Title: To the Bitter End – The Japanese Defeat at Buna and Gona 1942-43

Author: McAulay, Lex

Condition: Very Good +

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1992

ISBN: 0091825571

Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 327 pages

Comments: The detailed history of the Battle of Gona in Papua New Guinea in 1942. 

The last battle of 1942 involving Australians was for the Japanese beachheads at Buna, Gona and Sanananda in northern Papua. The Allies expected the battle would be easily won but underestimated Japanese strength and resolve and grossly overestimated Allied capabilities.

The battle opened on 19-20 November with attacks against Buna by the Americans, against Gona by the Australians, and against Sanananda by Australians and Americans. Tropical diseases, rain, mud and supply difficulties impaired both sides and the battle dragged on.

By the time the last Japanese positions fell on 22 January 1943, about 1300 Australians and 1000 Americans lay dead, with thousands more evacuated wounded or sick. More than 6000 Japanese had fought to the death. It was the single most costly battle for Australians in ‘the islands’.

In this detailed account of the north coast campaigns McAulay has interviewed survivors and drawn extensively on the diaries and records of both sides.