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The Battle for Wau: New Guinea's Frontline 1942-1943 (Australian Army History Series) 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521896818
ISBN-10: 0521896819
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bradley has done a good job of piecing together a 'who was where, when' account of a battle fought over difficult terrain dominated by narrow jungle tracks." -John Burton, Pacifica Affairs

Book Description

Bradley describes the early WWII conflicts in New Guinea, from the Japanese landing at Salamaua in 1942 to the defeat at Wau in 1943. Drawing on recollections from over seventy veterans and first-hand knowledge of the region, all aspects are brought together in one readable volume.
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Product Details

  • Series: Australian Army History Series
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521896819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521896818
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,837,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
There are a number of battlefields that continue to remind us of the sacrifices and struggles that took place throughout the Pacific during World War II. We often think of Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway and Kokoda as special places where many lives were lost and important victories secured. Phillip Bradley's book, The Battle for Wau: New Guinean's Frontline, 1942-1943, reminds us of another important conflict in the Allied effort. Having failed to take Port Moresby in the Battle of the Coral Sea and vis the push along the Kokoda Trail, Japanese forces were sent from Rabaul to Salamaua and Lae. Wau became the barrier for a final push by the Japanese across New Guinea, and initially only a small Australian Army force stood in the way.

However, ANZAC forces combined with American airpower to ensure that this did not happen; Wau did not fall. Bradley's book is a well-researched account of this decisive battle and the efforts of Kanga Force, an independent company combining troops of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles and parts of the Australian 1st and 2/5th Independent Companies. While many women and children were evacuated as Japanese forces advanced into Papua New Guinea, Kanga Force was mobilised to ensure that Wau and its significant airstrip remained in Allied hands.

Bradley's account begins in 1942 with the Japanese invasion of Lae and Salamaua, and then follows Kanga Force's formation and subsequent raids on Japanese positions along the coast. He then takes us through a detailed account of battles and skirmishes as the Japanese moved toward the Bulolo Valley along old mining trails, before recounting the final battle and the use of air transport to fly the 17th Infantry Brigade into Wau.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a review of two books, “The Battle for Wau” and “To Salamaua”, as the second follows on from the other, in what was essentially one campaign, and the style and detail are the same.

As a young officer, I walked from Wau to Salamaua via the Buisaval Track passing through the country in which these two excellent books are set. The terrain was tortuous comprising narrow, twisting ridges falling sharply into steep valleys which, in some cases, the bottoms of which were unseen and could only be discerned by the roar of the river in the mist below. For much of the journey it rained incessantly and dense jungle limited vision to a few metres, except on the odd occasion when we burst on to a vantage point to view a never ending series of jungle clad ridges ahead of us. Dotted along the trail was the detritus of fighting 25 years previously - bayonets, abandoned machine guns, a scattering of spent cartridges, the wing of an aircraft and weapon pits. I remember thinking I was thankful I didn’t have to fight in that area. In “The Battle for Wau" and “To Salamaua" Phillip Bradley confirms my initial thought, and brings the story of this campaign vividly to life.

“The Battle For Wau" focuses on a little known but quite remarkable battle.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the family had an uncle who fought there I found the book enlightening. we knew the conditions were bad from stories we were told. the book brings this out. I thought the authors unbiased account of the campaign was very good. the maps were very good but would have liked a few more maps within the text so as not to have to back reference as the battle progressed.
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