7 January 1943. Australian forces attack Japanese positions near Buna. Members of the 2/12th Infantry Battalion advance as Stuart tanks from the 2/6th Armoured Regiment attack Japanese pillboxes. An upward-firing machine gun on the tank sprays treetops to clear them of snipers. (Photographer: George Silk).
New Guinea was strategically important because it was a major landmass to the immediate north of Australia. Its large land area provided locations for large land, air and naval bases.
The campaign between Allied and Japanese forces commenced with the Japanese assault on Rabaul on 23 January 1942. Rabaul became the forward base for the Japanese campaigns in mainland New Guinea, including the pivotal Kokoda Track campaign of July 1942 – January 1943, and the Battle of Buna-Gona. Fighting in some parts of New Guinea continued until the war ended in August 1945.
22 April 1944. US LVTs (Landing Vehicles Tracked) in the foreground head for the invasion beaches at Humboldt Bay, Netherlands New Guinea, during the Hollandia landing as the cruisers USS Boise (firing tracer shells, right center) and USS Phoenix bombard the shore. (Photographer: Tech 4 Henry C. Manger.)
Three American G.I.s dead on Buna Beach. Taken by George Strock in February 1943 for LIFE magazine, it was not published until 20 September 1943. President Roosevelt authorized release of this image, the first to depict American soldiers dead on the battlefield. He was concerned that the American public were growing complacent about the cost of the war on human life.
Two dead Japanese soldiers in a water filled shell hole somewhere in New Guinea