Military Wiki
New Guinea Campaign
Part of the Pacific Theatre of World War II
Buna (AWM 014008).jpg
7 January 1943. Australian forces attack Japanese positions near Buna. Members of the 2/12th Infantry Battalion advance as Stuart tanks from the 2/6th Armoured Regiment attack Japanese pillboxes. An upward-firing machine gun on the tank sprays treetops to clear them of snipers. (Photographer: George Silk).
Date23 January 1942 – September 1945
LocationNew Guinea
Result Decisive Allied Victory


  • Australia Territory of New Guinea

 United States
 New Zealand
 United Kingdom

  • Fiji Colony of Fiji
 Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
United States Douglas MacArthur
Australia Thomas Blamey
Japan Hitoshi Imamura
Japan Hatazō Adachi
Japan Heisuke Abe (1886 – 1943, Died after suffering from Dracunculiasis) [1]

The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in September 1945. In the initial phase in 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered territories of the New Guinea Mandate (23 January) and Papua (8 March) and overran western New Guinea (beginning 29/30 March), which was a part of the Netherlands East Indies. In the second phase, the Allies cleared the Japanese first from Papua, then the Mandate and finally from the Dutch colony.

New Guinea was strategically important because it was a major landmass to the immediate north of Australia. Its large land area provided locations for large land, air and naval bases.[citation needed]

The campaign between Allied and Japanese forces commenced with the Japanese assault on Rabaul on 23 January 1942. Rabaul became the forward base for the Japanese campaigns in mainland New Guinea, including the pivotal Kokoda Track campaign of July 1942 – January 1943, and the Battle of Buna-Gona. Fighting in some parts of New Guinea continued until the war ended in August 1945.

General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander in the South West Pacific Area, led the Allied forces. MacArthur was based in Melbourne, Brisbane and Manila. The Japanese 8th Area Army, under General Hitoshi Imamura, was responsible for both the New Guinea and Solomon Islands campaigns. Imamura was based at Rabaul. The Japanese 18th Army, under Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi, was responsible for Japanese operations on mainland New Guinea.

Major battles and sub-campaigns

22 April 1944. US LVTs (Landing Vehicles Tracked) in the foreground head for the invasion beaches at $3, Netherlands New Guinea, during the Hollandia landing as the cruisers USS Boise (firing tracer shells, right center) and USS Phoenix bombard the shore. (Photographer: Tech 4 Henry C. Manger.)

File:American dead buna beach.png

Three American G.I.s dead on Buna Beach.[2] Taken by George Strock in February 1943 for LIFE magazine, it was not published until 20 September 1943. President Roosevelt authorized release of this image, the first to depict American soldiers dead on the battlefield. He was concerned that the American public were growing complacent about the cost of the war on human life.

Two dead Japanese soldiers in a water filled shell hole somewhere in New Guinea

See also

Additional reading

Further reading


External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).