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    Sattelberg (Satelberg) Morobe Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Lat 6° 28' 60S Long 147° 46' 0E  Sattelberg is located at an elevation of 3,000' on a mountain peak that overlooks the north coast of New Guinea and the Finshafen area. Also known as "Satelberg".

Wartime History
Occupied by the Japanese during 1942. After the Australian Army landings near Finshafen, the bulk of the Japanese garrison, 4,000 men, had retreated to Sattleberg. The garrison was reinforced by the 20th Division and on October 16, 1943, the Japanese launched a coordinated ground and seaborne counterattack. The attack failed, but the Japanese kept trying until the end of October.

Allied missions against Sattelberg
October 9 - November 22, 1943

After the Australians received reinforcements, they took the offensive against the Japanese. Still, a month of difficult fighting was still required to drive the Japanese from the Satelberg area. On November 17, 1943 attacked by the Australian Army C Squadron, less three troops in support of the 26th Brigade who took over the drive to capture Sattelberg, so that the road and nearby tracks could be opened. Matilda tanks were used in the final offensive.

On November 24, 1943, Sgt Thomas Currie Derrick earned the Victoria Cross taking a slope then repeatedly attacking a point approximately 150 yards from Sattelberg. After two hours of failed assaults, Derrick requested permission to make one last attempt, advanced alone and using grenades forced the enemy to flee, leaving their weapons. Derrick then went on and dealt with remaining posts in the area.  This action was so successful that it allowed the 2/48 Infantry Battalion to capture the peak at Sattelberg on November 25, 1943. Afterwards, Australian forces continued to advance towards Sio.

References
1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers - Sattleberg (via Wayback Machine)

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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