Australian revolution

Aitape-Wewak Campaign

  • The Beginning

    The Beginning
    The Aitape-Wewak campaign was the last campaign of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. During the years of 1944 to 1945, the Australian army, along with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese army in North New Guinea.
  • Switch from U.S Troops to Australian Troops

    Switch from U.S Troops to Australian Troops
    At the beginning of October 1944, the Australian 6th division, along with other support from the 3rd base sub-area, began to arrive at Aitape to relieve the American garrison. The first Australian troop to arrive was the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment. Once there, they began patrolling almost immediately.
  • Comparison of Japanese and Australian Troops

    Before Australian troops arrived, the Japanese military had around 30,000-35,000 men on Aitape. However, they failed to defeat the American soldiers, and later, the Australian soldiers. The Japanese had no air or naval support to back them while fighting both times, not to mention that many of their men were sick or starving. On the contrary, the Australian troops were better equipped, better fed, and better medical and support services. Along with a moderate amount of air support.
  • After Defeat

    After Defeat
    After their defeat, the Japanese commander, General Hatazo Adachi, withdrew his forces from their forward positions and in the lull that followed. Instead, Adachi's forces focused upon planning operations into the Torricelli Mountains and Wewak as hunger and disease began to attack the Japanese force.
  • Retaliation

    After their defeat, and being low on all supplies, the Japanese wanted to avoid any more engagement. However, upon the arrival of Austalia, the 6th Divisions Commander, Major General Jack Stevens, wanted to begin offensive operations to rid the Japanese forces from the coastal area. They could only do so on a limited scale though.
  • First Attack

    First Attack
    On November 16, 1944, the attack proceeded along two axes. While the 19th brigade moved along the coast towards the Japanese base in Wewak, the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment, working with ANGAU detachments, moved into the Torricelli Mountains, driving towards Mapik which provided the Japanese forces with most of their supplies.
  • Series of Unfortunate Events

    In December 19, the Australian 19th Brigade crossed the Danmap River and began moving towards the east in an effort to cut the main Japanese line of communication. During this, a series of minor events occurred. However, no major fights happened and at the end of four weeks, the Australian troops reached Wallum, which (was/is) around 45 miles east of Aitape.
  • Series of Unfortunate Events pt 2

    One week later, on January 24, 1945, the Australian 16th Brigade relieved the 19th Brigade, while the 17th Brigade continued the advance towards the west of Torricelli's. However, progress was slowed because of difficulties transporting supplies on land or even by barge from flash flooding of multiple rivers the Australian troops had to cross. In one flash flooding, seven men died from the 2/3rd Battalion by drowning in the Danmap River.
  • Coastal Control

    The resulting operations were defined by prolonged small-scale patrolling, often in particularly arduous conditions. Assaults, when they occurred, were similarly small-scale - company attacks being the largest conducted in most instances. Constrained by supply difficulties, progress was slow but steady. But, on the coast was occupied on 16 March 1945
  • Maprik was captured

    Maprik was secured from the Japanese forces
  • The Real Fight

    The attack on Wewak has a two-part assault. On May 3, the Australian 19th Brigade had moved in from the west, while air and naval support moved in from the east of Wewak around May 11. During the attack, from May 3 to 6, there was little resistance from Japan. By May 7, the Japanese troops withdrew. At the same time, the Australian troop moving in were on the Western edge of Wewak. General Hatazo Adachi decided to move his men south across the mountains.
  • Wewak Was Captured

    Wewak was secured by the Australians
  • Anti-Climatic

    Wewak fell on May 10, but the main action was now inland where Australian forces were attempting to prevent Japanese from escaping south. The air and naval forces from Australia landed during this but realizes too late that the Japanese army moved.
  • The Surrender

    The Surrender
    Adachi and his forces were pushed back into the mountains near Sepik valley. He had been suffering heavy losses and was preparing for a last ditch defense effort. But, while both sides were preparing for battle, the news of the Japanese surrender came down to the small war. General Adachi surrendered at PNG on September 13, 1945. Thus ending the war. ending the war and WWII
  • Aftermath

    The campaign in retrospect is regarded as unimportant despite winning. The Australian government wanted to shrink down the size of the army but the military, to try and justify it's size so that it could launch campaigns up north started a campaign on the Japanese controlled New Guinea which technically belonged to Australia. the campaign began in 1944, a year before the Japanese surrender, however neither sides realized this until the end of the conflict.