Buna / Gona / Sanananda "The Battle of the Beachheads" - New Guinea (World War 2, 22 November 1942 to 11 January 1943)

Normal 013973

About This Campaign

Buna / Gona / Sanananda - New Guinea November 1942  - January 1943 (see video link below)

 Buna / Gona/ Sanananda began as a pursuit of beleagured Japanese forces retreating from Kokoda into their northern beachheads.  However the arrival of Japanese reinforcements meant it became a knock-down drag-out clearance operation of the well-prepared and protected and heavily defended Japanese defensive positions, by a joint American and Australian force.

With their supply lines over extended, the tide of battle having turned against them, the Japanese retreated as the Australians pushed them back across the ranges, and into their heavily defended beach head areas. 

With the war being directed from a headquarters totally remote from the fighting, in Brisbane, by US General Douglas MacArthur and General Sir Thomas Blamey, this campaign ranks with some of those from WW1, as the worst exemplars of military operations conducted in haste, applying frontal assaults on well defended and protected enemy positions in broad daylight over open ground, and expecting a result other than decimation of the attacking forces.  It was a scanadalous waste of very experienced soldiers' lives, including many of the men who had been victorious against the Japanese in the Kokoda campaign, and many of whom had previously served in North Africa.

At Buna, after numerous attempts had been thwarted, it was the by now legendary 39th Battalion AMF (a Militia unit) that had held the line on its own during the initial Japanese advance across the Owen Stanleys, that executed a flanking attack right under supporting artillery fire, the intiative of its redoubtable CO Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner and showing a lot more imagination and initiative than the higher levels of command, that finally broke the position open and allowed its reduction.  Shortly afterrwards in the ulitmate act of ignominy, the 39th Battalion was disbanded.

Read more...

Names

Showing 8 people of interest from campaign

Thumb image
BOWMAN, Douglas Arthur

Service number SX442
Private
2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 25 Jul 1916

Thumb 1aaa
LEWIS, John Brook

Service number WX8213
Private
2nd/16th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 17 Jun 1906

Thumb 1
HORNE, Alfred Joseph

Service number SX11956
Corporal
2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 16 Jul 1918

Thumb normal reynolds david
REYNOLDS, David Raymond

Service number S57380
Private
2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 27 Apr 1918

Thumb 1c
MOWAT, George William

Service number V5504
Warrant Officer Class 2
39th Infantry Battalion AMF
Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2
Born 11 Aug 1895

Thumb burton
BURTON, Lindsay James

Service number SX6432
Lance Corporal
2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 28 Nov 1919

Thumb image
THIELE, Percy Arthur Charles

Service number SX11721
Private
2nd/27th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 28 Aug 1916

Thumb image
DORING, Herbert William

Service number Q127625
Private
36th Infantry Battalion AMF
Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2
Born 4 Sep 1917