The Japanese bid for the capture of Milne Bay and its priceless airstrip began inauspiciously. The original detachment had to be diverted to Guadalcanal. The newly constituted main force for Milne Bay landed at the wrong landing spot, 8 miles to the east of Rabi. There the beachhead, barges and supplies got thoroughly shot-up by Kittyhawks who enjoyed complete aerial superiority. All these set-backs combined to make the Japanese attack on the night of he 26th somewhat subdued. Nonetheless, the Australian 61st (militia) Battalion offering spirited resistance was severely mauled. In the late afternoon of the 27th, as the 2/10th (AIF) Battalion arrived to relief the 61st, the unmistakable revving of tank engines in the distance provided an unwelcome surprise for what was in store that evening.