Fate of Men of 6 pl. 3 RARThe 16-man patrol
suffered 3 KIA and 7 WIA
- Man in the middle at rear of photo - missing
- Man second from bunker entrance - WIA
Three men were abandoned to their fate, one still fighting
until he was silenced. This was an instance of a still-capable
fighting force leaving men to fight and die alone.
like this occur, even in the best of fighting forces, and
Australians like to think they are among the best. Ultimately it's a
question of leadership and a question of morality. What was the
right thing to do?
A "digger" would say there was only
one answer. "Never abandon a mate!"
Note the two Bren
LMGs. This excellent weapon was an example of the problem of
carrying heavy firepower into the enemy while maintaining mobility.
The Aussies carried Owen Machine
Carbines, using pistol ammo, for final assault and close work,
and used the Brens for supporting fire. The Bren was crew-served,
requiring two men, and capable of long sustained firing. This was
fine for fixed defensive positions, but its heavy weight made it
awkward to bring forward during patrol assaults. The US forces
generally used our .30 A4
LMGs for semi-fixed defensive positions and in assault carried the
needed heavy firepower support to the enemy directly, with the much
less cumbersome and deadly BAR.
With four BARs per squad, our Marines in particular used this weapon
with great effect.