Imita Ridge. The Australians, lacking shovels, began to dig in on Imita Ridge with bayonets and helmets but were screened by offensive patrolling which harassed the Japanese. Eather had five battalions with 2600 officers and men against an estimated 5000 Japanese troops. However, the Australians now had short supply lines and it was the Japanese whose lines of communications were extended and with the increasing allied air power were now being attacked for the first time from the air. On 22 September the 2/25th Battalion began probing towards Ioribaiwa and by 28 September the Australians were in a position to launch a full attack only to find that the Japanese had abandoned their positions and much of their equipment. The factors that had operated so adversely against the Australians at the beginning of the Owen Stanley campaign; the misty, rainy, muddy, precipitous mountains, slippery tracks and thick forests with incredibly bad supply facilities and enormous medical problems were now operating even more effectively against the Japanese. By the end of September the overland threat to Port Moresby had been removed and with the defeat of the Japanese invasion at Milne Bay and the success of the American invasion at Guadacanal the threat to Port Moresby had been removed. In early October 1942 while the 25th Brigade followed up the Japanese, further Australian and American reinforcements were reaching New Guinea. The strategy was now to eliminate the Japanese from the north coast of Papua by retaking the villages of Buna, Gona and Sanananda. The Australians were to continue attacking along the Kokoda Trail towards the coast while the Americans were to attack towards Buna from the south west. While some American troops were flown to Pongani, 80 kilometres down the coast from Buna, other American troops set out along the track from Jaure to Buna undertaking the difficult task of marching across the Owen Stanley Ranges. On the Kokoda trail, the Australians contacted the Japanese rearguard forward of Templeton's crossing on 8 October but the rate of the Australian advance depended on the establishment of adequate dumps of air-dropped supplies and the ability of the men to carry supplies forward from those dumps. The Japanese were well dug astride the trail forward of Templeton's crossing and it was only after heavy resistance in which 50 Australians were killed and 133 wounded that Templeton's crossing was recaptured on 16 October. On 20 October, Brigadier J E Lloyd of the 16th Brigade took command of the forward area and commenced attacking the Japanese rearguard beyond Templeton's crossing. The Japanese defended Eora Creek until 28 October when the 2/3rd Battalion outflanked the Japanese positions and routed the defenders. On 2 November, the leading battalion of the 25th Brigade re-entered Kokoda with its airstrip which would finally solve the ever present supply problem. On 5 November, the 2/2nd and 2/3rd Battalion of the 16th Brigade ran into strongly manned Japanese positions at Oivi and at nightfall in relatively open country faced a defensive position that was some five kilometres in extent. A Japanese counter-attack on 6 November was defeated and while the 16th Brigade maintained pressure on the Japanese at Oivi, the whole of the 25th Brigade moved round the southern flank to cut Japanese communications. On 9 November, the Japanese defence around Gorari was overcome and the Gorari-Ilimo track was cut trapping the Japanese at Oivi. Frantic efforts by the Japanese to break out on 10 November were unsuccessful and the Australian battalions tightened their grip. On 11 November, the Japanese abandoned the Oivi position and fled north and east through the bush where they were repeatedly strafed by Beaufighters. The 25th Brigade pursued the Japanese from the foothills of the Owen Stanley Ranges and on 13 November, the 2/31st Battalion crossed the wide, swift Kumusi River with the coast 60 kilometres away. By 17 November 1942 all seven Australian infantry battalions were over the river and the Owen Stanley Ranges campaign was over. The four month campaign in the Owen Stanley Ranges to defend Port Moresby had ended in the complete defeat of the Japanese. The campaign had involved four Australian Brigades with twelve infantry battalions which lost 605 killed and 1015 wounded. No accurate records exist of casualties due to sickness but between two to three men were hospitalised through sickness for every battle casualty. The ground battle had been an exclusively Australian one since they did not link up with any American ground units until after the crossing of the Kumusi. The campaign had been won by Australians who shown physical endurance and courage of the highest order.