List the Roles of Papua New Guineans During the War

By | February 13, 2023

List the Roles of Papua New Guineans During the War

Papua New Guinea and WWII turned the country in to a major theater in the battle for the Pacific. The Japanese forces landed first at Kavieng in New Ireland on the 21st January 1941. And soon after at Rabaul in New Britain.

The Japanese then proceeded to turn Rabaul into their main base along the South Pacific rim. From which they launched their attack on Port Moresby in May 1942 – the next stage of their grand plan for control of New Guinea.

Together with the isolation and possible invasion of Australia to the south.

But in the Battle of the Coral Sea US carrier-based aircraft and the Australian Navy succeeding in forcing the Japanese armada back to its base in Rabaul.

In June 1942, after suffering devastating defeat at the Battle of Midway. The Japanese abandoned trying to take Port Moresby by naval attack. And instead made a surprise landing near Buna on the northeast coast of PNG. From their beachhead at Buna they launched an overland advance across the Owen Stanley Range.

PNG and WWII – The Kokoda Track

These mountains reach a height of 13,000 ft and are like a spine that runs down the Papuan peninsula. They are a formidable, saw-toothed, jungle barrier that separates the northeast from the southwest of the country.

The defeat of this attack by the Australian Army on the Kokoda Track is one of the finest moments in the military history of Australia. It was also very significant turning point for Papua New Guinea and WWII because it effectively ended the Japanese invasion!

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The Kokoda Track has a very high emotional connectivity with many Australians – both old and young. In many ways walking the Track has become almost a right of passage for many Aussies

Why was PNG important during the war?

Port Moresby was important because any Allied attack north through New Guinea towards Rabaul required Port Moresby as a base. Similarly for any attack south towards Australia, the Japanese required Port Moresby.

What was a major reason for the people of Papua New Guinea to fight?

In the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, tribal fights – sparked by disputes over land, resources and other grievances – lead to dozens of deaths and thousands of displacements each year.

Who were the four peoples at war in Papua New Guinea?

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Conflict menu

  • The Australians.
  • The New Guineans.
  • The Americans.
  • The Japanese.