[7] This force had suffered heavily during the Salamaua–Lae campaign in 1943–1944, as well as its failed attack on the American garrison at Aitape in July 1944. As a result, the Australian planning staff believed they faced three Japanese divisions—the 20th, 41st and 51st Divisions—all of which had been reduced to brigade-strength. With Japan on the verge of defeat, such casualties later led to the strategic necessity of the campaign being called into question. [22], Nevertheless, at the time that the operation was planned there was no way for the Australian commanders to know when the war would come to an end and there were political and operational reasons to carry out the campaign. Consequently, in early O… The Battle in Brief. [4] As preparations began for this drive, it was decided that defence of the area would be passed to Australian forces to release the American troops for service elsewhere. [17][16] At this stage, word was received that the Japanese government had begun discussing terms for a possible surrender and so offensive operations were brought to a halt. [21] By late 1944, the Australian Army had taken a secondary role in the fighting and there was a political need for Australia to demonstrate that it was sharing the burden in the Pacific. Japanese forces attacked United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea. The battle of Aitape (22-24 April 1944) was carried out in support of the larger landings at Hollandia, and was designed to provide a shield against any possible intervention by Japanese forces further to the west at Wewak. [8] While the advance was under way, the 17th Brigade was assigned the task of building a defensive position around the airfield and base facilities at Aitape, while the 16th Brigade was held back in reserve. Largely these forces stayed inside a small defensive area around the airfield, and apart from the Battle of Driniumor River in July, the fighting was limited. This fighting took place throughout June and July. [3], Following this, Aitape was developed as base from which to support the continuing Allied drive towards the Philippines and the US forces in the area increased to include elements of the 31st and 32nd Infantry Divisions. Adachi was a determined figure, and decided that it was worth launching a counterattack against Aitape. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. In that regard, it was argued that the Japanese forces in Aitape–Wewak posed no strategic threat to the Allies as they advanced towards mainland Japan and that if they could be isolated and contained they could be left to "wither on the vine" as their supplies ran out. Following their defeat on the Driniumor River in July, the Japanese commander, General Hatazo Adachi, withdrew his forces from their forward positions and in the lull that followed, Adachi's forces focused upon foraging operations into the Torricelli Mountains and Wewakas hunger and disease began to take its toll on the Japanese force. During World War II Gallatin was commander of Aitape Attack Force in April 1944, commanded a Naval Attack Group during the battle of Wakde in May 1944, and was Commander of Amphibious Group Eight, during operations against enemy forces in Mindanao and Balikpapan in … They had 1,000 men in the area, but only 200 or so were infantry. The airfield was cleared within 24 hours of the landings and by 24 April the area was secured. After making some initial gains, the Japanese attack was contained and eventually turned back having suffered heavy casualties. Training, maintenance, leadership, and equipment all seemed to be inadequate. The Japanese were caught out and both places fell easily. New Guinea during [16], By the end of the campaign, the Australians had lost 442 men killed and 1,141 wounded in battle. [12] The Japanese for their part, lacking significant air and naval assets, and low on ammunition and other supplies, had also sought to avoid engagement. Japanese forces attacked United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea. The first wave landed at 6.45am on 22 April. The Aitape–Wewak campaign was one of the final cam­paigns of the Pa­cific The­atre of World War II. At that point in time, I was running … a 2-inch mortar* crew. 71 Wing RAAF, which included Nos. the Second World War The Japanese had built two airfields at Aitape. [17] As such, the campaign has sometimes been referred to as an "unnecessary campaign",[21] and General (later Field Marshal) Thomas Blamey, commander-in-chief of the Australian Military Forces, was accused of undertaking it for "his own glorification". Hollandia had the best natural harbour on that part of the coast, and was the point from where MacArthur wanted to turn north to attack the Philippines, but it was a long way past the most advanced Allied positions. Gill established a perimeter and sent out patrols to watch the movements of Adachi 's 18 Army, which … During the fighting, Japanese forces launched several attacks on United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea, over the course of several weeks with the intention of retaking Aitape. Flotilla,[10] under the command of Bill Dovers, captain of Swan. Keogh 1965, p. 401. On 16 March 1945, the airfields at But and Dagua on the coast were occupied, although fighting continued further inland from there over the course of the following fortnight as the Australians fought to gain control of the Tokuku Pass. During this period there had been very little contact between the Japanese and US forces in the area, and US forces had remained on a primarily defensive footing, restricting their oper… The fall of Maprik allowed the Australians to begin constructing an airfield 8 miles (13 km) away at Hayfield, and this was completed on 14 May allowing reinforcements and supplies to be flown in. The Landing at Aitape (code-named Operation Persecution) was a battle of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II.American and Allied forces undertook an amphibious landing on 22 April 1944 at Aitape on northern coast of Papua New Guinea.The amphibious landing was undertaken simultaneously with the landings at Humboldt and Tanahmerah Bays to secure Hollandia to isolate the … Throughout 1943 and into 1944, the Allies began a series of offensives in New Guinea and the surrounding area as they sought to reduce the main Japanese base around Rabaul on New Britain, as part of a general advance towards the Philippines that was planned for 1944 and 1945. Palazzo 2001, p. 184. A number of alternatives were examined, and eventually the decision was made to attack Aitape, on the north-western coast of Australian New Guinea, east of Hollandia. The Aitape–Wewak campaign was one of the final campaigns of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. [17] Following the end of hostilities in New Guinea, approximately 13,000 Japanese surrendered, with about 14,000 having died of starvation and illness during the entire campaign. The main Allied effort came on the eastern flank, where troops were pushed some way east to watch for any Japanese troops approaching from Wewak. Jump to: General, Art, Business, Computing, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Religion, Science, Slang, Sports, Tech, Phrases We found one dictionary with English definitions that includes the word battle of aitape: Click on the first link on a line below to go directly to a page where "battle of aitape" is defined. In 1942 the Japanese occupied the Aitape region in northern New Guinea as part of their general advance south. In one incident, seven men from the 2/3rd Battalion drowned in the swollen waters of the Danmap River which had risen suddenly after a torrential downpour. … When they formed up as a group, that’s when the enemy opened fire. [Note 2] The Japanese lacked air and naval support, and many troops were sick and short of food, with resupply efforts being limited to occasional deliveries by aircraft or submarines. Aitape Wewak World War II map When the Australians took over from the Americans at Aitape in September–November 1944, they found that their allies had followed a policy of staying within a relatively small perimeter and not mounting major offensives against the Japanese. [18] On top of this, a further 145 died from other causes,[2] and 16,203 men were listed as "sickness casualties". Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army [13], On 19 December, the 19th Brigade crossed the Danmap River and began moving towards the east to cut the main Japanese line of communication. Aitape, Tadji, Battle of the Driniumor River: May 3rd - July 18th, 1944. At Aitape the attack was carried out by the 163rd Regimental Combat Team of the 41st Division, commanded by General Jens Doe. On 25 March, Lieutenant Albert Chowne, a platoon commander from the Australian 2/2nd Battalion led an attack on a Japanese position that was holding up the advance on Wewak. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as The Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. As New Guinea was an Australian territory at the time, it was argued that there was a responsibility to clear the Japanese from that area. General Adachi was now totally isolated at Wewak and Hansa Bay. In 1943, Wewak was the site of the largest Japanese air base on the mainland of New Guinea. [15] These operations continued until 11 August, by which time the 16th Brigade had reached Numoikum, about 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Wewak, while the 17th Brigade had captured Kairivu, 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Wewak. Regardless, due to manpower shortages in the Australian economy, the government had requested that the Army find a way to reduce its size, while at the same time requiring it to maintain forces to undertake further operations against the Japanese into 1946. The biggest battle that we had was the Battle of Ortona, where we lost a lot of men. - Cookies. General Adachi, commander of the 18th Army, had been ordered to send reinforcements to Aitape, and two regiments had left Wewak on 13 April. The name Battle of Aitape or Aitape campaign may refer to any one of three military actions in proximity to Aitape in the Western New Guinea campaign of 1944-45:. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as the Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. The only problem was that the landing craft missed their intended beach and instead landed at Wapil, 1,200 yards further to the east. The Battle of Manila was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944-45, during the Second World War. A TEAM of Australian Army personnel have completed the exhuming of war casualties at Vokau village in Aitape, West Sepik, with the unveiling of a … ★ Aitape. The heaviest fighting came on 28-29 April when a small outpost was attacked by 200 Japanese troops, losing three dead and two wounded, but killing ninety of the Japanese in return. This turned out to be a better area than Blue Beach, and the mistake actually aided the invasion. Be­tween No­vem­ber 1944 and the end of the war in Au­gust 1945, the Aus­tralian 6th Di­vi­sion, with air and naval sup­port, fought the Im­pe­r­ial Japan­ese 18th Army in north­ern New Guinea. Help - F.A.Q. … my objective was safe because we were further back, out of gun range. Most of the rest were the staff from the airfields, including ground crews and air crews, but five Allied air raids against the area in late March and early April had eliminated the vast majority of the Japanese aircraft, so the airmen could only be used as impromptu infantry. By the spring of 1944 it was clear that Operation Cartwheel, the series of attacks carried out to isolate Rabaul, were close to success. Aitape is a small town with a population of about 18.000 people on the North coast of Papua New Guinea in the province of Sandaun. It suffered repeated bombing attacks by the United States and Royal Australian Air Forces, most notably on 17 August 1943, when heavy bombing and strafing by 150 Allied aircraft destroyed an estimated 50 percent of the Japanese aircraft on the ground. It is a coastal settlement that is almost equidistant from the provincial capitals of Wewak and Vanimo, and marks the midpoint of … Nevertheless, by 23 April 1945, they had secured Maprik. After this he pulled back into Wewak, where he was left alone until the Australians took over the sector later in 1944 and carried out a fresh offensive. SC-107 pointed to the Canadians as the weak link in the mid-ocean. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as the Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. On 22 April 1944, United States Army forces—primarily the 163rd Regimental Combat Team from the 41st Infantry Division—landed at Aitape and recaptured the area to help secure the flank of US forces fighting around Hollandia. [16] Meanwhile, the 19th Brigade came up against strongly defended positions around several high features known as Mount Kawakubo, Mount Tazaki and Mount Shiburangu. By the end of the first day the Americans had reached both Japanese airfields, and had only lost two dead and thirteen wounded. As preparations began for this drive, it was decided that defence of the area would be passed to Australian forces in order to release the American troops for service elsewhere. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. The first Japanese unit to swing into action against the Driniumor defenses of the PERSECUTION Covering Force was the 1st Battalion, 78th Infantry, which, about 2355, charged across the river along a narrow front against Company G, 128th Infantry. The decisive battle of the Atlantic war was looming and any weakness in Allied escort forces had potentially disastrous consequences. [7] Upon the arrival of the Australians, however, the 6th Division's commander, Major General Jack Stevens, decided to begin offensive operations, albeit on a limited scale, to clear the Japanese forces from the coastal area. It was during this attack that Private Edward Kenna carried out the deeds that led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross,[8] attacking several Japanese bunkers. Aitape is a small town of about 18,000 people on the north coast of Papua New Guinea in the Sandaun Province. [8] The fighting around Wewak Airfield continued until 15 May, however, when men from the 2/4th Battalion, with armoured support, attacked Japanese positions overlooking the airstrip. The attack, which began in November 1944, proceeded along two axes—the 19th Brigade moved along the coast towards the Japanese base at Wewak, while the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment, working with ANGAU detachments, advanced into the Torricelli Mountains, driving towards Maprik, which provided the Japanese with most of their supplies. This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. On 11 May, a landing at Dove Bay by Farida Force was undertaken to encircle Wewak and prevent the escape of its garrison. [19] Japanese casualties are estimated at between 7,000 and 9,000 killed while 269 were captured during the fighting. 4 Squadron. Allied intelligence estimated Japanese forces in the region to be between 24,000 to 30,000 men. [11], Following their defeat on the Driniumor River in July, the Japanese commander, General Hatazo Adachi, withdrew his forces from their forward positions and in the lull that followed, Adachi's forces focused upon foraging operations into the Torricelli Mountains and Wewak as hunger and disease began to take its toll on the Japanese force. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as The Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. Recaptured by an American landing on 22 April 1944, it was developed as a base area to support the continuing drive towards the Philippines. The Allies began to prepare for their next move, and chose to leapfrog the Japanese positions at Wewak and Hansa Bay and go straight for Hollandia, on the coast of Dutch New Guinea (Operation Reckless). The battle of Aitape (22-24 April 1944) was carried out in support of the larger landings at Hollandia, and was designed to provide a shield against any possible intervention by Japanese forces further to the west at Wewak. [2][20], During the course of the campaign, the strategic necessity of the operation was called into question as it became clear that the fighting would have little impact upon the outcome of the war. The airfield at Tadji was securely in Allied hands and Aitape could now be used for a staging area to support further operations. [18] Many of these casualties were the result of an atebrin-resistant strain of malaria that infested the area. General Adachi made one attempt to restore the situation, or at least regain some pride, and launched an attack on the Americans positions on the Driniumor River east of Aitape (10 July -25 August 1944), but … It was decided to seize a suitable location for a forward airfield at the same time as the attack on Hollandia. [8], Initially tasked with the defence of the port, airfield and base facilities at Aitape, the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment was ordered to advance towards Wewak to destroy the remnants of the Japanese 18th Army. The Japanese put up very little resistance at Aitape. In 1942, the Japanese occupied the Aitape region in northern New Guinea as part of their general advance south. [15], Following this, the remaining Japanese in the area withdrew into the Prince Alexander Mountains to the south of Wewak. Aitape had been occupied by the Japanese in 1942. 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