EARLY Sunday afternoon in Lithgow, a strong force of German infantry struck deep into the heart of the valley, to attack and hold the State Coal Mine and deny the vital coal needed for the Allied war effort.
Paratroopers also landed and outflanked the small guard force stationed there.
The attack was completely unexpected, so far behind the lines.
Our casualties were heavy, with the small guard force composed of troops from many Allied nations, including Russian and American.
Unprepared for a mass assault, the Allied troops were taken by surprise and poorly armed for a major action.
After fierce fighting through the railway yards and mine buildings and machinery, a small group of determined Allied troops attempted to hold the explosives magazines.
However, having no detonators to hand, the store of explosives was of little use to the defenders.
A strong German patrol had sighted the retreating troops, and after regrouping advanced up the gully to wipe out resistance.
Taking advantage of the heavy tree cover and the deep gully swept by recent floodwaters, the enemy patrol advanced carefully past the earthen blast barrier.
All the time observed by the entrenched Allied resistance, fire was held until the German force was most exposed.
This advanced the raiding party far closer than desirable, but necessary as most of the Allied force only were armed with service pistols.
The Allied troops opened fire simultaneously and a number of the enemy troops quickly took advantage of the natural cover and continued their advance, attempting to outflank the Allied positions.
However, they were held back by two well positioned guards, armed only with pistols.
The heavily armed German assault troops caused many casualties and the Allied ammunition was quickly exhausted.
Among the casualties was a brave young American serviceman who attempted to transfer ammunition to the sole rifleman.
The survivors were taken prisoner and marched into captivity in the mine buildings.
Read how you can help take back the state mine on page ning of today's Lithgow Mercury.