Anzac Day 2024 represents the 73rd anniversary of the critical battle of Kapyong (23 to 25 April 1951) This book for the first time tells the full story of the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American units involved. Fewer than 1,000 Australian and Canadian infantrymen, supported by New Zealand artillery and 15 American Sherman tanks fought off an entire Chinese Division of over 12,000 men and contributed significantly to defeating the great Chinese August offensive.
The battle of Kapyong was fought during a heavy downpour in mountainous terrain, with Chinese units infiltrating the Australian lines which extended for seven kilometres. Given the small number of men involved and the long defensive line, several strong points were quickly established. The Australians almost alone, but with support from New Zealand gunners and some American tanks, for the first 24 hours held back the Chinese and were at times surrounded by large numbers of Chinese who launched ongoing human wave attacks against their isolated positions — but the line held with Australians leading bayonet counter charges against the Chinese. Within 24 hours, Canadian troops were committed to the battle and for 12 hours also faced significant attempts by the Chinese to surround their position – they too held their ground. The battle of Kapyong was truly a decisive battle of the Korean War, and for their heroic actions during the battle of Kapyong, the Australian and Canadian infantrymen and American tankers were awarded a rare US Presidential Unit citation.

About the author(s)

David W. Cameron is a Canberra-based author who has written several books on Australian military and convict history, as well as human and primate evolution, including over 60 internationally peer-reviewed papers for various journals and book chapters. He received 1st Class Honours in Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Sydney and later went on to complete his PhD in palaeoanthropology at the Australian National University. He is a former Australian Research Council (ARC) Post Doctorial Fellow at the Australian National University (School of Archaeology) and an ARC QEII Fellow at the University of Sydney (Department of Anatomy and Histology). He has participated and led several international fieldwork teams in Australia, the Middle East (Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates), Europe (Hungary) and Asia (Japan, Vietnam and India) and has participated in many conferences and museum studies throughout the world.