Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Mil-tech Bard
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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 14 Nov 2012 20:04

The absence of Australian land forces from the Philippines and the final drive on the Japanese home islands, which is attributable primarily to MacArthur’s personal ambitions and vanity, does not diminish Australia’s contribution to Japan’s defeat.
You are trying too hard to make everything MacArthur did an extension of his ego and ignoring some very real, serious, logistical issues with the American military using Aussie troops in the Philippines, starting with the inadequate chemical warfare defenses of Australian troops.

There were a number of instances of Japanese chemical release in WW2 against Anglo-american forces that were not widely reported. Rough off the top of my head list:

Victim, Place/Time, Weapon:

1) Australians, Malaya, 1941 -- Chabin grenades [also known as the Model 1 Frangible Toxic Gas Hand Grenade (SEISAN SHURUDAN)] with blood agent AC [Hydrogen Cynide in acid solution] on a bunker

2) British, Burma near Imphal 1942 -- Queens Own 7th Hussars M3 Stuart tanks received an AC Chabin grenade close assault attacks

3) American, Guadalcanal on 23 and 28 January 1943 -- two or more AC Chabin grenade attacks (See -- Memo, OPD 385 to Gen Marshall, 31 Mar 43, sub: Use of Gas by the Japanese, OPD 385 CWP (3-31-43), NAA)

4) American or Australian, New Guinea, late 1943 - early 1944 -- single 75mm howitzer shell w/blister agent fired at SWPA forces -- captured dud shell contents later tested on Aussie volunteers

5) Americans Manila Feb 1945 -- Multiple attacks with early tear & vomiting gas agents [tear gas (CN), vomiting gas (DC), and Chlorpicrin (PS)] in projected candles on 1st Cav and 41st ID by Japanese Navy ground troops. Additional 1st Cav troopers died from scavenging AC Chabin grenades in Manila shortly later, as reported in a 6th Army weekly report in March 1945. This is the documentation for two of the Manila attacks --
"Memorandum by CPT William J Roberts, CWS, CW Technical Intelligence Officer, Subject: Suspected Use of Gas by the Japanese (HQ, 1st Cav Div, office of the AC of S, G-2, 18 February 1945) provides interviews with witnesses of two accounts where a vomiting agent (possibly Chlorpicrin) was apparently used by an encircled Japanese unit in Manila."
6) Americans, Mindinao, May 1945 -- 24th ID suffers Chabin attack, it is unclear whether this was AC or a non-lethal smoke agent in a Chabin grenade.

Regards #4 above, some time in 1943 the Japanese fired a mustard gas shell at American or Australian troops in the South West Pacific. It didn't detonate and the contents were tested on Australian soldier-volunteers in May 1944 either directly, or observed, by a US Army 45th CWS Chemical Company observer in Australia.

The following is from a Feb 1946 US Army document summarizing all the chemical intelligence reports received by the Chemical Warfare Service in calendar year 1944:
"The 75-mm. blister gas shell filled with a mixture of mustard and lewisite,
which was fired from the 75-mn, Type 41 (Regimental) Howitzer,
is described in the pamphlet, "Japanese Chemical Warfare", prepared under the
direction of the Chief Chemical Officer, a, USASOS, MPA. This is the same
shell described in T.D.M.R. 848, pp. 67-68, 3 June 1943.

In Australia physiological tests , including treatment with the usual skin
decontaminants, were carried out under tropical conditions using a sample of
mustard lewisite mixture taken from the captured 75-mm. Japanese shell
mentioned above. Using a 1-mm. drop of the vesicant treated after an interval
of 1 min., the results obtained with British decontaminating ointments
Nos, 2 and 5 were satisfactory, and No. 1 followed by hydrogen peroxide
was nearly as good. Simulated Japanese decontaminating powders (chlomnine
T 19%, sodium chloride 35, and talc 78%; and bleach 10% and talc 90%) were inf-
erior . Hydrogen peroxide alone was quite ineffective (ungraded) (L.H.Q.T.I.S.
No. 2, May 1943, cited in M.I. Directorate, G.H,Q. India, Periodical Technical
Summary No, 21, October 1943).

One of the projectiles used in the Japanese 75-mm. Field Artillery
gun, whose range was 6000 to 7000 yd., was 11.5 in. long, filled with a
50/50 mixture of mustard and lewisite, and weighed 12.6 lb. (ungraded) (Special
Series No, 24, p, 76, 1 September 1944)"
Some Canadian and Aussie chemical warfare documents, and acedemic papers/books using them as sources, I have reviewed make clear that the standard UK anti-mustard agent chemical warfare suit caused cases of toxic shock in their wearers in a tropical environment after a few hour's use. [See "Keen as mustard: Britain's horrific chemical warfare experiments in Australia" By Bridget Goodwin]

There was a large Anglo-American bio-chemical warfare effort that became effectively a single global one from 1942 on with summer and winter experiments going on across the Anglo-sphere full time with human experiments in the UK, US, India, Canada and Australia.

One aspect of that was a program concentrating on the effects of AC agent Chabin (glass) grenades on various allied armored vehicles from 1942-44.

The fact of the program's existence/scope, how close gas came to being used on Japan, and the reasons why that was so, were a major, for real, post-war conspiracy (along with the full success of Anglo-American signals intelligence) that western academics seems to have sensed in the 1960's, but turned into a Leftist myth over Truman's use of the A-bomb being the first act of the Cold War.

The key findings of the Australian experiments were that mustard gas was 4 times as toxic in tropic climates than Temperate/European (and did far more damage to the gonads of males), that British chemical warfare protective equipment -- particularly their anti-mustard suits -- were toxic to users in tropic climates, and that no one could wear an anti-gas respirator more than two hours in a tropic climate even laying flat on their back doing nothing at night.

This gap in Aussie anti-gas kit was discovered in 1943 and it was an unpublicized logistical reason for MacArthur went "All American" in the drive to the Philippines.

There was a desperate research effort in early-to-mid 1944 to figure out the offensive weapons usage tables given the above that became the basis of post WW2 chemical warfare manuals.

The bottom line of why the Allies didn't use gas in the Pacific was they didn't know how to use the most potent weapons Allies had and could not risk using them until the Allies did (and re-equipped the Aussies with American anti-mustard suits). Once the weaponeers knew the effects, a new doctrine had to be codified and put into a training cycle, then distributed to the troops. This took more months.

It also explains why the US Army chemical Warfare Service had an "All Hands Meeting" concentrating on lethal chemical weapons doctrine, and not flame throwers, that happened at Oro Bay, New Guinea not long after that 75mm shell event and just before the Oct 1944 Leyte Landings.

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Re:

Post by 75thAnniversaryWorldWar2 » 10 Dec 2012 12:42

varjag wrote:Australias extensive involvement in 'the Pacific War'.....I'll probably make a lot of enemies by saying it - but apart from some tenacious action that halted the Japanese in New Guinea, it was a non-event. So was the British 'help' in 1945. The Pacific war, was a US show to 99,5 %.
While there is little doubt that the Americans contributed the lions share of the combat in the final assault, the Australian contribution should not be belittled to percentages of 0.5%. There have been many contributions by other forum members, which I won't rehash, but it wasn't for lack of trying that Australians were excluded from the final assualt on the Phillipines. Politically, Macarthur wanted to take the Phillipines with his own troops.

Plans were well advanced for Australia to form an Army (consisting of 1st and 2nd Corps) for operations in Mindanao and Luzon. Macarthur had even tacitly approved 2 potential commanders (Lt Gen Morshead or Lt Gen Berryman) of this force, before he decided it would be better for US forces to conduct the main assaults. This was resented by the Australians, as they were relegated to 'mopping up' operations - primarily in Borneo.

Logistically it made no sense for Australia to contribute to the attacks towards the Japanese home islands. Macarthur's political agenda precluded Australia from the main assaults. Mopping up was a dirty, unappreciated job, but it was a significant contribution to the war effort.
Paul
http://75thAnniversary.com

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by aghart » 22 Feb 2015 15:59

If the atom bomb had not been dropped then Allied assaults against Japan would have continued. Britain would have completed the recapture of Singapore and Malaya and evicting Japan from the small area of Burma they still held. Thailand and Indo China would likely also be eventually targeted. Would Australian ground forces have joined up with the UK once again to force the issue in Thailand & Indo China?

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by michael mills » 22 Feb 2015 23:22

The above scenario is unlikely, since Japan would most probably have surrendered very soon after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, even if there had been no nuclear attacks, which were not more destructive that previous conventional bombardments of Japanese cities.

The collapse of the Japanese forces in Manchuria in the face of the Soviet invasion demonstrates that the ability of the Japanese military to hold out had reached its end. If Japan had not surrendered immediately after the invasion of Manchuria and the capture by Soviet forces of South Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, which occurred in historical reality, Soviet forces would have landed in Hokkaido, at which point it is pretty well certain that Japan would have surrendered to the United States and the British Empire to avoid a Soviet occupation.

Thus, it is extremely unlikely that there would have been any further substantial fighting in South-East Asia involving Australian forces.

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Re: Re:

Post by LostInNY » 01 Mar 2015 00:26

Plans were well advanced for Australia to form an Army (consisting of 1st and 2nd Corps) for operations in Mindanao and Luzon. Macarthur had even tacitly approved 2 potential commanders (Lt Gen Morshead or Lt Gen Berryman) of this force, before he decided it would be better for US forces to conduct the main assaults. This was resented by the Australians, as they were relegated to 'mopping up' operations - primarily in Borneo.
Were these AIF or AMF formations? One thing that Americans found strange was the conscription situation in the Commonwealth. At the beginning of the war conscripted Australian troops could not be sent outside of Austalia but conscripted American troops could. There was a larger difference in the ability between AIF and AMF formations than there was between "Regular" US and "National Guard" formations by that time in the war. US draftees were mixed into both types of division. It would not surprise me if, rightly or wrongly, the US Army did not trust the AMF to keep up.

Did this Army have a full complement of combined arms, service and logistical units or would the Americans have to supply some of these units? Like the New Zealanders and later the Brits, Australia had started to decrease the size of its Army in mid 1943. How would the timing of this reduction affect the Australian's readiness?

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by EKB » 25 Nov 2015 01:56

The document below, signed by General Thomas Blamey, contains a message which essentially claims that Australia deserved the lion's share of credit for defeating the Axis powers while other, unidentified allies only managed to help.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Pips » 14 Jan 2016 03:19

Blamey by 1945 had progressed very much into the roll of politician/general, as had MacArthur. As the above letter demonstrates.

Blamey as a man and as a Commander is hard to define. Most general's, especially C in C's, leave voluminous letters, diaries, papers etc expounding their life, decision's and how they impacted on the world around them. Blamey was notoriously secretive. Unlike most others, Blamey left a scant record, which revealed little of his private self.

In WWI Blamey exhibited high personal courage, especially at Gallipoli. And on the staff of the Australian Corps under Monash in 1918 he demonstrated high staff officer skills in logistics, planning and operations. Monash (arguably Australia's greatest General), shrewd as ever, summed up Blamey's character: "He possessed a mind cultured far above the average, widely informed, alert and prehensile. He had an infinite capacity for taking pains." Monash also found him to be not unlike himself: "a 'work and burst man'" who would "slave for long hours, then drive off for a night in Amiens".

At the start of WWII Blamey performed well as OC of I Corps (6th and 7th AIF) in 1940 in Libya, although his performance in Greece was less than satisfactory. He stood up to Wavell and Auchinleck over Tobruk and to 'Jumbo' Wilson over Syria, becoming as a result, in his own words, "the most hated man in the Middle East". Only in Greece did he command in the field. There, in a campaign ill-fated from the start, he showed commendable foresight in surveying evacuation beaches on the way in, but fell out with his chief of staff, Rowell who said he was "incompetent", "completely broken" and issuing "garbled orders", Bridgeford who thought him "a coward" for diving ignominiously into slit trenches and Vasey who wrote that he "lost a terrible amount of caste" by evacuating his surviving son, an artillery major, in a plane reserved for generals.

It was upon his return to Australia (and promotion to Commander in Chief of Australian Military Forces in 1942) that Blamey entered his most controversial era. In this role he was second in command to MacArthur in SWPA.

In April 1942 'Magic' intelligence decrypts showed that Japan did not intend to invade Australia. Consequently, as commander of Allied land forces Blamey decided, with the Supreme Commander (US General MacArthur), that it was expedient to hold back the 7th AIF Division in Port Moresby and instead to commit raw militia battalions to the fighting on the Kokoda Track. A frightened cabinet, backed by a MacArthur who was now looking for a scapegoat, sent Blamey to assume personal control. As Jack Beasley (Minister for Supply and Development) put it: "Moresby is going to fall. Send Blamey up there and let him fall with it." Fighting for his professional life, Blamey found not one scapegoat but three, sacking in succession Rowell, Potts and Allen, and also removing Chester Wilmot for good measure. "Like all crafty gangsters", Rowell remarked, "he got in his blow first". Blamey's ruthless tactics satisfied MacArthur's, the politicians' and the public's need for explanations, and by so doing, Blamey engineered his own survival.

After the Kokoda and Buna-Gona battles, MacArthur bypassed Blamey as his deputy by appointing special US task forces directly under himself. This left Blamey to command Australian troops, with US air and naval support, in the arduous but well-executed and successful fighting in the Huon Peninsula and later campaigns in New Guinea. From early in 1944, however, Blamey manoeuvred for the command of a projected British Commonwealth combined force of twelve divisions that was to assist the Americans in the conquest of Japan. But Curtin and MacArthur vetoed the idea. Instead, he waged aggressive "mopping up" operations in Bougainville and the assault on Borneo, the so-called "unnecessary war".

With Allied victory guaranteed, Blamey ended his war in frustration, embroiled in internecine fighting with the Defence Department bureaucracy and increasingly out of favour with the government. The generals he had perceived as rivals and marginalised (Bennett, Lavarack and Robertson) intrigued against him and his troops sometimes openly taunted him, booing and crying out "Get back to your brothels, Blamey!" Blamey's chief protector Curtin died, and the new Prime Minister, Chifley (once described by Blamey as a "slow-thinking churl" who "hates nothing so much as a soldier") backed Blamey's political enemies, Army ministers Forde and Fraser. For a time it was uncertain whether Blamey would see out the war in office. He just managed it.

So who was Blamey?

We are left with oft-repeated "man in the street" and "digger" stories that were hardly complimentary to Australia's wartime commander-in-chief. "That bastard Blamey", as he was almost invariably called, was the man who accused some of our men of "running like rabbits" at Kokoda in 1942, though he himself was safe in Melbourne at the time. He was the bloke who escaped by plane from Greece taking his son with him and leaving many other people's sons behind to die or be captured. He was the police commissioner in 1930s Melbourne whose badge was found in a brothel. He was the general who dismissed his field commander in New Guinea in 1942 to save his own skin, and who in 1944-45 committed our forces to an "unnecessary war" in Bougainville and Borneo.

Assessments by Blamey's peers are mixed. His American superior, Douglas MacArthur, thought him a "sensual, slothful and doubtful moral character but a tough commander likely to shine like a power-light in an emergency. The best of the local bunch." Another American senior officer saw only a "drunken old fool". Churchill described Blamey as a "more ardent politician than soldier". An Australian general, George Vasey, called him "the Lord, a "tiresome fellow - swollen-headed and pig-headed beyond words".

Whatever the view, Blamey was our Commander in Chief during a tumultuous period.

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Re: Re:

Post by Aussiegoat » 26 Apr 2019 02:51

LostInNY wrote:
01 Mar 2015 00:26
Plans were well advanced for Australia to form an Army (consisting of 1st and 2nd Corps) for operations in Mindanao and Luzon. Macarthur had even tacitly approved 2 potential commanders (Lt Gen Morshead or Lt Gen Berryman) of this force, before he decided it would be better for US forces to conduct the main assaults. This was resented by the Australians, as they were relegated to 'mopping up' operations - primarily in Borneo.
Were these AIF or AMF formations? One thing that Americans found strange was the conscription situation in the Commonwealth. At the beginning of the war conscripted Australian troops could not be sent outside of Austalia but conscripted American troops could. There was a larger difference in the ability between AIF and AMF formations than there was between "Regular" US and "National Guard" formations by that time in the war. US draftees were mixed into both types of division. It would not surprise me if, rightly or wrongly, the US Army did not trust the AMF to keep up.

Did this Army have a full complement of combined arms, service and logistical units or would the Americans have to supply some of these units? Like the New Zealanders and later the Brits, Australia had started to decrease the size of its Army in mid 1943. How would the timing of this reduction affect the Australian's readiness?
Late to the party here! The forces promised for the Philippines were all AIF troops - the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions.

Australian militia could only serve in Australia and its mandated territories (Papua, New Guinea and Nauru) until the Defence (Citizen Military Forces) Act (1943) was passed on 26 January 1943 which extended the area to a triangle bounded by the equator and the 110th and 159th meridians of longitude (which only extended the limits marginally anyway).

However, the Act also enabled Militia units to transfer to the AIF (and thus eligible to serve anywhere) if 65 percent or more of their personnel volunteered to do so. More than 200,000 militia ultimately did so, representing most (if not all?) of the battalions which weren't already disbanded or amalgamated. As many militia units were disbanded between 1943-44, conscripts were discharged or sent to bolster other non-AIF transferred Militia battalions, and volunteers for overseas service sent to AIF transferred Militia battalions or AIF battalions. Ultimately 32 (out of a total of ~53) Militia infantry battalions saw action in the Papua, New Guinea, New Britain and Bougainville.

I can understand the Australian resentment at being excluded from the Philippines campaign, but ultimately it made sense to have to arm and equip only one force. I recognise that this wasn't the only reason, MacArthur's reluctance to share the 'glory' with his allies being just one, but Australian and US forces used largely different weapons and a dual supply system would have complicated logistics unnecessarily.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Rickshaw_665 » 15 Oct 2019 10:57

Australia in 1944-45 was in an invidious position WRT it's relationships with it's major allies, the UK and the USA. Curtin as PM had fallen off the wagon and was turning into an Alcoholic - which would eventually kill him. "Doc" Evatt was the Minister for External Affairs. No on in Canberra was aware of the agreement made between Washington and London to defeat "Hitler first", so until 1944 they were continually fighting what they perceived as unfair allocations of resources and manpower 'cause they wanted to defeat Tokyo. When in 1943 the Allies' leadership held their Cairo Conference, Australia was excluded. This made them suspicious of what was being decided in Canberra's name. Canberra's response was to assert itself through the ANZAC Pact of 1944 which it signed with Wellington.

This bred considerable resentment in the UK and in the US, particularly in the Hearst Press. Questions were asked who Australia thought it was and why were American lives being sacrificed to defend this upstart Dominion in the Pacific? Washington wasn't interested in allowing Australia or the UK to be a part of the upcoming peace negotiations with Japan which was expected to end the Pacific War. Ultimately, this led to Australian Forces being sidelined. They were allocated to the "unnecessary war" in the Pacific Islands and the Netherlands East Indies. They were not to be used in the Philippines or in the impending invasion of Japan. This of course led to even greater resentment of America's ambitions.

While the logistics argument was one which was used to explain the sidelining, it was one that could have easily been overcome. The Australian forces could have been re-equipped with American equipment. The chemical warfare argument is telling but again, not insurmountable and Japan is not in the tropics so the arguments against using British sources Chem Warfare equipment is a bit of what we call downunder a "furphy". While the Japanese were masters at producing chemical weapons they had not by 1945 been willing to use them with any degree of largess against the western Allies facing them in the Pacific. They mainly reserved them for use against the Chinese, in China. The decision to leave the Australians behind was primarily IMO a political one, made in Washington.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 20 Oct 2019 00:39

Rickshaw_665,

The Canberra Pact (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_Pact) utterly honked off both the US Navy Department and the FDR Administration.

Whatever MacArthur thought or wanted -- and I've the planning documents where he had planned a Australian AIF Division in Mindanao and Luzon -- the reality was the US Navy saw to it that Australian infantry ground units were not going anywhere north of the equator.

This is a huge reason why MacArthur got the XXIVth Corps for Leyte and most of the US Army SOPAC infantry divisions in the Solomons for Luzon.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Rickshaw_665 » 21 Oct 2019 09:31

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
20 Oct 2019 00:39
Rickshaw_665,

The Canberra Pact (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_Pact) utterly honked off both the US Navy Department and the FDR Administration.
This was because the ANZAC Pact reserved to the two southern Pacific Dominions the right to order for themselves their own air affairs. The US was intent on making the Pacific a US lake. The two Dominions made it clear that they weren't interested in that and were willing to join with the UK in creating a new order in the civilian side of air affairs.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 02 Nov 2019 16:56

>>The two Dominions made it clear that they weren't interested in that and were willing to join with the UK in creating a new order in the civilian side of air affairs.

That's as may be. We are still in the territory of Thucydides' Melian Dialogue.

"The strong do as they will and the weak suffer as they must."

From 1945 to the rise of China in the 2010's, the Pacific was an American lake.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by LineDoggie » 03 Nov 2019 00:40

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
02 Nov 2019 16:56


From 1945 to the rise of China in the 2010's, the Pacific was an American lake.
Still is

PLAN is weak and hard pressed to force project outside the South China Sea
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Rickshaw_665 » 04 Nov 2019 11:44

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
02 Nov 2019 16:56
>>The two Dominions made it clear that they weren't interested in that and were willing to join with the UK in creating a new order in the civilian side of air affairs.

That's as may be. We are still in the territory of Thucydides' Melian Dialogue.

"The strong do as they will and the weak suffer as they must."

From 1945 to the rise of China in the 2010's, the Pacific was an American lake.
The Cairo conference occurred before 1945. China (under Chiang) was included while Australia and New Zealand were excluded. This rankled Canberra and to a certain extent Wellington. The major allies dictated a declaration which stated how the world was to be ordered and did it without consulting most of it. The Allies were only might because of the alliance with smaller powers who did most of the fighting.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 06 Nov 2019 21:25

By the time of the Second Cairo Conference of December 4–6, 1943, China and the USA at had done most of the dying in combat versus Japan.

The determining factor in Australia's security in WW2 were the Battle of Coral Sea, the naval battles of Guadalcanal and the naval battles of the upper Solomons campaign.

The casualty count to that time [12/4/1943 ]-- particularly on the naval side of the ledger -- makes clear Australia was the very junior ally in all of this.

See:

http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.ns ... enDocument
Australia

Approximately 7,000 Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen died during the New Guinea Campaign.

A total of 5,770 Australian soldiers are known to have died in Papua and New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville. The Royal Australian Navy suffered a total of 1,094 deaths in operations throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans against Japan. Just how many of these lives were lost in direct support of the Allied New Guinea operations as defined by this website is hard to determine. For example, HMAS Canberra was sunk on 9 August 1942 during the Battle of Savo Island with the loss of 84 lives, yet as this action was in direct support of American operations on Guadacanal as opposed to American operations on Bougainville the battle belongs to the Solomon Islands campaign rather than the New Guinea campaign (even though both islands are in the same geographical group). Similarly a total of 3,342 Royal Australian Air Force personnel died in the South West Pacific Theatre during the Second World War and while this includes New Guinea it also includes losses suffered in Indonesia and Australia itself (e.g. in the defence of Darwin). Again there is no specific breakdown of losses solely related to New Guinea. Thus by a process of elimination of confirmed figures from other campaigns or operations it would appear that at least 1,200 Australian airmen and 100 Australian sailors died in the New Guinea campaign.

Sources: AMF Battle Casualties SWPA Operations 1942-45, AWM54, 267/4/7; Operations 8th Div and Attached Units AMF Battle Casualties 1941-42, AWM54, 267/4/7; Casualties and Miscellaneous RAAF, RAN and Army Part II, AWM54, 171/2/53.

United States

Approximately 7,000 American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen were killed in the New Guinea campaign.

This figure includes the 2,102 US Marines killed during the landings at Cape Gloucester on New Britain and the fighting on Bougainville. It does not include those Americans who otherwise died during the Solomons campaign in actions such as the Battle for Guadalcanal or the fierce naval battles that took place in New Georgia Sound and the surrounding Solomon Sea.

Source: Frank A. Reister, Medical Statistics in World War II, Official History of the Medical Department of the US Army in World War II, (Washington DC: Historical Unit, US Army Medical Department, 1975)

See also:

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/G/u/Guadalcanal.htm
The campaign was over. The Americans lost 1769 killed to about 25,600 Japanese fatalities in the land battle. Of the Japanese deaths, only about 8500 were killed in combat, the rest succumbing to malnutrition and disease. Losses at sea were 4911 for the Americans and about 3500 for the Japanese. Including operational losses, the Americans lost 615 aircraft, while the Japanese lost 683. About 420 American aircrew were killed, while the Japanese lost two to four times this figure, mostly because their losses included a large number of aircraft with multiple aircrew. It was a major Japanese defeat and arguably the turning point of the war.
Australian troops were the majority of the front line New Guinea ground combat strength until early 1944...but it was sea and air forces that mattered.

For that, Australia had a small naval squadron and an air force built by 2nd string American lend lease.

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