D-Day New Guinea – the battle for Lae


D-Day New Guinea

The extraordinary story of the battle for Lae and the greatest combined airborne and amphibious operation of the Pacific War

By Phillip Bradley

Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP $32.99 in paperback • ISBN 9781760632588

According to noted historian Phillip Bradley, the capture of Lae was the most complex and the most successful operation for the Australian army in the Pacific.

In an effort to bring some perspective to the enormity of the operation, he compares Operation Postern, the plan to capture Lae in September 1943, with Operation Overlord, the invasion of France on 6 June 1944, more commonly known as the D-Day landing.

He contends they had much in common, despite the vast difference between the two locations.

He writes in detail about the campaign and illustrates the narrative with detailed maps. This was a complex operation, made all the more difficult by the almost impenetrable terrain. Its success had a major impact on the outcome of the war in the Pacific.

Sixty years after the event, then Chief of Army LTGEN Peter Leahy described it as a ‘successful exercise in complex operational planning’ and that he could not think of a better example than Lae. It demonstrated the capability of the Australian army who fought side by side with their American counterparts to rout the Japanese and turn the tide.

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