MACARTHUR STRIKES BACK: DECISION AT BUNA, NEW GUINEA 1942-1943

By: GAILEY, Harry A

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MACARTHUR STRIKES BACK: DECISION AT BUNA, NEW GUINEA 1942-1943 by GAILEY, Harry A
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Presidio. California. 2000. first edition - ISBN-0-89141-702-8;. pages vii + 267 pages + index; b/w photos; hardcover with gilt text on spine in dust jacket with protective covering; mint condition new. . ISBN-0-89141-702-8 - The Japanese defense of the Buna area of the northeastern coast of New Guinea was organized around major strongpoints. Taken together they formed a well-designed complex of mutually supporting bunkers concealed by dense tropical vegetation and sited in such a manner as to cover every possible avenue of approach. It was hot and humid, a mixture of jungle and swamp infested with insects and leeches. Scrub typhus, malaria, dengue fever, and dysentery were epidemic. The Japanese had already mounted a major attack from Buna across the formidable Owen Stanley Mountains. A meager handful of heroic Australian defenders had managed to stop the attacking Japanese just 30 miles short of their goal, Port Moresby. Possession of Port Moresby, less than 500 miles across the Coral Sea from Australia, would lead to Japanese control of the vital east coast of Australia as well as the military training areas on the north coast around Darwin. The bulk of the Australian Army was deployed overseas in North Africa and green, untested American forces were just beginning to trickle in. Still the danger posed by the Japanese at Buna was too great. Although the landing of the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal in August had disrupted the Japanese campaign for control of the Coral Sea, their efforts in New Guinea continued unabated. Decisive action was required against Buna regardless of the risk.

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