Sydney: The location of the largest World War II battlefield between Australian and Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea has been discovered after 68 years, a senior Australian army official has said.
Known as the "Lost Battlefield," the site was hidden on a remote plateau, 1000 meters west and 450 meters above the village of Eora Creek, in the Owen Stanley Ranges.
Found along the Kokoda Track, the site has been touted as the most significant WWII discovery in the 21st century.
"Significantly, the discovery of the Lost Battlefield will enable Australian and Japanese Veterans` services to begin the process of identification and repatriation of dozens
of lost soldiers," former Australian Army Capt Brian Freeman, who runs a Kokoda Track trekking company, said in a statement.
Freeman has spent years researching battle maps and diaries in an attempt to discover the illusive site and was assisted in his search by the local Alola people who live close to the battlefield.
The site falls within the hunting grounds of the Alola tribe, but villagers have avoided the area because they believe the spirits of those killed there still inhabit the
Australian and Japanese forces clashed on the Kokoda Track during WWII and 6,500 Japanese soldiers were killed in the jungle-covered mountains.