Accession Number : ADA328119

Title :   BUNA: MacArthur's Lieutenants in an Immature Theater.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : LaBarbera, David A.

PDF Url : ADA328119

Report Date : 19 MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : The Battle for Buna which occurred in late 1942 is a forgotten episode in U.S. military history. Events happening simultaneously on Guadalcanal dominated the headlines and is historically remembered as one of the rallying points of the Pacific war. The Battle for Buna had many parallels to Guadalcanal. Both were emotional struggles within larger campaigns and their outcomes impacted the overall strategic planning for both the Allies and Japan. Buna like Guadalcanal tested American will and resolve. Buna was like no other battle fought in U.S. history. The terrain, specifically the dense, disease-infected jungle sapped the strength from all three forces involved, the Americans, Australians and Japanese. The conditions were possibly the worst for U.S. forces in the entire war. U.S. military leadership had to find solutions in a theater that was not developed to support military operations. This paper discusses two of the innovators who understood the principles of war, operational art and the dynamics of combat and turned the battlefield in the Allies favor. The leadership of Army Air Corps General George Kenney and Army General Robert Eichelberger were two pivotal characters that worked for Douglas MacArthur and in essence saved the day at Buna and, from a strategic standpoint, the New Guinea Campaign. They reversed the fortunes of MacArthur and his staff by reinforcing sound principles. The lessons learned at Buna were applied strategically in future campaigns against Japanese forces in the Pacific.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY HISTORY, *THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, *LEADERSHIP, *MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY OPERATIONS, LOGISTICS SUPPORT, MILITARY PERSONNEL, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), BATTLEFIELDS, OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, JAPAN, AERIAL WARFARE, PACIFIC OCEAN, MILITARY PLANNING, TACTICAL WARFARE, REINFORCING MATERIALS, PHILIPPINES, NEW GUINEA.

Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE