Illustrated with 32 maps, 8 Illustrations and 4 charts.
On the night of 10-11 July 1944, several thousand Japanese infantrymen attacked and broke through U.S. Army covering force units defending the Driniumor River about twenty miles east of Aitape, New Guinea. For the next month U.S. Army troops were locked in a battle of attrition with the Japanese, as the Americans fought to restore the breakthrough line and destroy the Japanese attackers. This Leavenworth Paper describes the events leading up to the Japanese breakthrough and the subsequent American counterattacks to restore the original defensive positions.
This Leavenworth Paper provides a day-by-day account of the course of the battle. Naturally not every moment was spent fighting, so commensurate attention is given to tactical planning, logistics, combat support-those oft-times overlooked functions that are only noticeable by their absence. There is sufficient detail for an in-depth analysis of both combatants’ doctrine, effectiveness of training, tactics, leadership, and unit cohesion...The combatants created their doctrine and applied it in combat isolated from the "Big Picture." Their concern was more basic, to survive. Training, previous combat experience, and leadership seem to have been the ingredients that most contributed to unit cohesion in the struggle. Those naturally developed unit bonds provided the underpinning for morale factors essential in protracted battle in a harsh natural environment. By the same token, one should not infer that tactics were therefore flawless and leadership bold and imaginative. In most cases, the opposite appears true. The reasons for this apparent contradiction unfold with the developing battle. By approaching these questions from the small unit perspective, one gains a fresh insight into the U.S. Army’s historic jungle warfare campaigns as well as a tactical appreciation of the enormous difficulties both sides experienced in the jungled terrain.