Rabaul Campaign

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RABAUL CAMPAIGN (1943–1944). In August 1943, the Allies opted against a land assault on the key Japanese base of Rabaul, on New Britain, just east of New Guinea. Instead, beginning in October, the Allies launched a fierce air attack that effectively neutralized Rabaul as an offensive threat and provided cover for Allied operations to the west and south. Under almost daily attack, the Japanese began evacuating aircraft and shipping. By the end of the air campaign in March 1944, roughly 20,000 tons of bombs had been dropped. The nearly 100,000 Japanese troops still defending Rabaul were isolated and impotent, no longer factors in the war.


Miller John, Jr. Cartwheel: The Reduction of Rabaul, United States Army in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1959.

Murphy, James T. Skip Bombing. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 1993.

Schaffer, Ronald. Wings of Judgment: American Bombing in World War II. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Stanley L.Falk/a. r.

See alsoBismarck Sea, Battle of ; Bougainville ; Coral Sea, Battle of the ; Guadalcanal Campaign ; World War II ; World War II, Air War against Japan ; World War II, Navy in .