It's 1942, and the Australian 39th Home Guard of just 500 men face a Japanese force of 6000 on the treacherous Kokoda track in New Guinea. In the village of Isurava, it looks like an attack is imminent. A patrol from the 39th, led by an AIF lieutenant (Ben Barrack) from North Africa, are about to go out for the night. The patrol consists of Jack and Max Scholt (Jack Finsterer and Simon Stone), Darko (Travis McMahon), Burke (Luke Ford), Johnno (Tom Budge), Sam (Steve Le Marquand), Dan (Angus Sampson), Blue (Christopher Baker) and Wilstead (Ewen Leslie). Johnno is suffering from dysentery.
Early on patrol, a camouflaged Japanese soldier slits the Lieutenant's throat, before tackling Wilstead, and is shot by Dan. A small battle breaks out between the patrol and the attacking enemy, and upon realizing the Japanese are going around the group, retreat to the track. Wilstead runs away, but is bayoneted in the eye by a Japanese soldier. Blue provides covering fire with a Bren gun. As the rest of the men fall back, they realize Johnno has left. Taking cover behind a fallen tree, Max notices Sam has being shot in the knee. A panicked Johnno runs back, frantically calling for Blue. Jack is elected the leader, and he takes Darko back to find Blue, but can only helplessly watch as he is repeatedly stabbed in the stomach and the decapitated. Upon making their way back, they run into a lost Dan, who is shot through the eye.
The next day, Jack and Darko come across Max.