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October 23 , 2007

Victory in Papua


The strategic significance of the Papuan Campaign can be briefly stated. In addition to blunting the Japanese thrust toward Australia and the transpacific line of communications, it put General MacArthur’s forces in a favorable position to take the offensive. But this little known campaign is significant for still another reason. It was the battle test of a large hitherto-inexperienced U.S. Army force and its commanders under the conditions which were to attend much of the ground fighting in the Pacific. Costly in casualties and suffering, it taught lessons that the Army had to learn if it was to cope with the Japanese under conditions of tropical warfare.

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