Description

Title: Australians in the Pacific War – Bougainville 1942 – 1945

Author:

Condition: Near Mint

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 2008

ISBN: 9781920720513

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 66 pages

Comments: A brief history and photograhic expose of the battle for the Bougainville situated in the North Coast of Papua New Guinea.

The Bougainville campaign occurred during World War II from November 1, 1943 to August 21, 1945, on and around Bougainville Island in the South Pacific, between forces of the Empire of Japan and the Allies. Bougainville, at that time, was part of the Australian territory of New Guinea, although geographically it was part of the Solomon Islands chain. The Bougainville campaign was, therefore, part of both the Allied New Guinea and Solomon Islands campaigns. Bougainville was occupied in 1942 by Japanese forces, who constructed naval air bases at Buka in the north and Buin in the south, as well as a naval ship base in the nearby Shortland Islands. The Japanese bases provided security for their major base at Rabaul, New Britain and supported their forces operating at other locations in the Solomon Islands.

In March-April 1942, the Japanese landed on Bougainville and began constructing a number of airfields across the island. The main airfields were at Buka on the Bonis Peninsula and at Kahili and Kieta, while a naval base was also constructed at Buin in the south. These bases provided the Japanese with bases from which to conduct operations in the southern Solomon Islands and to attack the Allied lines of communication between the United States, Australia and the Southwest Pacific Area.

As part of the latter stages of Operation Cartwheel, Allied forces intended to establish air bases on Bougainville to assist in the isolation and neutralization of Rabaul. Estimates of Japanese strength on Bougainville at the opening of the campaign vary widely in range from 42,000 to 65,000 Army, Navy, and labor personnel. In November 1943 United States Marine forces landed at Cape Torokina on Bougainville and established a beachhead within which the Allies eventually constructed three airfields. The invasion force was later replaced by U.S. Army soldiers in January 1944, which was replaced by Australian Militia troops in October 1944. The campaign ended with the surrender of Japanese forces in August 1945.