Making Maps Under Fire: Surveying New Guinea in World War II | The Rant Foundry

HMAS Whyalla in camouflage in New Guinea

The part played by the Hydrographic Surveying Services of the Royal Australian Navy was acknowledged by the Allied leaders of the Southwest Pacific Area as an integral factor contributing to the su…

Source: Making Maps Under Fire: Surveying New Guinea in World War II | The Rant Foundry

December 1942 (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

US Marine engineers repair the bridge over Lunga River US Marine engineers repair the bridge over Lunga River, Guadalcanal

Having the Australians out-fight the poorly trained American troops on New Guinea did not sit well with MacArthur.  He summoned Lt.Gen. Robert Eichelberger, recently promoted as I Corps commander, and ordered him to fire any officer who did not show a fighting spirit.  The general’s parting words were: “Go out there, Bob and take Buna – or don’t come back alive.”

Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey & LtGen. Robert Eichelberger in front of a captured enemy bunker in New Guinea Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey & LtGen. Robert Eichelberger in front of a captured enemy bunker in New Guinea

1 December – Eichelberger flew to the 32nd Division HQ at the Dunropa Plantation, 2 miles north of Buna.  He discovered that the collapsing morale was NOT an exaggeration: “… it was obvious the Japanese would win, for they were living among coconut palms on the coast… while our men lived in swamps… There was no front line discipline of any…

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Kokoda Track -Brigade Hill

Pacific Paratrooper

On Brigade Hill Chow time on Brigade Hill

Brigadier Arnold Potts was faced with superior Japanese numbers and chose the area to make a stand; Brigade Hill.  This impressive mountain ridge, about half-way along the Track, with Mission Ridge extending from its north face [south of Efogi]; the eastern side has a steep drop and the west slopes down to the Fagume River.

A Company, 2/14 Infantry Battalion, August 1942 A Company, 2/14 Infantry Battalion, August 1942

On 6 September, the forward observation from the 2/14, Australia’s Maroubra Force, were unnerved by the sight of lanterns used by the Japanese moving down the over Efogi village.  The enemy proceeded to encircle the troops.  At first light on 8 September, Lance Corporal John Gill was shot by a sniper.  The battle for Headquarters Company had begun, units were cut off and the enemy caused heavy casualties.  A withdrawal was ordered.  The Japanese Nankai Shitai Force, under MGen. Horii, has pushed them…

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