Tag Archives: Wau

The Battle for Wau – 75 Years on.

Seventy-five years ago today marks the beginning of the Battle for Wau in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. A Japanese regimental group built around two battalions of the 102nd Infantry Regiment attempted to capture the township and airstrip of Wau in the Bulolo Valley from ‘Kanga Force’, an Australian command, the bulk of which was the newly

Australian Independent Company Commander – Brigadier T.F.B. MacAdie D.S.O., C.B.E. (2/7th Aust. Ind. Coy).

Of the eight Australian Independent Companies formed in the first half of the Second World War, only one, the 2/7th, is not represented by a formal, published unit history. This means that not only is there no substantial narrative – aside from occasional personal anecdotes available on internet sites such as that of the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment

Supply in the Jungle (New Guinea, 1943) – By Indigenous Feet.*

In my post Supply in the Jungle – By Air I began to refer to the difficulties involved in supplying soldiers, using the Third Australian Division in the Wau-Salamaua, New Guinea, campaign of 1943 as an example. Once aircraft – if they were available – had ‘dropped’ the required supplies, however, they still needed to be transported to

2/7th Australian Independent Company (Part II).

When we left Part I, the 2/7th Australian Independent Company was undergoing specialist training at the Guerilla Warfare School at Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria. With the war in Papua far to the north still very much in the balance, MacAdie’s company was destined to be committed to action as soon as it was considerable capable. Though their activities never

Supply in the Jungle – by Air.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Second World War in the Pacific was won by the Allies in two ways: supremacy in the air, and supremacy, or at least effectiveness, in the means and methods of supply. The air war in the Pacific, particularly in the South-West Pacific Area where Australian air and ground forces operated, has received

Wandumi, New Guinea, the 29th of January, 1943 – An Introduction.

2345 hours [11:45pm] 29th January, 1943, Wau, New Guinea: “Sitrep from Kanga stated at 0930 in the Wandumi area enemy strength was estimated to be from 300 to 500 on our direct front and large numbers by-passing fwd positions.” A ‘sitrep’ was a Situation Report and ‘Kanga’ was the name of the local area military headquarters which had

Chemical Warfare in the South West Pacific Area.

There is no public record of chemical warfare agents being used by either the Australians and Americans or their enemies of the time, the Japanese, in the war in the South West Pacific during World War Two. This is not to say, however, that both sides were not prepared for such an eventuality. After the widespread use of

Unexpected Dangers – Tragedy Strikes from the Air.

I came across an old letter from a relative recently, and when re-reading it discovered his mention of a man he had known in pre-war life who had been killed in an accident just one week before the end of the conflict in the Pacific. I find these tragedies rather poignant: Darrel Smith was born in Pingelly, Western

Australian Independent Company Commander – Major Paul Kneen and the Heath’s Plantation Raid.

Thomas Paul Kneen was born on the 18th of June, 1914 to Edwyn Corlett and Cecil Maud Kneen in Douglas, the Isle of Man. Educated at Haileybury College in rural Hertfordshire (England), and then Oxford University, he took a position with the British Colonial Administration Service in the Solomon Islands where he was stationed on Guadalcanal. Kneen served

News – School in PNG to be named after Australian Soldier.

I’ve written briefly in a previous post about the Australian soldier Colonel George Warfe, M.C., D.S.O., who fought in a number of theatres in World War Two. Neither I, nor, I suspect would he, had he not passed away in 1975, make any claims that he was the bravest, most experienced, or most tactically superior of our many