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BUNA, Papua, New Guinea
 

 

Buna was a pestilential area of anonymous tropical rainforest, only made significant when the Japanese landed  there in July 1942, intending to take Port Moresby via the Kokoda Track across the Owen Stanley Mountains.. 

While the battle raged inland, Japanese engineers built fortifications around Buna (their western flank) Gona and Sanananda. Defeated on the Kokoda Track in mid-November 1942, the Japanese retreated into the fortified beachheads, and dug in.

The battles that raged around Buna, Gona  and Sanananda between Nov 19, 1942 and Jan 22, 1943 were among the most difficult and costly of the war in Papua New Guinea. About 1,300 Australians, 1,000 Americans and an unknown number of Papua New Guineans were killed in action or died of wounds, or illness, with more wounded or suffering tropical diseases. More than 6,000 Japanese were killed.
 

 

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