This is a companion volume to the one on Guadalcanal in the series on the war in the Pacific. Both record the operations designed to halt the advance of the enemy toward the vital transpacific line of communications with Australia and secure Australia as a base. Success in Papua and Guadalcanal, achieved in February 1943, put the Allied forces in a position to neutralize Rabaul and, this accomplished, to advance to the Philippines.
The present volume concentrates on the action of one United States Army division. In telling the story of a comparatively limited number of troops, the author has been able to present the combat experience of small units in sharper focus than has been possible in most of the other full-scale campaign volumes.
The campaign abounds in lessons. Of these one of the most vital is the frequent necessity for all commanders to evaluate their own actions by asking themselves this question: “How could I have helped, how should I have helped, how can I help my subordinates to accomplish their assigned tasks?”
A. C. Smith
15 March 1955
Maj. Gen., U.S.A.
Chief of Military History
Mr. Samuel Milner holds a graduate degree in history from the University of Alberta and has done further graduate work in political science at the University of Minnesota. During World War II, he served in Australia and New Guinea as a historian with the Air Transport Command, Army Air Forces. Upon completing Victory in Papua he left the Office, Chief of Military History, to become historian of the Air Weather Service, U.S. Air Force.