Good morning SAM.
The detail of our early jungle fighting had me shaking my head. Of course hind sight is 20/20. Seems there were so many errors. I wonder what ever happened to the intellegence group there that seemed to always be wrong.
Those poor fellows that took that long trek only to find out the next group flew in! The terrain, the leeches, the disease and lack of supply, it's easy to see how morale could break, it's well described here.
Finding out the Japanese resorted to cannabalism let's one know the mind of the enemy better. We got tired and died instead.
Reading about these young men that we lost makes for a sad but necessary read. On the bright side, what we learned hopefully saved lives in future jungle battles.
Your tagline brightens my mood! LOL.
posted on 11/30/2003 5:07:39 AM PST
(Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
The important thing here is that the New Guinea campaign was happening at the same time as Guadalcanal. Japanese reports (from after the war) made it very clear that the Japanese could not discern the Allied center of gravity, that is, the Japanese could not decide whether Guadalcanal or New Guinea was the most important problem that they faced.
The Japanese kept changing their minds on where to concentrate, shifting forces from one to the other, frittering away time they could not afford, and wasting troops on piecemeal attacks.
The little evidence I have indicates that MacArthur is responsible for this Japanese dilemma. The extreme hazard and suffering our people (very definately including the Australians!!!!!) faced, the disease, hopelessness, and death, the improper equipment, terrible supply, lack of artillery, and the very extraordinarily hard working and tough Japanese infantry, had to be dealt with by National Guard troops - the 32nd was a Guard outfit from right around where I am now! Farmboys who had joined the Guard to make a little money for their families.
Make no mistake, the New Guinea - Guadalcanal campaign was neccessary. The war could easily have been lost there and then. MacArthur was in one of his brilliant phases, and did exactly what needed doing. The lads paid the price, Marine, Army, and Australian. And don't forget the Navy. As many Navy were killed during this campaign as Infantry. Actually, likely more.
The result of this right fist and left fist, Guadalcanal and New Guinea, was Japanese confusion and defeat. Those men saved us.
Knew two old 32nd Division boys, gone now, who were right in the thick of it, beginning to end. I tell the truth, they were tough and brave men.
posted on 11/30/2003 6:30:41 PM PST
("Duty, Honor, Country". The first of these is Duty, and is known only through His Grace)
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