This podcast episode was commissioned by History Guild as part of our support of THE BLOODY BEACHHEADS: THE BATTLES OF GONA, BUNA AND SANANANDA – ONE DAY CONFERENCE. Angus Wallace, creator of the fantastic WW2 Podcast is joined by Peter Williams, author of Japan’s Pacific War: Personal Accounts of the Emperor’s Warriors.
This podcast examines the campaign in the Pacific and particularly the war in New Guinea through the eyes of the Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought in it. This provides a fascinating perspective that isn’t widely known. Hearing from the Japanese combatants gives an insight into both the similarities to the experiences of the Allied forces in the Pacific, as well as the uniquely different Japanese experiences and perspectives.
Want to know more? THE BATTLE OF THE BEACHHEADS – PODCAST
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By late 1942, the Allies had pushed the Japanese forces back along the Kokoda Track and were now down on the coastal plains of northern New Guinea. The Japanese may have been retreating, but they intended to hold the vital beachheads from Gona down through Sanananda to Buna. The fight to take the beachheads would be bloody and brutal, but first the Australians and their American comrades had to get there.
The Battle of the Beachheads was the bloodiest of all the Papuan campaigns. The resolve and tenacity of the Japanese defenders was, to Allied perceptions, unprecedented to the point of being “fanatical”, and had not previously been encountered. Please join a group of well-qualified speakers as we examine the Battle of the Beachheads in a one-day conference.
The Benghazi handicap is the name Australian soldiers gave to their race to stay ahead of the German Afrika Korps in Libya, 1941. They won the race, but the reward was just to be besieged in the city of Tobruk for 241 days, the longest siege in British military history. In this article, we use the words of veterans themselves to describe these events, and how the Rats of Tobruk experienced the siege.
The text of this article was commissioned by History Guild as part of our work to improve historical literacy. If you would like to reproduce it please get in touch via this form.