Military historians everywhere will find Phillip Bradley’s in-depth study of the battle and capture of Lae, a battle considered as one of the most important and complex operation of the entire Pacific campaign fascinating in its depth and fine detail. Over the time frame of 1942 to 1943, this little-known aspect of the New Guinea campaign was fought out between the forces of the Empire of Japan and the Australian Army in a struggle that would become known as D-Day New Guinea, and later as time would reveal, was also a dress rehearsal for the successful D-Day invasion in France.
Bradley spent two years living in Lae researching material, fact checking and understanding the terrain, the people and the staggering obstacles created by the climate, jungles and mountain ranges, military personnel from Australia, America and Japan had to confront daily.
Lae was a strategic harbour for supplies initially for the Japanese and then once rebuilt, a major base for the Australian and American alliance operating throughout the Pacific and New Guinea until the final days of the Pacific surrender.
As the history unfolds, Bradley lays out in a very compelling style the beginning of the campaign that saw the Japanese arriving in New Guinea, invasion plans and supplies geared to conquer at all costs.
The fight back, by initially by Australian forces was almost casual, if it had not been so terribly tragic for all concerned, before it became a serious strategic operation, which was to have a devastating effect on the Empire of Japan, and was considered as the turning point in the New Guinea campaign.
In an unusual twist Bradley looks at the local input, the men of the three forces, as well as the conflict and tension between the Allied Pacific Command, from a very humanitarian perspective, placing into context the toll paid in human life.
The immense detail in D-Day New Guinea is not something to be read in a hurry. It is a work that needs to be read slowly and carefully, in order to absorb the magnitude of a seldom discussed or remembered campaign; a campaign which is an important aspect of Military history and of great significance in Australian Military history.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|