New Guinea Campaign
After the Buna campaign, MacArthur created the Sixth U.S. Army under the command of Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger. Although historians have largely overlooked Krueger's overall role in New Guinea, he coordinated the various services and developed operational plans that made MacArthur's strategy a success.
Krueger's first order was an attack on Saidor in January 1944 as part of an effort to seize the Vitiaz Strait. Next, MacArthur wanted Hansa Bay, but intercepted and decrypted Japanese Army messages (through ULTRA) tipped off SWPA leaders that the Japanese were expecting a landing there. So, he directed Krueger to seize Hollandia in April 1944. Thus began a string of amphibious assaults along the northern coast of New Guinea. Following Hollandia came Wakde and Biak in May 1944, and Noemfoor and Sansapor in July 1944. By the fall of 1944, the Sixth Army had secured New Guinea sufficiently to invade the Philippines.
Both sides invested heavily in the campaign. The Japanese committed 180,000 men, while the Allies employed five Australian divisions and six American divisions. The Americans suffered approximately 16,850 casualties and the Australians over 17,000. The Japanese lost the most, with 123,000 killed.
The New Guinea campaign was important for several reasons. It protected Australia and provided a stepladder for the liberation of the Philippines; it demonstrated the valuable role of Krueger; it illustrated the American strategy of leapfrogging, one that emphasized bypassing Japanese strongholds while capturing less defended areas; and it reflected MacArthur's obsessive desire to return to the Philippines as quickly as possible.
[See also Philippines, Liberation of the; World War II, U.S. Naval Operations in: The Pacific.]
Robert Ross Smith , The Approach to the Philippines, 1953.
Samuel Eliot Morison , History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 8: New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944–August 1944, 1962.
Ronald H. Spector , Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan, 1985.
Edward J. Drea , MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan, 1942–1945, 1992.
Kevin C. Holzimmer , Walter Krueger, Douglas MacArthur, and the Pacific War: The Wakde‐Sarmi Campaign as a Case Study, Journal of Military History, 59 (October 1995), pp. 661–85.
Stephen R. Taaffe , MacArthur's Jungle War: The 1944 New Guinea Campaign, 1998.
Kevin C. Holzimmer
"New Guinea Campaign." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/new-guinea-campaign
"New Guinea Campaign." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/new-guinea-campaign
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