Australian soldiers in Milne Bay, New Guinea, October 1942

australian soldiers milne bay

Australian troops in Milne Bay, New Guinea, three weeks after pushing back a Japanese invasion attempt. October 1st, 1942.

The Battle of Milne Bay took place between August 25th and September 7th 1942 in the Pacific Campaign. It was a Japanese operation (codenamed Operation RE or the Battle of Rabi) attempting to seize control of Allied airfields on the eastern tip of New Guinea.

The Japanese miscalculated the size of Allied troops (predominantly Australian), but, despite initial setbacks, managed to push on and advance. However, Japanese forces were just too heavily outnumbered and outpowered, and had to withdraw from the territory after two weeks of fighting.

The Battle of Milne Bay is often described as the first major decisive Allied victory over Japan in the Pacific.

Book suggestions ⤵️

📖 Turning Point: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 – Japan’s first land defeat in World War II (Michael Veitch, 2019)

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