The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 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.
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.
- 1 Major battles and sub-campaigns
- 2 See also
- 3 Notes
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
- 6 External links
Major battles and sub-campaigns
- Operation R (1942)
- Bombing of Rabaul (1942)
- Action off Bougainville (1942)
- Operation SR (1942)
- Operation Mo (1942)
- Battle of the Coral Sea (1942)
- Kokoda Track campaign (1942)
- Battle of Milne Bay (1942)
- Battle of Buna-Gona (1942–1943)
- Battle of Wau (1943)
- Battle of the Bismarck Sea (1943)
- Operation Cartwheel (1943)
- Salamaua-Lae campaign (1943)
- Landing at Nassau Bay
- First Battle of Mubo
- First Battle of Bobdubi
- Battle of Lababia Ridge
- Second Battle of Bobdubi
- Second Battle of Mubo
- Battle of Roosevelt Ridge
- Battle of Mount Tambu
- Operation Postern
- Bombing of Wewak
- Bombing of Rabaul (1943)
- Finisterre Range campaign (1943–1944: Including a series of actions known as the Battle of Shaggy Ridge)
- Ramu Valley campaign
- Battle of Johns' Knoll-Trevor's Ridge
- Battle of The Pimple
- Battle of Cam's Saddle
- Operation Cutthroat
- Huon Peninsula campaign (1943–1944)
- Battle of Scarlet Beach
- Battle of Finschhafen
- Battle of Sattelberg
- Battle of Jivevaneng
- Battle of Wareo
- Battle of Sio
- Landing at Saidor
- Bougainville campaign (1943–1945)
- New Britain campaign (1943–1945)
- Admiralty Islands campaign (1944)
- Western New Guinea campaign (1944–1945)
- Dexter, David (1961). Volume VI – The New Guinea Offensives. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
- Drea, Edward J. (1998). In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0.
- Gailey, Harry A. (2004). MacArthur's Victory: The War In New Guinea 1943–1944. New York: Random House. ISBN.
- Leary, William M. (2004). We Shall Return!: MacArthur's Commanders and the Defeat of Japan, 1942–1945. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9105-X.
- McCarthy, Dudley (1959). Volume V – South–West Pacific Area – First Year: Kokoda to Wau. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
- Taafe, Stephen R. (2006). MacArthur's Jungle War: The 1944 New Guinea Campaign. Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.: University Press Of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0870-2.
- Zaloga, Steven J. Japanese Tanks 1939–45. Osprey, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84603-091-8.
- Hungerford, T.A.G. (1952). The Ridge and the River. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Republished by Penguin, 1992; ISBN 0-14-300174-4.
- Nelson, Hank. "Report on Historical Sources on Australia and Japan at war in Papua and New Guinea, 1942–45". Retrieved 2006-12-13.
- The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific, Volume I. Reports of General MacArthur. United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
- "Japanese Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area, Volume II – Part I". Reports of General MacArthur. United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2006-12-08. Translation of the official record by the Japanese Demobilization Bureaux detailing the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy's participation in the Southwest Pacific area of the Pacific War.
- Anderson, Charles R. Papua. World War II Campaign Brochures. Washington D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-7.
- Drea, Edward J. Papua. World War II Campaign Brochures. Washington D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-9.
- I. C. B. Dear; M. R. D. Foot, eds. (2001). "New Guinea campaign". The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198604464.
- Japanese Research Division (1950). Sumatra Invasion and Southwest Area Naval Mopping-Up Operations, January 1942 – May 1942. Japanese Monographs, No. 79A. General Headquarters Far East Command, Foreign Histories Division.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to New Guinea campaign.
- National Archive Video of Hollandia Bay, New Guinea Invasion
- A film clip ALLIES STUDY POST-WAR SECURITY ETC. (1944) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]