The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea--The Forgotten War of the South Pacific

The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea--The Forgotten War of the South Pacific

James Campbell

mendacity due north of Australia, New Guinea is without doubt one of the world’s greatest islands. In 1942, while international struggle II exploded onto its shorelines, it was once an inhospitable, cursorily mapped, disease-ridden land of dense jungle, towering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and fetid swamps. Coveted through the japanese for its strategic place, New Guinea grew to become the positioning of 1 of the South Pacific’s such a lot savage campaigns. regardless of their loss of jungle education, the thirty second Division’s Ghost Mountain Boys have been assigned the main grueling challenge of the full Pacific crusade: to march one hundred thirty miles over the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains and to guard definitely the right flank of the Australian military as they fought to push the japanese again to the village of Buna on New Guinea’s north coast.

Comprised of nationwide Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin, reserve officials, and draftees from around the kingdom, the thirty second department lacked greater than training—they have been with no even the fundamentals precious for survival. the lads weren't issued the really good garments that later turned common factor for squaddies combating within the South Pacific; they fought in swiftly dyed strive against fatigues that bled within the excessive humidity and left them with festering sores. They waded via brush and vines with no assistance from machetes. they didn't have insect repellent. with out water-resistant packing containers, their suits have been dead and the quinine and diet tablets they carried, in addition to salt and chlorination pills, crumbled of their wallet. Exhausted and driven to the threshold of human persistence, the Ghost Mountain Boys fell sufferer to malnutrition and affliction. Forty-two days when they set out, they arrived miles south of Buna, approximately shattered by way of the event.

Arrival in Buna supplied no respite. The thirty second department was once ordered to release an instantaneous attack at the eastern place. After months of furious—sometimes hand-to-hand—combat, the decimated department eventually completed victory. The ferocity of the fight for Buna used to be summed up in Time journal on December 28, 1942, 3 weeks sooner than the japanese military used to be defeated: “Nowhere on this planet at the present time are American squaddies engaged in combating so determined, so cruel, so sour, or so bloody.”

Reminiscent of classics like Band of Brothers and The issues They Carried, this harrowing portrait of a mostly missed crusade is a component warfare diary, half severe experience story, and (through letters, journals, and interviews) half biography of a bunch of fellows who fought to outlive in an atmosphere each piece as fierce because the enemy they confronted.

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