve area will occupy positions to cover road junction at STUART.

(h)   Engrs

(i)   Section 11 Aust Fd Coy at INGHAM will charge all demolitions in the area inclusive MOUNT FOX road and be prepared to blow them if so ordered.

(ii)   Sub-section 11 Aust Fd Coy at MOUNT SPEC road will charge the prepared demolitions in this area and be prepared to blow them if so ordered

(iii)   Divisional reserve and engineer components of CHUNDAFORCE and MONFORCE will be prepared to carry out such engineering tasks as may be required including the laying of minefields.

/ 20. Demolitions

 

- 12 -

20.   DEMOLITIONS

Detailed instructions concerning responsibility for preparing and executing demolitions will be issued separately to the persons concerned.

 

PART V
OCCUPATION OF BATTLE DISPOSITIONS

21.   DEGREE OF READINESS

From normal training and operational duties, units responsible for the defence of TOWNSVILLE will pass through two stages of readiness:

(a)   Precautionary stage   (Stand to)

(b)   Final stage   (Action Stations)

GOC 5 Aust Div will decide the degree of readiness to be adopted, according to the progressive urgency of the situation, and will issue the necessary orders.

22.   PRECAUTIONARY STAGE   (STAND TO)

(a)   "Stand To" will be ordered when it is considered that a landing on the NORTH QUEENSLAND coast is likely, within a period of 14 days.

(b)   The order "Stand To" will be issued by signal or by LO. If by signal, the message will read:

"(Codeword)   Stand to    Ack   All informed"

23.   ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON RECEIPT OF ORDER "STAND TO"

(a)   By all Units

(i)   All leave will be cancelled. Personnel on leave will be recalled by civil telegrams.

(ii)   Ammunition will be checked by all units to ensure that first line holdings are complete.

(iii)   Components of groups will come under command group Commanders. They will assemble under directions issued by group Commanders in areas to be allotted by this HQ; and will continue training.

L of C Units will continue normal work.

(iv)   Reserve rations will be built up to four days, to be carried in unit transport where necessary.

(v)    All units will be at six hours notice to move.

(b)   By 2 Aust Cav Regt

(i)   HQ 2 Aust Cav Regt will be established in vicinity of HQ 5 Aust Div.

/ (ii)

 

- 13 -

(ii)   2 Aust Cav Regt (less one squadron) will move to its tasks vide Part IV para 13 of this scheme.

(iii)   Observation Post at DINGO HILL will be handed over to CHUNDAFORCE.

(c)   By R A E

(i)   Engineer parties will charge all demolitions in INGHAM and MOUNT SPEC areas.

(ii)   All demolition orders will be checked, and if necessary brought up to date.

(d)   By Sigs

Sigs 5 Aust Div will lay buried cables :-

(i)   From ROSS RIVER bridge to crossing of BOHLE RIVER at 8185.

(ii)   From STUART to CLEVEDON.

(e)   By MONFORCE

(i)   Beach guns will be placed in position and manned.

(ii)   Beaches between ROLLINGSTONE and BOHLE RIVER will be patrolled continuously.

(iii)   Observation posts will be established where necessary.

(f)   By CHUNDAFORCE

(i)   Beach guns will be placed in position and manned.

(ii)   Observation posts will be established to observe CHUNDA BAY, CLEVELAND BAY East of TOWNSVILLE, and BOWLING GREEN BAY West of HOUGHTON RIVER.

(iii)   Beaches between inclusive CHUNDA BAY and HOUGHTON RIVER will be patrolled continuously.

(iv)   Observation post at DINGO HILL, now manned by 2 Aust Cav Regt, will be taken over.

(g)   By A A S C

(i)   AASC will dump petrol, oil and lubricants on basis of 300 miles per vehicle for 2 Aust Cav Regt and RAA sub-units under command on MOUNT FOX road and on road GIRU - WOODSTOCK at about 1949.

(ii)   Fourteen days fodder for Horsed Squadron 2 Aust Cav Regt will be dumped at PALUMA

(iii)   Ammunition points containing two second line refills for squadrons of 2 Aust Cav Regt, RAA sub units under command, and engineer parties will be established in vicinity of petrol, oil and lubricants and fodder dumps.

/ 24. Final Stage

 

- 14 -

24.   FINAL STAGE  (ACTION STATIONS)

(a)   "Action Stations" will be ordered when it is apparent that a landing on the NORTH QUEENSLAND coast is imminent.

(b)   Order will be issued by LO or Immediate Signal. If by signal, message will read:

"(Codeword)   Action Stations    Ack   All informed"

25.   ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON RECEIPT OF ORDER "ACTION STATIONS"

(a)   All units will move to battle dispositions as laid down in Part IV para 18 of TOWNSVILLE DEFENCE SCHEME.

(b)   AASC will establish ammunition points each containing one second line refill as follows:-

For MONFORCE - at Crossing of BOHLE RIVER at 8078

For CHUNDAFORCE - at PARTINGTON SIDING 9775

 

PART VI
PREPARATION

 

26.   ALLOTMENT OF UNITS TO GROUPS

Commander 29 Aust Inf Bde will nominate Commander CHUNDAFORCE and with CRA and CRE 5 Aust Div will detail its components. CRA will detail artillerty sub-units to come under command GIRU and INGHAM squadrons 2 Aust Cav Regt. These will be notified to HQ 5 Aust Div as soon as detailed.

27   RECONNAISSANCE

(a)   Commanders will make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the whole of the area involved, including areas not directly affecting their own particular tasks. It may eventually prove necessary for units to fight in localities far removed from those allotted in this scheme. Particularly, all Commanders must possess a thorough knowledge of all roads and tracks between INGHAMand AYR, and as far South as the BURDEKIN RIVER.

(b)   Partially prepared defensive localities exist in the TOWNSVILLE and ROLLINGSTONE areas. Commanders will familiarisze themselves with these, in case the necessity for occupying them should arise.

Locations of these are shown at Trace "F" attached.

A number of artillery troop positions have also been prepared, and observation posts selected. These are shown at Trace "G".

28.   PLANNING

Commanders will prepare plans in accordance with tasks allotted them. The following Commanders on completion of plans, will forward one copy to HQ 5 Aust Div:

Commander MONFORCE

 

STILL MUCH MORE TO COME!!

 

 

 

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This page first produced 7 April 2001

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