Battle of the Treasury Islands
|Battle of the Treasury Islands|
|Part of the Pacific Theatre of the Second World War|
| New Zealand
|Empire of Japan|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Robert A. Row
|6,574 men[nb 1]
|231+ men[nb 2]
|Casualties and losses|
|226 casualties[nb 3]||223 dead
8 POW[nb 4]
The Battle of the Treasury Islands was a Second World War battle that took place between 27 October and 12 November 1943 on the Treasury Islands group; part of the Solomon Islands as part of the Pacific Theatre. The Allied invasion of the Japanese held island group intended to secure Mono and Stirling Islands so that a radar station could be constructed on the former and the latter be used as a staging area for an assault on Bougainville. The attack on the Treasury Islands would serve the long term allied strategy of isolating Bougainville and Rabaul and the elimination of the 24,000 strong garrison in the area.
The invasion, to be conducted primarily by the New Zealand Army, supported by American forces, was codenamed Operation Goodtime. The New Zealand 8th Infantry Brigade Group, assigned to the United States' I Marine Amphibious Corps, launched the invasion of the Treasury Islands at 06:06 hours on 27 October. 3,795 men landed in the assault wave with the remainder of the Allied force landing in four waves during the following 20 days. The operation was the first amphibious assault launched by New Zealand troops since the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.
On 1 November the flag was raised over the ruins of Falamae, the islands' capital, and civil administration was restored. Eleven days later the islands were declared clear of Japanese forces; although Japanese holdouts were sighted in the jungles into January 1944.
The operation, in conjunction with Operation Blissful, served to divert the attention of the Japanese Seventeenth Army from the next major Allied target in the Solomon Islands campaign. The success of the operation also helped to improve the planning of subsequent landings in the Pacific.
- 4,608 New Zealanders and 1,966 Americans
- Strength is based on the Japanese casualty figure however occasional Japanese holdouts were sighted within the island's jungles though to December and January leaving a definite figure unknown.
- New Zealand casualties: 40 killed and 145 wounded. United States casualties: 12 killed and 29 wounded.
- 205 Japanese soldiers were killed by 12 November, the figure rising to 223 by the end of the month. 8 Japanese soldiers were taken prisoner.
- Gillespie, p. 149
- Gillespie, p. 158
- Chant, p. 66
- Gillespie, p. 145
- Gillespie, p. 154
- Gillespie, Chapter 5
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- Gillespie, p. 144
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