“No One Returns Alive”

Too often overlooked today, the New Guinea campaign was the longest of the Pacific War, with 340,000 Americans fighting more than half a million Japanese.
Soldiers in the Imperial Army of Japan had a saying: “Heaven is Java; hell is Burma; but no one returns alive from New Guinea.” For nearly four years, they struggled to hold onto the mountainous, jungle-choked island, fighting first with the Australians, then with Americans commanded by Douglas McArthur. Because holding onto New Guinea was central to the Japanese strategy for the war, they poured a vast number of troops, ships, and warplanes into the effort, pulling away resources from other fronts that contributed to Allied successes elsewhere.
Date of Event: 
Saturday, July 22, 1865
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The Real MacArthur?

My stint as an Army journalist a few years earlier (1951–53) than Geoffrey Perret gave me no insight into the MacArthur legend. I fear, however, his search for the “real” MacArthur (February/March) has brought him under the mystique and glossed his journalistic vision.

How does the failure of President Hoover’s orders to reach him absolve MacArthur of the brutal acts he carried out against the Bonus Marchers and their wives and children? Read more »

The Fall Of Corregidor

“The Rock” was a proud island fortress, impregnable to attack from the sea. Unfortunately, the Japanese didn’t come that way. Its capture climaxed the bitterest defeat in our history

In 1941, Manila Bay was the focus of United States power in the Orient: all of our war plans emphasized its importance. The Orange—or War with Japan—plan envisaged a naval campaign: if United States and Filipino forces could hold the Bataan peninsula and the fortified islands at the entrance to Manila Bay, thus denying their use to an enemy for a period of three to six months, the Pacific Fleet would fight its way westward from Pearl Harbor and relieve and reinforce the defenses.