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MacArthur's Papua New Guinea Offensive, 1942–1943 (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

WWII Photographic Books WWII Photographic Books Military

By Jon Diamond
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 250
ISBN: 9781526757401
Published: 5th March 2020

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The Japanese seizure of Rabaul on New Britain in January 1942 directly threatened Northern Australia and, as a result, General Douglas MacArthur took command of the Southwest Pacific Area. In July 1942, the Japanese attacked south across the Owen Stanley mountain range.

Thanks to the hasty deployment of Australian militiamen and veteran Imperial Force troops the Japanese were halted at Ioribaiwa Ridge just 27 miles from Port Moresby.

MacArthur’s priority was to regain Northeast New Guinea and New Britain. The capture of airfields at Buna and re-occupation of Gona and Sanananda Point were pre-requisites. The Allied offensive opened on 16 November 1942 with Australian infantrymen and light tanks alongside the US 32nd Infantry Division.

Overcoming the Japanese and the inhospitable terrain in tropical conditions proved the toughest of challenges. It remains an achievement of the highest order that the campaign ended successfully on 22 January 1943. This account with its clear text and superb imagery is a worthy tribute to those who fought and, all too often, died there.

Another in the excellent Images of War series with its format of concise narrative backed by good maps and relevant images. The claustrophobia of jungle warfare seeps from every image.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy
 Jon Diamond

About Jon Diamond

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the USA with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, Invasion of Sicily, Invasion of the Italian Mainland: Salerno to Gustav Line, 1943-1944, Onto Rome 1944; Anzio and Victory at Cassino, Beyond Rome to the Alps; Across the Arno and Gothic Line, 1944-1945, Op Plunder - The Rhine River Crossing and MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Campaign are all published by Pen and Sword in the Images of War series.

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The Japanese invaded the Solomon Islands in May 1942 with the aim of building an airfield at Guadalcanal. After an epic six month struggle they were repulsed and the island became a staging base for US Admiral Halsey and his South PacificForce. Comprising powerful naval, marine and army assets as well as land and carrier-based aircraft, Halseys Forces mission was to neutralise the Japanese presence in the South Pacific before moving on to Japan itself. As explained and depicted in this fascinating book, the campaign was eventually successful but only after some of the bitterest fighting of the…

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