Talk:Battle of Buna–Gona

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New Draft Revision[edit]

Hello to all that have an interest in this significant battle. You will be aware of my earlier post Talk:Battle of Buna–Gona#Improving structure and content where I provided a critique of the existing article. Among other issues, was the structure of the existing article. I had hoped that this might generate interest in a collaborative effort to improve the article but instead, I found that the baton was firmly passed to me. As a newbie, I have struggled with the magnitude of this task but I have stepped up to the mark and run with it.

I am pleased to announce my draft revision of the Battle of Buna-Gona and I am throwing it to the wolves (just hope I haven't stumbled at the start).

While this revision is a significant change from the current version, I wish to acknowledge that it has been built upon a strong foundation provided by previous contributors. Much of the original work has been retained within a revised structure.

I have chosen not to deal with the conduct of the battle on each of its fronts as separate, discrete sections (eg Warren Force, Sanananda Track/Road, Gona etc). Instead, I have dealt with the battle at the different locations in a way that is (semi)contiguous in time over the whole battlefield. The opening section Battle, is provided as a summary of the overall battle on all fronts.

The first question for discussion is (notwithstanding any changes required): "is there agreement that this revision should be adopted".

While I am sure that you may wish to qualify any comments here, can specific editorial/editing comments please be made on the draft's talk page (copying them to that page from here if necessary) - I would hate to loose track of things.

If there is some sort of consensus, albeit qualified, I guess we can then work up the draft to address any issues that are raised (or throw it away).


Cinderella157 (talk) 00:23, 9 November 2014 (UTC) Should have been new section Cinderella157 (talk) 01:40, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Gday - good to see someone working on an important article like this. Looks like you have made quite an effort so far! I have a few observations for possible improvements to the draft:
  1. The structure of the draft could probably be improved using the standard structure for battle articles (background, prelude, battle, aftermath as 2nd level headings per WP:MILMOS/C) - whilst you have a background, battle and aftermath sections, you have a large number of thematic sections as 2nd level headings which are probably more appropriate as 3rd level headings in a prelude section);
  2. The draft is very detailed, perhaps almost to the point of being a little too long in places (pls see WP:ARTICLESIZE) - for instance some sections could probably be reduced to more of a summary and separate articles created (for instance a separate ORBAT article is very often used - some examples include: Battle of Milne Bay order of battle, Order of battle for the Gallipoli Campaign and Order of battle for the Battle of Long Tan);
  3. The date format is a bit off in places (for instance you often use ordinals when they shouldn't be used) - pls see MOS:DATEFORMAT);
  4. TOC left is not commonly used, and at any rate the TOC is intimidatingly long (I'd suggest limiting to only 2nd level headings using {{TOC limit|2}} - this is my opinion only and others may well disagree);
  5. The current article consistently uses the same reference format throughout (the SFN format) so I think any replacement should use this format for consistency (it also allows information to be moved / copy pasted through out an article without causing errors);
  6. We generally don't use abbreviations for rank, probably best to write them in full.
  7. Your lead is 6 paragraphs; however, by policy it should be no more than four per WP:LEAD (the current article is admittedly also 6 so is also incorrect);
  8. There is quite a bit of information in your draft which is currently unreferenced, whereas all paragraphs in the current version have citations. I think you will probably need to ensure your draft is fully referenced before we consider moving it across.

Anyway hopefully these suggestions help. Happy to discuss anything of course. Once these points have been addressed I'll read through the draft in full and let you know what I think. Anotherclown (talk) 05:47, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

G'day, I've added some comments to the draft article's talk page here: Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:53, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Rupert's suggestions. Use the standard structure for a battle article and any revisions should not reduce the number and quality of the citations. Instead of tackling the entire article, you may want to consider revising in parts by first tackling the background, then the battle itself, etc. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 04:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

AustralianRupert, Anotherclown and btphelps. Thank you for your responses. Please see Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona#response to comments Cinderella157 (talk) 12:55, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

I certainly agree reorganization of the article is needed but use caution in deleting such things as that "unreferenced quote" you mentioned over on Talk:Operation Lilliput and other statements in paragraphs with an end cite. I've been driven to clutter up paragraphs with endless cites due to people seemingly unaware that end paragraph cites are also valid and avoid clutter. Earlier I did not and I think other editors wrote for readability rather than defense from endless challenges. If you are going to tear into what you think are unreferenced statements then get the references. Not all are web pages. Anyone needing Masterson's monograph can go here: for 8 PDF files. Anyone doing work dealing with SWPA logistics needs a copy. It is a fairly frequent cite in the "Green Books" dealing with Army transport in SWPA. I'd also suggest the Second World War Official Histories at AWM. The two big allies there could be amazingly self centered at times writing the history. From some of the U.S. Army books one wonders if the Australians were about very much and sometimes the flip side applies. Palmeira (talk) 22:16, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Problematic statement[edit]

The statement: "When the Americans saw the few Japanese killed, they were surprised to see the men were robust and well-fed and not in the emaciated, weak state they had been led to believe. " which has gone through a revert cycle, is problematic. I know of no reliable recent history on the Buna-Gona battle that does not emphasize the starving condition of the Japanese defenders. For example, see Collie and Marutani, The Path of Infinite Sorrow: The Japanese on the Kokoda Trail. Perhaps this was an anomalous case, but I think we need a better source than a unit Web site. --Yaush (talk) 05:33, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi @Yaush, I would have addressed this to you but you didn't appear set up and I didn't think you would get it. Starving or not starving is all a matter of timing. Most of the Buna-Gona garrison had not been deployed along the Kokoda Tack. They were unaffected by the supply shortages faced by the Japanese withdrawing back to the beachheads. Fresh reinforcements were landed on the eve of the Allied attacks. Most of these troops deployed to Buna, which was the 32nd Div AO. When Gona fell (9 Dec) large stocks of food and ammunition were found. The situation deteriorated so that by about the end of December, essentially all all of the food stocks had been consumed. Sea resupply to the beachheads was effectively curtailed by Allied air power. The statement in question is made in respect to the start of the battle. The reference quoted ( supports this statement as do many others. Hope this addresses your concerns. I tried putting more detail in to explain the revision but there wasn't enough space. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 06:40, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, that sounds plausible. I am a bit allergic to self-published Web sites as substitutes for reliable sources. I recommend adding cite then of one of the "many others." --Yaush (talk) 14:00, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Done. Milner, Samuel (1957). Victory in Paupa. United States Army In World War II. Washington, DC: Center Of Military History, United States Army. pp. 175—176. LCCN 56060004. :

Yielding a dozen or so yards at a time when strongly pressed, the Japanese covering troops gradually fell back. Out of rations, and with the greater part of its ammunition used up, the 1st Battalion ended the day a badly shaken outfit. The troops had entered the battle joking and laughing, and sure of an easy victory. Now they were dazed and taken aback by the mauling they had received at the hands of the Japanese. Nor did it escape them that the bodies of the few Japanese left on the field were those of fresh, well-fed, well-armed troops—not, as they had been led to expect, the tired, emaciated, and disease-ridden survivors of the fighting in the Owen Stanleys. It was to be some time before they and their fellows recovered from the shock of finding that the battle was to be no pushover and that, instead of a short and easy mop-up, a long cruel fight lay ahead of them.

Palmeira (talk) 17:09, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Good stuff. Thanks. --Yaush (talk) 17:30, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

It has been proposed that Draft:Battle of Buna–Gona be merged with this article (essentially moving that draft over this current article). Please join the discussion and help to establish consensus either way. The discussion can be found here: Draft_talk:Battle_of_Buna–Gona#Progressing. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:26, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Import talk from Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona[edit]

Following sections have been moved from Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona to facilitate any discussion of the rewrite that was moved to the article space. Cinderella157 (talk) 22:46, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

G'day, good effort so far. I have the following suggestions for improvement to this draft:

  • The lead is currently too long. Per WP:LEAD it should be no more than four paragraphs;
  • the capitalisation used for many of the section headings is incorrect. Per WP:Section caps, headings like “Climate and Terrain” etc should be presented as “Climate and terrain”;
  • many paragraphs or sentences appear to be unreferenced. Please ensure that each paragraph at least ends with a citation;
  • I suggest using the {{sfn}} citation system, as that is more compatible with the style currently being used in the article that is in article space;
  • the harvnb script identifies a number of referencing issues that should be fixed. If you install the script you will see red warning text in the article. The script can be found here: User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js
  • File:Action at Buna really should not be used in this article. It is a copyrighted file and I do not believe you have provided a strong enough rationale for its use;
  • I wouldn’t use “TOC left”, I’d suggest just using “TOC”;
  • watch your date format. As per the guidance at WP:DATESNO we do not use ordinal suffixes, e.g. “22nd January, 1943” should be presented as “22 January 1943”. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:52, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Gday - good to see someone working on an important article like this. Looks like you have made quite an effort so far! I have a few observations for possible improvements to the draft:
  1. The structure of the draft could probably be improved using the standard structure for battle articles (background, prelude, battle, aftermath as 2nd level headings per WP:MILMOS/C) - whilst you have a background, battle and aftermath sections, you have a large number of thematic sections as 2nd level headings which are probably more appropriate as 3rd level headings in a prelude section);
  2. The draft is very detailed, perhaps almost to the point of being a little too long in places (pls see WP:ARTICLESIZE) - for instance some sections could probably be reduced to more of a summary and separate articles created (for instance a separate ORBAT article is very often used - some examples include: Battle of Milne Bay order of battle, Order of battle for the Gallipoli Campaign and Order of battle for the Battle of Long Tan);
  3. The date format is a bit off in places (for instance you often use ordinals when they shouldn't be used) - pls see MOS:DATEFORMAT);
  4. TOC left is not commonly used, and at any rate the TOC is intimidatingly long (I'd suggest limiting to only 2nd level headings using {{TOC limit|2}} - this is my opinion only and others may well disagree);
  5. The current article consistently uses the same reference format throughout (the SFN format) so I think any replacement should use this format for consistency (it also allows information to be moved / copy pasted through out an article without causing errors);
  6. We generally don't use abbreviations for rank, probably best to write them in full.
  7. Your lead is 6 paragraphs; however, by policy it should be no more than four per WP:LEAD (the current article is admittedly also 6 so is also incorrect);
  8. There is quite a bit of information in your draft which is currently unreferenced, whereas all paragraphs in the current version have citations. I think you will probably need to ensure your draft is fully referenced before we consider moving it across.

Anyway hopefully these suggestions help. Happy to discuss anything of course. Once these points have been addressed I'll read through the draft in full and let you know what I think. Anotherclown (talk) 05:47, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Rupert's suggestions. Use the standard structure for a battle article and any revisions should not reduce the number and quality of the citations. Instead of tackling the entire article, you may want to consider revising in parts by first tackling the background, then the battle itself, etc. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 04:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Added responses from {{Editing Talk:Battle of Buna–Gona (section)#New Draft Revision]] Cinderella157 (talk) 10:44, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

response to comments[edit]

Hi, AustralianRupert, Anotherclown and btphelps. Thank you for your responses.

First of all, I must say that I have found the user support for making citations to be singularly unhelpful. I have struggled to make sense of it and have solved the problem (partly) by mimicing and not through any clear understanding as a result of consulting the tutorial. The tool bar supports the ref system and not the snf system. It is certainly not user friendly and I wouldn't know where to begin to address this.

  1. I have removed Australian Action at Buna.
  2. I have removed the capitalisation of headings except for what i think are proper nouns.
  3. I have change the date format to remove ordinals. However, I have retained ordinals where the date is orphaned from the month as I didn't see any guidance on this and I didn't seem sensible to remove. So you will see on the 20th but on 21 January.
  4. I have changed almost all of the references to snf format. But there are still a couple that may be problematic. Specifically those which are cited in a reference and should not be changed to remove the cited in. There are also some web addresses that played up and references in footnotes, which I understand can be a problem. Some of the ones not in snf format are from the original article. Any help to sort these out would be accepted.
  5. I have absolutely no idea what to do with User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js
  6. I have read WP:LEAD. I understand that the number of paragraphs is a guide that varies with the size of the article and that 4 paragraphs is not an absolute maximum. In this case, particularly given the size, I would understand that 6 paragraphs would not be unacceptable, particularly when one is a two line single sentance. I have played around with it and could make it 4 but I think it looses something by doing so. It seems rather arbitary if 4 paragraphs is ok but the same text in 6 paragraphs isn't.
  7. You may know that TOC left on the Battle of Buna–Gona has recently been changed to TOC by Ww2censor who makes the comment: "TOC left is discouraged - Is there a good reason it is being used?" To do so would leave a large white space, which I think is a good reason.
  8. With regard to a Prelude section, I have read Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Content guide and understand that this is a suggested format. The sections preceding the battle are thematic and not what would be called, a prelude. It would be a redundant additional level (with no text at that level) and a title inconsistent with the content.
  9. I have read WP:ARTICLESIZE and one comment it makes is not to be in too much of a hurry to cut it down. I acknowledge that it is long. I couldn't do a readable prose check. At this stage, I wouldn't know where to begin to create sub-articles.
  10. The TOC is big I acknowledge but I don't know that it would benefit by cutting out the second level items. It is only, I think about 7 items longer compared with about 35 already.
  11. As for rank, I have used the MOS style for these. I think that reading Lt Gen 5 times in full in a paragraph is a bit over done and I would rater not write General as a short version. (let me know if any slipped through)
  12. I have had a bit more of a look at the referencing. There is always room for improvement.
  1. I have not referenced the lead as it is an abstract. As such, it doesn't (or shouldn't) make any statements that are not addressed in the body.
  2. There are some paragraphs that are introductions where the points are made in a subsequent paragraph.
  3. How do you go with material that comes from another page that is effectively referenced by the link and there isn't a specific reference in that linked page - such as the date of another battle? Is the link a sufficient reference?
  4. Did you see note? 14. Compiled ostensibly from: McCarthy, 1959; Milner, 1957; and, Center of Military History, 1990. Other sources are specifically cited. This appears at the start of the Battle section. These references follow chronologically fairly well for each of the fronts. This is a reference for the events of the battle. Significant matters should have been specifically reference.
  5. There are a number of things I could use help with finding references. Some of these are in the original and it is not just a case of them having been separated from a suitable reference in the source.
  6. Can I suggest that, if any of you find something needing a citation that you mark it using the ref system tags and place two question marks (??) inside the markers. I use these as an editing guide because they are easy to search for and shouldn't appear together in normal text.
  7. As a comment, the article is about twice the length but has nearly three times the number of discrete references as the original.

Anyhow, I appreciate your comments and interest. Throwing it back for further discussion.


Cinderella157 (talk) 12:51, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

G'day, thanks for your continued efforts. I have a few more comments: AustralianRupert (talk) 06:10, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

  • the date format is still not right in places. For example "8 March, 1942" --> "8 March 1942" per WP:DATESNO
  • regarding User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js, you install it into your monobook (User:Cinderella157/monobook.js). You can see how I've done it with mine here: User:AustralianRupert/monobook.js. Installing this script will help you highlight the large number of "harvn errors" on the page (these are essentially html coding issues);
  • regarding the lead, I'll leave it up to you, but from my experience reviewing at WP:FAC and WP:MHACR, four is the limit and it wouldn't be hard to make what you have there four paragraphs;
  • the list of units could be split into an order of battle page. For example see Battle of Milne Bay order of battle;
  • the "Quoted in blah" citations can be presented the same as sfn cites by using the {{harvnb}} in text. For instance "<ref>Quoted in {{harvnb|McCarthy|1959|p=516}}.</ref>"
  • you are correct, the lead doesn't need citations so long as the information is referenced in the body. All paragraphs in the body should be fully cited, though, regardless of whether citations are provided in subsequent paragraphs. The readers should not have to go searching for the references. The bare minimum should be a single citation at the end of each paragraph or after each quote;
  • the section on the US 32nd Division should probably be a subsection of the Allied forces section;
  • comments like "The same could be said in the case of the 32nd Division." sound like editorialising which Wikipedia should not do. If it is the opinion of an author, it should be attributed. For example, "According to author John Smith, blah blah...";
  • I don't think sentences/paragraphs like these are necessary in this article: "The role of field artillery (and fire support in general) in the attack is to destroy...";
  • the various sections on artillery, armour, air support, naval support etc. appear to be focused on the Allied situation only. If this is the case, they should probably also be grouped as subsections of the Allied forces section;
  • where possible, avoid using the word "enemy" unless in a quote;
  • avoid short stubby paragraphs if possible;
  • internal links should not be relied upon in the place of references;
  • Citation 15 "Japanese History/World War II" --> is this user generated content, i.e written by Wikipedia editors? If so, I'm afraid it doesn't meet the requirements of WP:RS and shouldn't be used as a reference in Wikipedia;
  • Citation # 28 "??Popondetta" seems to be missing something;
  • "Compiled ostensibly from..." not sure I've ever seen this used at A-class or FAC. I'd be surprised if it wasn't questioned, but it might be acceptable. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:10, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

A few specific comments[edit]

I took an hour to look at the article and have a few comments. I only have time for a few examples but the issues cited are present throughout. While you've added new content and new sources, the new article needs work on the language and more subheads to add organization to it. With the issues remaining, this draft is still quite a ways from being a genuine improvement over the current article.

  • Some of your rewrite is unnecessarily wordy and awkward.
"The first temporay strip at Dobodura was cleared by a company of the 114th Engineer Battalion (Bn) on the November, after a day of work."
Try instead:
"The first temporary strip at Dobodura was cleared and built in a single day by a company of the 114th Engineer Battalion (Bn) on November NN."
  • Some of the content is too dense and complex. For example, this sentence has six clauses and a dependent idea at the end:
"When Port Moresby was threatened, he persuaded the Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, to send the Australian General, Sir Thomas Blamey, commander of Allied Land Forces, to New Guinea – where Blamey would be the scapegoat."
The last clause about Blamey is confusing. Was MacArthur intending to make Blamey a scapegoat? If so, this is an important idea and deserves to be well explained. It's just inexplicably tacked on here.
  • You use passive voice a lot. The article switches back and forth between describing actions carried out by the U.S., Australians and Japanese. Passive voice makes it hard for the reader to follow the complex series of actions and track who is doing what to whom. For example:
"The strip at Popondetta was commenced...", "Jeeps were landed...", and "At the start of the battle, attempts were made..."
Try instead:
"The <unit name> started building the strip at Popondetta ... ", The Allies landed Jeeps...", and "At the start of the battle, the Japanese attempted ..."
  • Run on, awkward sentences. In my experience as a professional writer, I have learned that sentences with greater than about 27 words are growing too long to allow the reader to readily understand the content. For example:
"For the Kokoda campaign, there were three alternatives available to the Australians for resupply: supplies and equipment could either be portered forward overland from Port Moresby, they could be air dropped or they could be landed at a forward air strip and then man-packed from there."
Try instead:
"During the Kokoda campaign, the Australians had three alternatives to resupply the front lines. They could use porters to carry the equipment overland from Port Moresby, a long and difficult trek. The Allies could air drop the supplies, but mis-drops were common. They could also send the supplies in by aircraft, after which they would be carried forward by hand."
  • Poor word choice. For example, "porter" is a noun, not a verb. "Portered" is not a word.
  • Non-standard abbreviations, for example, "2/6th Ind Coy" and "US 32nd Div and Aust 7th Div". Use standard abbreviations. The Manual of Style suggests avoiding technical jargon that can confuse readers. Avoid the temptation to use military shorthand like "Div". Remember that not all readers of this article are familiar with military jargon. While common within the military, even "US 32nd Inf. Div. and Aust 7th Div.", is not standard usage. Nothing much is gained by eliminating a few letters to create new abbreviations when the phrase could be easily spelled out. By way of example, see Guadalcanal Campaign.
  • Section length. The entire article needs additional subheads to make the text more accessible to the reader. See section length.
  • It's acceptable to forgo citations in introductory and summary content. For info, see citation usage. But the article contains this unreferenced content in the middle of a section:
"As a corps scale engagement, it is reasonable that there would be additional corps assets and army level assets allocated in direct support, increasing the total of guns even further."
In this instance, the content may be seen as original research because it offers conclusions in the middle of a section without offering a citation. You might be able to move this content to the beginning to form an introduction, although I think the "reasonable" conclusion merits a citation. Another good reason to do this would be to put the use of available artillery in context by first introducing the usual levels of artillery accompanying the forces, and then the actual number in use. This will help the reader better understand the challenges of the battle.

That's all I have time for right now, but there are a number of other issues remaining. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 19:35, 12 November 2014 (UTC)


Hi btphelps,

In regard to your question who

I have confirmed that the cited reference does not specifically attribute this to a third party. The statement is made by the author cited, Bergerund. I have added a note to give further weight to this statement.

It is estimated that between 85 – 95% of all soldiers in the area carried malaria during the course of the battleTemplate:Bergerud[notes 1]

Note 1. Brig Disher was the Deputy Director Medical Services, New Guinea Force from late November 1942. At the end of December, he remarked in his diary, "that he thought that 100 per cent of the men at Milne Bay and in the Buna area had been infected."Template:Walker By the end of January 1943 the malarial rate for operational areas rose to a peak equivalent to 2,496 per 1,000 per year,Template:Walker1962 or nearly 250%. This would include relapses at an average of two per man. The 163rd Infantry Regiment arrived at Sanananda from early January. It had deployed from Australia in late December, where it had not been exposed to the risk of maleria.

Cinderella157 (talk) 01:54, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

MacArthur's pressure and posturing[edit]

Hi all,

I wasn't all that comfortable with Pressure from above as a heading but nor am I that comfortable with MacArthur's pressure and posturing Sensationalising is much too strong but it is the nearest to describing how it comes across to me. I had been thinking of Command pressure. Comment please. Alternatives welcome or which do we go with?

Cinderella157 (talk) 10:00, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

I think you have it covered in the opening of "Demands results" but you might be interested in a 1989 study of the general's failures from 1941 through these events. I ran across an applicable study in my digital file while looking at the Hart/Mac enmity from the Philippines and found the on line link at DTIC to the .pdf: Defense of the Philippines to the Battle of Buna: A Critical Analysis of General Douglas MacArthur. The study itself is well cited and drives home Mac Arthur's detachment from reality while sending out self promoting propaganda from Manila through this campaign. Page 42 is interesting from this draft's perspective. The man was in full blame casting, self "glory" accumulating mode. As in the Philippines, he "never got out from behind the desk to find out what was going on":
Last of all, and probably the most serious of General MacArthur's failings, he never got out from behind the desk to find out what was going on. On more than one occasion this failing was a life-or-death error for the troops at the front. Had MacArthur bothered to visit the Philippine Army in the field prior to the war he would have known they could not oppose the Japanese on the beaches. Had he regularly visited his troops on Bataan he would have realized that his troops were literally starving to death. Had he gone to the front in Now Guinea, he would have seen the horrible combat conditions under which he directed his units forward “regardless of cost.” [p. 52]
It was also an opportunity for MacArthur the consummate publicist. He “stunned his victorious troops by announcing that the utmost care was taken for the conservation of our forces, with the result that no campaign in history...produced such complete and decisive results with so low an expenditure of lives and resources.” (22:327) This It an absurdity and an outright lie. The battle of Buna (commonly referring to the Buna-Gona-Sanananda area) was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. (1:108) The fighting at Buna, Gona, and Sanananda cost the Allies 3,300 killed and 5,500 wounded as compared to the six-month Guadalcanal campaign in which American ground forces suffered 1,100 killed and 4,350 wounded. (22:328) According to D. Clayton James, “the deepest resentment felt by the veterans of the Papuan Campaign was probably reserved for MacArthur's audacity in depicting the casualty rate as relatively light.” (14:279) These men were, James continued, the same veterans urged to “take all objectives regardless of cost.” (14:279) [p. 45—46]
The numbers in parenthesis are cites in the study while those in brackets are study page numbers. As for his and his staff's low opinion of Australian fighting ability, see page 40—41 for the origins in their gross underestimation of Japanese strength. Palmeira (talk) 14:16, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for this @Palmeira, I can see both of these dropping into place as quotes at the end of the section with a little bashing into place. You will see, that I have already made some reference to this release and comments by Eichelberger. It won't happen straight away but don't let me forget. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 01:53, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Weaving a bit of that source into the MacArthur section may clarify the origins of some of his blunders in the period. Fortunately he, or at least his staff, seemed to get their act together later (even if his self promotional posturing continued). In looking over the sections this morning I think the most critical new bit may be in the "Negative view of Australian troops" and the origin in the Kokoda push by the Japanese observations on pages 40—42 of that paper. The Kokoda Track campaign could use work similar to what you are doing here and that properly needs to go in that article, but a mention here would help. The key point is contained in this (my emphasis):
The Japanese achieved tremendous success along the Kokoda trail against the Australians, causing “amazement and consternation at MacArthur's headquarters”. (32:190) As it turned out, the Japanese had landed about 14,000 men in the Buna-Gona area, but Allied intelligence had grossly underestimated their strength. (19:103, 32:190) This led MacArthur to the conclusion that the Australians “simply would not fight.” (32:190) The attitude that the Australians were poor fighters pervaded thinking at MacArthur's headquarters, and as events proved that attitude was totally unjustified. (32:190)
In now a 71 year retrospect and look at the whole history the U.S. GHQ/Australian conflicts can be seen as misconceptions with some "fire" in the smoke on both sides. The SWPA command was a very insular thing with MacArthur loyalist at the core. Despite their obvious misconceptions about Australians there were "Australian problems", particularly in ports, related to labor unions and the war effort (Masterson: pt. 1, vii—viii) that were accurate and true hindrances to logistics. But that is another story. Palmeira (talk) 16:05, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Update on comments[edit]

Hi and thank you for your comments.

Firstly, I welcome you putting comments/questions into the text but I would ask you to please include the double question marks(ie ??), either in brackets or as a comment or something that delineates it from the text. I will assume that where they are in ref marks, you are asking for a citation.

I acknowledge that my writing style can be conservative and circumspect. Writing something such as this in a 'very' active voice does not sit well with me. It is also difficult to see some things that might be clear from a different perspective. I have looked at offered changes. I have either accepted them, modified them where I thought they might be further improved or changed them back, where I was uncomfortable with the offered change or thought it was not consistent with the intended meaning. I do not see that these actions mean that the matter is closed but is part of the collaborative process. Hope this is ok?

  1. I have removed the comma where they occur between a month and a year. I won't say this is perfect, I may have missed a couple. Please fix any isolated style issues such as these if I missed them.
  2. Will leave User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js for now until we get closer to a finished product, or I have nothing to do.
  3. Will ponder the matter of the lead for now (not ignoring it). Remind me if I forget.
  4. Regarding an order of battle page. I acknowledge the comment. I would prefer to leave that as a future development.
  5. Still to try the "Quoted in".
  6. Using snf in a note doesn't work. If you know how to do it, put an example in the text and I will mimic. Let me know.
  7. Note comment about sub sections of Allied forces - to do list
  8. "The same could be said in the case of the 32nd Division." - To me, this is a clear implication but still worth stating - perhaps in a better way - suggestions?
  9. The section on Artillery is a theme. It is about the role of artillery in battle and how the artillery was and wasn't able to fulfill this role. It is also about the lessons learn't so that artillery (and other fires) could fulfill its role in future battles in the theatre. I think this particular case is necessary. Other cases may not be but there should be sufficient background for some one 'new' to interpret to critical issues or at least push them in the direction to find out more. This battle isn't just about bullets, bombs and seizing ground. The war in the Pacific required a paradigm shift in doctrine. This and Guadalcanal were where this was realized and the starting point for its development.
  10. Think I got all the enemies.
  11. Noted about links - may need help getting some references to substitute.
  12. Noted about short paragraphs. Tried moving things around to fix one but it created more problems with continuity than it fixed. Will look to address though.
  13. Noted - citation 15.  ??Popondetta was a note to self and a link to that page, which was the source.
  14. "Compiled ostensibly from..." - have a look at the Warren front section. I have fully (I think) cited it, except for the topography (1st 3? paragraphs, which are a bit more problematic). Doing this added about 20 discrete citations. I make the distinction in using this device between what is simply a sequence of events and what are critical facts. More comments please. Can we get a consensus or, if not, a definitive answer?
  15. Wiktionary and both give porter as a verb, and portered would be the simple past tense and past participle of porter. I had used it to be more pc than saying, carried by natives! The proposed alternative did not convey this meaning. Other comments pls?
  16. I note that I have used native in one other place at least. Better alternatives, comments welcome.
  17. "As a corps scale engagement, [it is reasonable that (delete??)] there would be additional corps assets and army level assets allocated in direct support, increasing the total of guns even further." I don't have a specific reference but I have seen enough examples of this being applied - let me know if you think this is wrong in fact. Can anybody help. I don't want to totally rearrange the section just to get around this. Help pls??
  18. I think there are different views on what the Manual of style says about abbreviations and what this means in this context?
  19. Should we go to three columns of citations. Could somebody pls do that? Comments?

Thanks again, Cinderella157 (talk) 12:41, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

G'day, thanks for your continued efforts. A couple of follow up points:
  • per your comment above regarding the use of the sfn template in a note, here is an example: [1]. I also switched to three columns with the same edit.
  • regarding date format issues, I made a couple of adjustments with this edit: [2] There are still examples that should be fixed
  • in regards to the battle honours section, I think Maitland should be cited here, as his work is definitive in this area, IMO. The ref is p. 142 of the work that is already listed in the References section. In addition, this note in the article concerns me, and I think it should be removed: "The AWM refers to a sixth subsidiary honour, which is 'Buna Village' (Personal communication user:Cinderella157, AWM dated 13 Nov 2014)." This is original research, which Wikipedia policy prevents us from using in writing articles on the site. Maitland does not mention this honour at all, and unless it is mentioned in a published source, I don't believe it should be mentioned.
  • be careful of the language you use. For instance, constructions like "It should be realised that..." should be avoided per WP:EDITORIALIZING.
  • instead of "portered", perhaps you could say "carried by Papuan porters"?
  • be careful of how the images are placed. As per the guidance at WP:IMAGELOCATION, the text should not be sandwiched between images like it is in many places
  • point of view: when saying things like "It was estimated that..." you should identify who estimated this. For instance, "Allied intelligence reports estimated that..."
  • I think in a few places we are getting into WP:SYNTH territory with some of the analysis. I might be wrong, but please be mindful of this when you are linking sources and arguments together.
  • "In probability, the initial and maximum strength of the Japanese forces at the beachheads lies somewhere between the lower figure of 6,500 and the upper figure of nearly 12,000..." Is there a source for this? If so, you should attribute it. For instance, "According to Smith, in probability..."
  • instead of "natives", perhaps you could substitute "local Papuans" or "the local population"?
  • Anyway, that is it from me for a while. I will take another look maybe tomorrow depending on how the day goes. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 12:03, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for stuff so far. Hopefully I now have almost all of the date stuff sorted.

  1. Regarding the battle honours. The AWM page for the battle honour Buna-Gona (which is cited) lists six subsiduary honours. I could only find 5 (surprise) so I contacted the AWM and I am reporting the response. The response refers to ( )as their source, which gives official battle names. The personal communication referenced is not original research on my part but is a verifiable source that serves to clarify an apparent inconsistancy in information provided from an authoritive source.
  1. The problem with the "it is estimated" is that the sources (I have found) don't quote who did the estimation but it is clear, looking at the material overall that, that is what it is. This then leads to the problem of strength. I acknowledge (with more knowledge) that "In probability" may be viewed as original research. At the time I wrote it, I didn't, since to me, research would attempt to determine a figure or ascribe weight to a figure. The problem is, how to deal with this. I have pointed out some of the lack of specificity in the Japanese sources. I could provide more peripheral information which muddies the waters even more. To present the material would nearly be another page full or more. A Japanese source suggests that the force at Sanananda immediately prior to the fall was over 4000. What to do? Do I just take out the sentance or is there a way to say it that would leave a reader with the same impression but in an acceptable way?

RegardsCinderella157 (talk) 11:57, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

G'day, I'm sorry but I do not believe you are correct. Citing personal correspondence is original research as per WP:OR and it fails WP:V. You need to provide reliable published sources, not unpublished personal correspondence. I would suggest removing "The AWM refers to a sixth subsidiary honour, which is 'Buna Village' (Personal communication user:Cinderella157, AWM dated 13 Nov 2014)..." and replacing it with "The Battles Nomenclature Committee lists a sixth subsidiary honour called "Buna Village"...). Doing this makes it clear that it is not original research.
Regarding your second point, it is difficult to suggest an approach without seeing what you are seeing, but I believe the way to achieve this is to use attribution of your source in text, i.e. "According to Smith...blah blah" then provide a brief summary. If multiple sources are used to arrive at the estimates, you could say something like: "Estimates of X vary across various sources. Smith provides a figure of blah while Jones states that there were around blah at the time...etc."
Anyway, I'm taking a break from this draft for a week to let the others chime in if they want to. Good luck, I think you are heading in the right direction. I will try to come back next weekend and take another look. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 16:14, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi AustralianRupert,

I do very much appreciate your advice, your contributions and your efforts overall. Regarding the battle honours, I am not quite comfortable with your proposed solution, to the extent that I still see some holes, which could become mute if the AWM amends their website. The problem is the inconsistency with such an authoritative source. Most of the six AWM web pages refer to there being six subsidiary honours. I had cited the personal communication believing it was verifiable since the question could be asked again by anyone and receive the same answer - ie, the same as going to any published source.

"I have asked my colleagues for help with your inquiry regarding the Buna-Gona subsidiary honours. We believe the sixth honour from the list is Buna Village. This information was obtained from the most recent edition of this publication: [3]
I will alert the History Section and the Webteam to see if we can update the entry."

My understanding is that the Battlefield Nomenclature Committee assigned the official names of battles etc. It does not list battle honours but provided the official names of engagements used on honours conferred for a particular battle. So, to say that the BF nomenclature Committee lists a sixth subsiduary honour doesn't sound quite right nor does it clearly explain that this is the source of the inconsistancy, which bothered me for some time. I am not attached to the citation but to an accurate way of resolving the inconsistency for others facing the same dilemma.

The problem with strength gets very complicated. I have quoted some main figures a,b,c and d with corresponding citations. Then you see figures x and y which should give z, a number that should correspond with one of the earlier figures, and other tit bits of information which should allow a reader to arrive at some understanding. The problem is not so much what is know but what is not known. Are you confused? Put together 800-900 at Gona, 1600 at the Sanananda track and 2000 at Buna, of which a number escaped. Add that to 4000 at Sanananda at the end (probably not including the Sanananda Track). Add to this, a number of other qualifying comments from a variety of sources and another totally different set of figures to consider. Presenting all of this could easily become long and complicated. To say that 'probably the figure lays somewhere between the upper and lower limits' was intended as a concise way of expressing all of this and not as original research - even though I now see that it could be perceived as such. It can be a fine and difficult line. Is there a simple, acceptable way to say this? Have I presented (in the draft) sufficient information to reasonably lead one to the same sort of conclusion? If this is the case, then the statement might be redundant and the simple solution would be to remove it?

Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 23:31, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Number of headings[edit]


"I would look to reduce the number of headings proposed. Regards," AustralianRupert (talk) 04:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

This was said in regard to the proposed outline.

Does this apply to the draft? In which case, there is a conflict of opinion. Need a consensus before I go breaking it up or not.

Also, don't think Disease sits well as a sub-section of Climate and terrain. Comments pls.

Cinderella157 (talk) 13:08, 14 November 2014 (UTC)


The constant appearance of references within sentences is in my view distracting and over referencing. Readability declines without much added clarification. For example:

  • It is stated in Bergerud[61] that between 85–95% of all soldiers in the area carried malaria during the course of the battle[notes 4]
  • Colonel Leif Sverdrup was awarded the Silver Star[70] and the Distinguished Service Medal[71] for his efforts in reconnaissance and construction of air strips in New Guinea, including those at Fasari, Embessa and Pongani.[72]

There is no reason the references cannot at the least be collected at the end of sentences. Palmeira (talk) 12:50, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I've also been subjected to the whims of other editors who seem to think virtually every sentence or fact needs a citation. I agree with placing references at the end of the paragraph with the caveat that if there is a specific item in the paragraph that is particularly notable or potentially controversial and debatable, place an inline citation with that fact.
@Palmeira, is there a MOS standard about placing citations? — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 18:40, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I do not know of an MOS on this, I am much more interested in adding content than style with the exception of readability. Thus I consider the over citation so often seen in Wikipedia a detriment to readability. I also understand the drivers in an "encyclopedia" in which any two minute expert or lifetime scholar and specialist may contribute with zero known reputation, authority or reliability a reader may rely upon. Perhaps those of us working in special areas begin recognizing those basing edits on real and reliable sources, but the readers have no such experience. Far more detailed cites are thus the reliability and defense (sometimes slight) against "editors" that have little knowledge beyond having recently read something that may itself be near fiction. That is one reason I stay far away (usually) from articles such as USS Scorpion where there is constant referencing to popular books written by people with neither expertise nor access to the best information the Navy has on the matter—and some simply pushing their pet conspiracy speculations hoping for sensation and sales I suspect. Trying to clean up those messes is a lost cause. I have rambled, but now have changed my "style" when I start or completely revise a stub relating to ships. I base it largely upon those used in my library of sources—and those differ somewhat by national source. Those attempt to not clutter the internal sentence structure with cites. On this site I think an MOS might be damaging beyond a goal to cite adequately without chopping sentences into little clumps of cited words that become distractions to the idea almost the way excessive linking to every common geographical and well known other subject becomes distracting: The ship arrived in San Francisco, California at pier 7 . . . Then we have link and citation "police" with seemingly no other purpose that "edit" to such ends. My own "style" is to try to collect "facts" into a sentence for one or two cites, sometimes defensive and making for a sentence I'd otherwise not write. Thus I would suggest:
  • Colonel Leif Sverdrup was awarded the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts in reconnaissance and construction of air strips in New Guinea, including those at Fasari, Embessa and Pongani.[70][71][72]
Thus the flow is not disrupted by double digit bracket cites and any reader, if interested, or revisionist editor still has their cites. My preference actually is the "Army history style"; for example Milner in Chapter X, The First Two Weeks at Buna, where the entire, fairly long opening paragraph is cited thus:
  • (1) 128th Inf Jnl, Ser 70, 17 Nov 42; 3d Bn, 128th Inf, Jnl, 17 Nov 42; 32d Div Hist of Arty, Papuan Campaign; Ltr, Gen Waldron to Gen Ward, 5 Mar 51.
Then we know who Milner is and his "authority" from the Army to write a history with access to its official files. I do not know you or you me from Adam's housecat so we cannot write here in that way. Finally, since this draft is a complete revision there is an opportunity to set the style for both readability and clear citation. Palmeira (talk) 14:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)


Appreciate the comments @Palmeira. I would direct you to the version when this draft was first made 'public'(05:50, 7 November 2014) and how I had dealt with referencing the chronology of the battle (ie, that within the main heading 'Battle'). I refer to note 13.

Compiled ostensibly from: McCarthy, 1959; Milner, 1957; and, Center of Military History, 1990. Other sources are specifically cited.

This version contains about 300 discrete references. The alternative to this approach has led to doubling this number. The draft is about double the size of the original article, which has about 130 discrete references. This first draft was described as inferior because not all paragraphs had at least one reference at the end. I find this quite arbitrary. Within the text, there were instances of two consecutive paragraphs, where an idea was developed in one and concluded in another. The reference occurred in the latter and was for both. You may see some earlier discussion about references on this talk page. You might also look to the Background, where I had looked to links to support the text.

  • It is stated in Bergerud[61] that between 85–95% of all soldiers in the area carried malaria during the course of the battle[notes 4]

Regarding this sentence, it was changed about 01:36, 13 November 2014 because of some comments inserted in the text.

  • Colonel Leif Sverdrup was awarded the Silver Star[70] and the Distinguished Service Medal[71] for his efforts in reconnaissance and construction of air strips in New Guinea, including those at Fasari, Embessa and Pongani.[72]

Regarding this, I would have been happy to rely on the link Leif J. Sverdrup*New Guinea Campaign.

How I have approached referencing. This has been influenced by my experience, which is in the 'hard sciences'. I hate parenthetic referencing. General discussion, well accepted principles and the like are not usually referenced but critical facts such are referenced in a way which is very explicit. To say, building a motor road from Port Moresby to Buna would not, I think, require citation, but here, I feel compelled to defend this statement, even though it is virtually self-evident and accepted without question by anybody with a passing knowledge of the subject (but necessary to point out to those that don't). This, I see, is the role of peer review. Not to act as citation police but to identify where citations are reasonably needed.

As a corps scale engagement, it is reasonable that there would be additional corps assets and army level assets allocated in direct support, increasing the total of guns even further.

To me, this appeared to be a reasonable assertion generally accepted but I have felt compelled to defend it by citation.

A direct quote is referenced where it occurs. An attribution to an author occurs at the authors name. On these two points, I think we must agree to disagree. Referencing at the end of a paragraph supports either the whole paragraph but may support only the last sentence. Referencing at the end of a sentence supports what is said in the sentence but may support preceding sentences to the next previous citation, preceding sentences to the start of a paragraph or preceding paragraphs (depending on the context, such as an idea developed over more that one paragraph). Multiple citations should be consistent with each other and support the same material. Where they don't they should be placed to differentiate the differences or discussed in a footnote. This is why the Sverdrup sentence has three separated citations. To my recollection, the first two citation don't relate specifically to where and the last does not specifically relate to the decorations.

If you read this talk page, you will note that I have asked for dialogue to achieve consensus on a number of matters. I do not disagree with your general observation although, in specific cases, we might disagree. I welcome any comments and assistance.

I am loath to remove any material on a whim. That is why I made the post on the Lilliput page. I did look at Masterson. I know that my low speed satellite connection was possibly an issue but I think I put it down to the page at the time. Your web link was much better than that in the original Buna battle page. The good thing is that the issue was solved. I can also definitely appreciate some of your frustration.

I appreciate your assistance and welcome your input. I hope that this discussion might contribute to improving how things are done.

Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:57, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

We probably do not disagree all that much. I do get frustrated with the need for "defensive referencing" here. The original (current) article is under referenced and I much dislike the "This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships" (actually usually just a cut and paste copy sectionalized) for entire USS ship articles because when additional information is added (and DANFS is often a sketch) we quickly get into what-is-what questions unless one prepares by converting to paragraph references and then do as you mention (DANFS)(CITE)(DANFS).
Yes, I dislike in sentence cites, but not in the special cases you mention and agree a quote needs special handling depending on context. I think a sentence end cite is adequate for a quote embedded in a sentence entirely about the quote. A stand alone quote in a paragraph certainly needs its own cite. As for the old article containing Wilson's comment on dangerous seas I revised that article before coming to the conclusion I would pretty much have to cite every sentence to avoid well intended buy poorly informed changes.
What I do here is a spin off from my real interests that I hope clears up some nautical history among a public usually woefully ignorant or misinformed. My personal usage of Wikipedia on general subjects is slight—and almost exclusively a quick look to find new references that I really read. I consider the most valuable role of the whole thing the quick access to a collection of references for well referenced stuff here. Finally, at my last quick look, the draft here seems a definite improvement and I do not consider it at all over referenced. Palmeira (talk) 13:19, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Japanese cannibalism[edit]

When I first learned that the Japanese engaged in cannibalism, I too at first assumed it was only a last resort. But if you look at the sources closely, you will see that the Japanese didn't just practice cannibalism in the late stages of the battle when they were starving. For example, the Australians found evidence when they recaptured the Kokoda Track Station that the Japanese had left behind plenty of rice—along with the cannibalized remains of Allied prisoners.

Many reports of the incidence of cannibalism state that the Japanese only ate prisoners "as a last resort", but this isn't the actual case, and in fact was not unusual among Japanese forces, though little discussed due to people's aversion to the topic. See Japanese war crimes on cannibalism.

For example, see these sources:

Your draft significantly waters down the current article's description of Japanese cannibalism as noted, for example, in the current article's [Battle_of_Buna%E2%80%93Gona#Aftermath |aftermath]. Your draft ought to accurately reflect this.

btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 19:55, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

From the original.

In the Japanese positions they located the bodies of Allied soldiers who had been captured and found evidence of cannibalism. During the prior attempt to capture Port Moresby over the Kokoda Track, and during their defence of Buna-Gona, the Japanese regularly practiced cannibalism.[notes 7][104] None of the Allied soldiers taken captive during the entire Kokoda Track campaign and the fight for Buna-Gona were allowed to live, and a number of those who were captured had been tortured, used for bayonet practice, or eaten.[1]

Allied troops found evidence of cannibalism of both Japanese and Allied soldiers in captured Japanese positions.[115][116]

From the rewrite.

There was widespread evidence of the Japanese defenders cannibalising the dead.

There was widespread evidence that the Japanese had resorted to cannibalising the dead to stay alive.[103][104][105][106]

I have omitted reference to atrocities that occurred on the Kokoda Track. Having said that, I would like more feedback on this matter.

Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 08:38, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Progress report[edit]

Hi all, I value the feedback provided. If I happen to disagree with comments, it does not mean that the input is not valued. Where I see that there is a difference of opinion, I would welcome further input.

  1. I now believe that the article has been substantially referenced IAW Wiki criteria.
  2. I have run the User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js script and it has identified 2 issues. I need feedback regarding each of these. See Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona#User:Ucucha/HarvErrors.js
  1. I have fixed those compound sentences I have identified as problematic.
  2. @Palmeira has identified an HTML source for Center of Military History (1990). I have used the pdf version. I would like to have the reference link to both if possible but I need help. See Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona#2 urls in a reference.
Have a workable solution.
  1. I have proposed an alternative to explaining the issue of the sixth battle honour and will use it unless feedback indicates otherwise.
  1. I have made some concessions WRT the use of military abbreviations but believe that where these remain, their use is consistent with the MOS. Further comment is welcome, as are any corrections of errors or inconsistencies with the MOS.
  2. I believe that the use of 'step up' and 'step back' are not inconsistent with the MOS. The meaning is explained within the context of their use. They are military terms with specific meaning and not just 'jargon'.
  3. In the Allied Command section, I had deliberately placed the reference Blamey and MacArthur arriving at Port Moresby 'out of time' as a writing device to add emphasis to Blamey having been sent forward earlier. I believe that the questions asked in this section are answered in the preceding text. Herring is in command of 2 Allied divisions and the two allied Divisions in location when he takes command are the 32nd and the 7th. Unless there is any consensus indicating change is required I would intend to revert to the original text.
  1. On further reading, the addition (edit) to the logistics section about small ships, is largely dealt with (in a paraphrased form) in 'sea route opened'. 'Sea route opened' is structurally the best place for detail about the small ships. A passing reference was made under logistics, mainly as a link to the following paragraph and as a link to the following section. On this basis I would propose removing the added text, noting the correction to an error in fact and linking to the small ships section on the Lilliput page. I removed a lot of the material on Sverdrup because it was duplicated on his page. I appreciate the significance of the small ships but see that the Lilliput page small ships section is the 'maim article' for this.
  1. I would normally be the first to advocate an hierarchical structure but not in this case. I believe that the initial 'flat heading' structure sits well with this page even though an hierarchical structure could be imposed it possibly undermines the significance of the sections. I see it might also create issues of continuity. I am opposed to adding additional sub-sections where the ostensible reason is just to break it into smaller chunks. I perceive there is conflicting opinion on this. If a more hierarchical structure is advocated, I would propose all headings after 'Allied forces to 'Battle' as sub headings and 'Japanese forces' as a sub-heading of 'Japanese Defences'(and possibly swap order but I think this may cause a continuity issue). Disease as a main and Sea routes as a sub of logistics. I might put in Australian Militia (thereby breaking 32 Div in two at the same level). Comments?
  2. I have been considering an expansion on the subject of the number of Japanese but the alternative is to delete the sentence "In probability, the initial and maximum strength of the Japanese forces at the beachheads lies somewhere between the lower figure of 6,500 and the upper figure of nearly 12,000." The additional material threatens to become unwieldy.
  3. You will see the additional Vasey quote in the aftermath. I am pretty certain there is a better expanded version of this in McAuley. Don't have that handy ATM.
Done Cinderella157 (talk) 12:03, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
  1. The placement of images is noted but is really just titivating the 'end product'.
  2. Consensus for title of old section Pressure from above. Draft talk:Battle of Buna–Gona#MacArthur's pressure and posturing

Hope that I haven't left out anything of significance.

From my perspective, this phase is pretty much done. I feel that I need to get a consensus on any changes being advocated rather than individual opinions - particularly where I feel there are valid reasons for my having a different opinion. There are always going to be some minor errors that get identified.

Please note my preference to use ?? as a way of flagging questions embedded in text as I can do a quick search to find these.

Forgot to sign Cinderella157 (talk) 07:58, 1 December 2014 (UTC) Added point 14 Cinderella157 (talk) 08:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC) Noted action done.Cinderella157 (talk) 09:39, 1 December 2014 (UTC) ClarifiedCinderella157 (talk) 09:44, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

G'day, regarding the point about use of terms like "step up" and "step back", I'm not sure of the solution really, but I am concerned that if you asked a lay reader, they would probably not understand what you mean by these terms. While they might have specific meaning in a military context, we need to be careful to use plain language here as the majority of our readers will be lay readers. Regardless, it's not a major issue for me so I'm happy to defer to whatever the others agree to. Regarding the subheadings, hmm...again, not sure. I think that the current subheadings work pretty well, so I wouldn't be suggesting changing them at the moment. Again, let's see what the others say. Regarding the 6,500 and 12,000 figure range, please see my point below. I'd suggest adding a footnote explaining how they are derived including what sources were consulted, or maybe as you say deleting the sentence might be the best solution. Anyway, that's all I have time for at the moment, I will try to come back later when the others have given some input. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:02, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Update progress/Actions Cinderella157 (talk) 08:26, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Notes on referencing[edit]

Ok, I've gone through the article and marked a couple of places where I think further referencing is required. I'm having trouble editing the article on my computer now because of its size, so I have written down a few more sentences here that I think need notes/or references added. Happy to discuss further if you want:

  • "The contribution of Papuans engaged as labourers or porters cannot be overstated" -- this is currently referenced, which is great, but it seems like editorialising. I'd suggest a slight tweak of the language to either attribute the opinion, or reduce it to simple fact. E.g "According to author John Smith, the contribution of Papuans engaged as labourers or porters cannot be overstated" or "The contribution of Papuans engaged as labourers or porters was a significant part of the Allied logistic effort" (or something similar);
Used the suggestion thanks and added another sentence to further support.Cinderella157 (talk) 07:38, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • "In probability, the initial and maximum strength of the Japanese forces at the beachheads lies somewhere between the lower figure of 6,500 and the upper figure of nearly 12,000". I suggest adding a short footnote about this one, explaining how the figures are derived and what sources were consulted.
  • "The same could be said in the case of the 32nd Division". I think we've discussed this before, but can't remember. Is this an author's opinion? If so, attribute it in text, e.g. "According to Smith, "the same could be said...". If not, it probably should be removed as it seems like editorialising.
Changed to: "Similarly, the US 32nd Division went into battle ill prepared and inadequately trained." Where preceding paragraphs about 32nd Div have citations and substantiate that they were ill prepared and inadequately trained. I think (?) we discussed "The lot of the Australian troops was similar.{sfn|McCarthy|1959|p=419}{sfn|Milner|1957|p=151}" (under logistics), which you will now see has a citation. This was a short way of saying: As the Australians fought toward the north coast, they were chronically short of supplies, particularly rations, because of disrupted flights or poor recovery rates. The 16th Bde approached Gona out of rations and low on ammunition. To this extent, the lot of the Australian troops was similar to the American troops that had just been described. Or: The Australians were similarly affected by resupply which was irregular and frequently insufficient. Sorry, just trying to get my head around this. I know that it is often about tweaking language. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • "MacArthur felt pressure to produce a victory to secure his command and he needed US troops to produce it for him." -- is this covered by the early McAuley ref? If so, I suggest just duplicating the in-line citation after it to make it clear;
  • "It was not possible to provide enough shells for overwhelming artillery support without sacrificing the supply of other essentials like food, medical supplies and small arms ammunition. Continued pressure for early results meant that precious supplies of artillery ammunition were consumed rather than stockpiled for a concentrated effort." -- probably needs a ref as it currently seems uncited
  • "Area bombing could not be used effectively against forward Japanese positions, particularly in support of an attack, as Allied troops needed to be withdrawn to a safe distance." -- as above, probably needs a ref
There is one instance, where Dougherty pulled back troops to give the Airforce a "free run" and the Vasey quote (Battle) says that troops had to be pulled back for artillery, which is more accurate. Does a reference to the first and a note to the second solve the problem? It is one of those - I'm sure I read it but can I find it now? Think it might be in McAuley which I don't have ATM.Cinderella157 (talk) 08:35, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • "On the morning of 10 January, the 18th Bde took the 2/7th Cavalry Regiment under command and occupied the positions held by the 39th and 49th Battalions of the 30th Bde, in preparation for an attack on 12 January" -- as above, probably needs a ref.
Done Cinderella157 (talk) 10:12, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:02, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi @AustralianRupert and thanks. Sorry if my attention to detail is down a bit and I am letting more typos through than I should.
Re: "The 127th Inf Regt followed and joined the division in the battle area from around the end of the first week in December.[citation needed]" The arrival of the 127th is detailed under 'Allied forces'. Just not certain how to use that info to create the citation here, since it did not arrive en mass but piece meal from the 4th until some time after the 17th? Is a note and citation to this effect sufficient here? "Arrived from 4 December (advance elements) {sfn|Milner|1957|p=241}" Can an internal ling be created? Normally, I woud say "see page" in a footnote. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:07, 2 December 2014 (UTC) Cinderella157 (talk) 02:52, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Re: "The logistical situation improved as the battle progressed but remained a defining feature of the engagement. Improvements in infrastructure and capacity were largely consumed by increases in the size of the force.[citation needed]" I am struggling to remember the source of the first sentence - give me time. During the course of the battle Dobodura and Popondetta were continually improved with the development of multiple strips at these points. Internal roads were developed and Jeeps relieved some of the burden. Harbour facilities were developed and capacity increased through Liliput. Conversely, additional units arrived, including 21st Bde, 127th Regt, 30th Bde, 18th Bde, 163rd Regt and additional artillery (not to mention additional support units). There was some attrition and relief of units but a net increase consuming stores. I recall a quote to effect that the Allied logistics were tenuous but more enduring than the Japanese (will have to find again) and that this was the critical factor in the Allied victory. This sentence in the draft encapsulates all of this. I realise now that this might be criticised as synthesis or original research but, from the sources, it is glaringly obvious. How to handle? I don't want to expand the text. Do I create a note to this effect? Suggestions welcome. Does anybody have references that would support this as it stands? Cinderella157 (talk) 02:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Not sure on the source of the quote above either. The irony of the logistical issue is well stated on Milner's pages 306 and 307 with this on 307: "Supply at Buna, in short, had ceased to be a problem just as the fight for the place was coming to an end." There is that old saying about amateurs focusing on battles and the real experts focusing on logistics. I've never been much of a fan of MacArthur, but the logistical nightmare here makes me think his generally good staff failed to pay attention to that and perhaps went on the offensive prematurely before they understood either what they faced (no quick, decisive strike worth the high risk of weak logistics) or the logistical difficulties. That was reinforced by Campbell's description of the staff and Mac—described as living in luxury wearing his silk robes—sending the Ghost Mountain Boys off on a trek through territory that was truly unknown to essentially starve and become seriously ill before arrival for their role in the battle. Palmeira (talk) 12:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
pls note changes to last para of 'Artillery' There is no direct quote/reference to substantiate either. For the first note, the case is that nobody used exactly those words. The connection to Sublet is perhaps a bit tenuous. The point is that the ammunition is 'rationed' and that resources are committed and consumed to half-cocked attacks without reasonable prospect of success because of command pressure,(see Katkar) where better preparation might avert the inevitable and preserve the resource to be used more effectively. I know (now) that it sails close to syntesis/original research but it is as basic as 1+1=2. Open for discussion. Might try a slightly different way to deal with the issue. The Brune quote didn't seem to fit comforably where it was and the bit about planes seem too out of place. Just trying a different way to use it. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Medical situation might be worth more coverage in "Disease"[edit]

That old and terrible general, "General Disease", was a major factor in this first offensive in the area. There is some interesting background in The Medical Department: Medical Service in the War Against Japan (Mary Ellen Condon-Rall, Albert E. Cowdrey). People were sick before they even set out for the north coast battlefields and it took some time to get basic sanitation in rear areas mitigating the situation. Then it got worse, much worse. From the reference:

By this time Port Moresby was on its way to becoming a major base, with new roads, airfields, and harbor facilities. In public health it resembled a frontier town. American and Australian units put up latrines along the beach, dumped their refuse into open pits, and burned their garbage. The soldiers ate most of their food from cans, discarding the containers. A plague of flies beset the town, and soon almost all troops passing through Port Moresby could report experiences similar to those of the 4th Portable Surgical Hospital, which debarked in November. Seventy-five percent of its personnel contracted diarrhea, “from which several . . . never completely recovered.” At first there was little malaria, but the troops, by creating a multitude of small water catchments exposed to sunlight, provided perfect breeding spots for the local anophelines. [page 128]

MacArthur ordered the 32d Division’s 126th and 128th Regimental Combat Teams, which were built around the division’s 126th and 128th Infantry, to New Guinea, although they had scarcely five weeks of training, none of it in jungle warfare. The decision to send green, or untrained, and poorly led troops to New Guinea ultimately had major medical consequences. After assembling at Moresby, they boarded Douglas C–47s or, in some instances, planes of Australian civilian airlines, which flew them to the front, across the Owen Stanleys. The battle for the north coast, already under way, grew in intensity as the November–March wet season began. [page 130]

It is on that page where the mess of the Kapa Kapa Trail is discussed at some length with this being a part:

The medics struggled to keep themselves and others going. Medical officers following the column shepherded the stragglers ahead of them, for fear of enemy patrols. They attempted to treat an outbreak of acute diarrhea, caused by contaminated bully beef, that forced some in their distress to cut the seats out of their trousers. Fires could not be built or food cooked, and rain thundered down the matted slippery gorges, swelling the mountain streams to torrents. A young officer scribbled in his diary: “Our strength is about gone. . . . We seem to climb straight up for hours, then down again. God, will it never end?” Between 25 and 28 October the trekkers dragged themselves into Jaure. Their clothes were in tatters, their shoes worn and moldy; many were beginning to have chills and fever. For the remainder of the campaign, they carried the fever with them.

I have not checked for equivalent Australian medical histories but incidental findings show much the same situation. Lack of medical knowledge on the battlefield and lack of medical preparation to deal with what was there in the nature of disease was perhaps even more a limiting factor than logistics. The army was sick to begin with. Palmeira (talk) 17:16, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Another note on the role of disease. On pages 131—132 of the medical reference is a discussion of the relief of the American commanders, including description that you mention of checking temperatures of that company in which every man ran one, and an Eichelberger comment noted as being from Mayo's Bloody Buna:

Waiting to starve the enemy into submission was impossible. “Disease,” wrote Eichelberger, “was a surer and more deadly peril to us than enemy marksmanship. We had to whip the Japanese before the malarial mosquito whipped us.”

Palmeira (talk) 17:45, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi, already being criticised for the length so I would need a clear consensus before expanding significantly or adding new sections. What I am adding, tends to be in notes, which might develop an idea by way of clarification but is not part of the 'readable text'. Some of this is a preemptive strike against the citation police or how to handle the 'obvious' without being accused of original research or synthesis (I perceive the issue with this is where the same facts may be synthesised with different meanings). I am perhaps, struggling a bit with this. I believe that there is a degree of inherent contradiction in this. An encyclopedic history article is not just about collecting information and presenting it. It is also about condensing and extracting the essence from the body of information. When the body of information (the degree of detail or number of sources) is small, this could be a collection of quotes but the act of selecting applies higher cognitive processes. It is a process of evaluation and is subject to bias. Even 'simple' paraphrasing is a higher process. Condensing multiple ideas (such as a chapter or chapters from multiple sources) into meaningful constructs (such as a paragraph) is by definition a process of evaluation and synthesis. The real issue is not whether synthesis occurs but whether it is reasonable and logical and, more particularly whether there are multiple interpretations or inferences, since this is where things could be contentious. I see this is the role of peer review - to not misrepresent matters. It is also difficult to write in the usual style of: introduction, body and conclusion. The conclusion is, by definition, the drawing of conclusions. Even a summation implies a degree of analysis or synthesis. Just putting some ideas out there ...
All of this (your suggestions) tends to be an expansion of the existing disease section rather than a broader coverage of medical. Kapa Kapa is more correctly dealt with in its own section. I think it is McCarthy that comments to the effect that disease is the companion of the siege and that the besieger is often as much at risk from it as the besieged. If there is some consensus, I could include this in the aftermath. Would need citation details for the Eichelberger quote. Have been through Walker (Australian Medical History) and a few other sources. Your comment about Port Moresby is interesting since other comments indicate that it is in a rain shaddow and malaria is not as significant. I would be looking to water and water treatment WRT dysentry. The 126th, 128th and the Australians that came via Kokoda or Milne Bay were all diseased to degrees. Poor training is going to exacerbate problems. The accounts of dydentry are problematic but no more so than at say Gallipoli? Not closed on the subject but I think that it is sufficiently covered, given what else I have read on the subject of disease.
On the subject of the 2/126th (??) and the reference in the Aftermath to the "Ghost Mountain Boys", I am not comfortable with this. It comes from the original. I found a reference to a nickname of the 'Ghost Battalion' but all reference to the "Ghost Mountain Boys" goes back to Campbell's book. I am not comfortable with this since this reference may be a reference to the book's title rather than a nickname used by these soldiers or their contemporaries. Can anybody clarify? Comments? Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 04:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Added the Eichelberger quote thanks. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:49, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
My "comment about Port Moresby"? That is a quote from the U.S. Army's Medical Corps history—and if you download that book to which I pointed you can find all their cites, some to the official reports of the time. You appear to be arguing with that—or have not checked the document you should be able to download from the link as easily as I. As for disease, yes, if anything the Japanese were debilitated as well, but the point is that out of this first experience with this environment by the U.S. forces there was considerable impact on command thinking and major medical changes. The reference I suggested you check has some interesting comments about that (my emphasis).

At Milne Bay, a particularly hard-hit base, the incidence of malaria among all units reached 4,000 per 1,000 troops per year, and cost the service command an estimated 12,000 man-days a month. During the campaign more than 1.5 as many American soldiers were evacuated from the combat zone for malaria as for battle wounds; disease caused 71 percent of evacuations by air, and three-fifths of the sick were malaria cases. Malaria, said Colonel Miehe, was paramount in New Guinea, and no effective response took shape until after the Buna campaign was over. General Eichelberger considered the health conditions at Buna a command and training failure, and Chief of Staff General Marshall noted the prevalence of disease, reporting that “priorities for munitions overrode those for the necessary [mosquito] screening and other materiel to provide protection at the bases, also there has not been sufficiently rigid sanitary discipline as to the individual soldier. (The Medical Department: Medical Service in the War Against Japan (Mary Ellen Condon-Rall, Albert E. Cowdrey) pages 137—138)

The Buna campaign was Southwest Pacific Area’s own school, in which General Headquarters learned the power of malaria and began to adopt measures in hopes of combating it. Why a new lesson was needed, after Bataan, is still far from clear, but the improvised nature of the campaign, the lack of resources, and the divided medical establishment were contributory factors. What a strong chief surgeon with direct access to the commander-in-chief might have accomplished must remain problematical. As matters actually went, the Allies were fortunate that the enemy, here as on Guadalcanal, was also unable to control the disease. At least both sides suffered more or less equally, and by the end of the campaign the Japanese had entirely lost the power to supply either medicine or food to their remaining troops.(The Medical Department: Medical Service in the War Against Japan (Mary Ellen Condon-Rall, Albert E. Cowdrey) pages 139—140)

The role of disease needs some added coverage even if some of the "bang-bang" stuff has to be cut. And your "rain shadow" excuse for doubting the Port Moresby thing? You are the expert on disease at that time and place above U.S. Army historians with full access to the records of the medical and command records? I do not think so. Palmeira (talk) 04:09, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi,@Palmeira you have misunderstood my comment about the 'rain shaddow'. It is a comment offered in passing that can be substantiated (with a little effort) and was in no way intended to argue against or dispute the information you provided or the sources you have cited. I believe that my comments regarding dysentery (and Gallipoli) are valid and I do have some expertise in the mater of water bourne enteric diseases. Neither of these two comments diminish the cumulative significance of disease (and particularly malaria) to the battle. Have you read all of the section (including notes).

It is stated in Bergerud[78] that between 85–95% of all soldiers in the area carried malaria during the course of the battle.[notes 6] There were 4.8 men hospitalised through sickness for every one Allied battle casualty.[notes 7] 75% of the cases were attributed to malaria.[72] After he had relieved Harding,

Note: Brig Disher was the Deputy Director Medical Services, New Guinea Force from late November 1942. At the end of December, he remarked in his diary, "that he thought that 100 per cent of the men at Milne Bay and in the Buna area had been infected."[79] By the end of January 1943 the malarial rate for operational areas rose to a peak equivalent to 2,496 per 1,000 per year,[80] or nearly 250%. This would include relapses at an average of two per man. The 163rd Infantry Regiment arrived at Sanananda from early January. It had deployed from Australia in late December, where it had not been exposed to the risk of maleria.

Aftermath: Condon-Rall and Cowdrey have a similar position but a different rational: "Waiting to starve the enemy into submission was impossible. 'Disease,' wrote Eichelberger,[754] 'was a surer and more deadly peril to us than enemy marksmanship. We had to whip the Japanese before the malarial mosquito whipped us.'”[755][notes 59]

Note: McAuley also notes, "history abounds with examples of besiegers defeated by disease"[135]

You may note, that I have suggested a subtly as I might that that the malaria rate can partially be attributed to an influx of new victims.

I did previously download the reference and consider your opinion. I am not opposed to increasing the the section per se. However, I believe essentially that all of the issues you are raising are covered from the Australian sources. I have also include the Eichelberger quote in the Aftermath section and confirmed the source. On this basis, I suggested that there may need to be a consensus as to whether there needs to be further detail. It might also be a case of identifying specific facts/details that you think should be included rather than broad quotes. I appreciate your input. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 09:43, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Actually I have read the entire book, as I have done with the entire "Green Book" series over a lifetime and most of the Australian references for this area. I will review your entire draft when you are at a final stage and as always here may edit the article later. You mention "Australian sources"—and yes, this was a heavily Australian operation and much of the U.S. force at this time was very "green" and unseasoned—but expect some push back on the Australian centric viewpoint from U.S. points of view and editors. I may be among those adding that viewpoint. What I saw last time I did a full read is definitely an improvement and pretty thorough. Just keep in mind that citations may support your text but other cited text will be added over time. You do need to remember that despite the so far good work nobody "owns" an article on Wikipedia. That is sometimes to the detriment of good sense (as can be seen in articles such as USS Scorpion where every crackpot popular author with a conspiracy theory seems to get a platform with citation), but that is the Wiki environment. Palmeira (talk) 15:08, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Japanese strength[edit]

"In probability, the initial and maximum strength of the Japanese forces at the beachheads lies somewhere between the lower figure of 6,500 and the upper figure of nearly 12,000." The additional material threatens to become unwieldy.

This covers the last para in Japanese defences, the paras under Japanese forces and the para on Japanese casualties in Aftermath. I have created the heading Japanese strength as a temporary holding place.

This is what you get when you assemble the relevant information without synthesis, analysis or any sort of evaluation. It could be deconstructed into a couple of notes to hang off some supporting text. I would tend to move the last para of Japanese defences into Japanese forces. It is too unweildy - there is just too much conflicting information for anybody (anybody normal) to make any sense of it. It needs some basic - fairly neutral synthesis to put it into a manageable context, with the detail taken out of the readable text but used to support the summation.

Comments, suggestions - either that, or we need to go back in time and give every body the same sheet music and tell them to clean up their ambiguities. My head hurts! Cinderella157 (talk) 11:20, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

On a cursory analysis, the various reports tend to be consistent with a total strength deployed (including west of Gona of about 12,000 and an initial strength of about 9,000 immediately prior to the reinforcement on the 18th November. The various figures reported generally (with a couple of exceptions) could be accounted for by use of estimated or approximate figures or by ambiguity or lack of specific detail that would qualify the basis for the figure reported. This, of course would be considered research by wiki. The extent of the information and the apparent complexity is, perhaps, justification for making a basic and very neutral analysis in this case? (where conclusions and the neutrality were supported by consensus of peers). Cinderella157 (talk) 04:27, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Size of Draft article - some background on how to deal with size[edit]

I have made a fairly crude analysis of size of the 'Battle' section of the current and draft pages. I cut and pasted the sub-sections of each to word and then removed the images and their captions.

The total description of the fighting at Gona in the existing article is:

The Gona push was reinforced by the remnants of Maroubra Force, made up of the battered 30th Brigade, a Militia unit which included the "ragged bloody heroes" of the Kokoda Track, the 39th Battalion.[71]

On 8 December, following savage close-quarter fighting, the Australians captured Gona village.[71]

In making the comparison, I deleted the two sections, 'Gona' and 'West of Gona' (1406 words) from the word count of the draft. I also omitted the intoduction which is a precis of the battle. On the basis of this treatment, the existing article has 5449 words and the draft has 6432 words in the Battle section

In the existing article, this is the existing coverage to the employment of tanks at Buna and the action of the 18th Bde there.

The Australians had found that area suitable for tanks and the Allies decided to initiate a tank-infantry attack on the Duropa Plantation and New Strip areas. With the help of newly arrived artillery and mortar the attack began at 07:00 on 18 December.[69] In 10 days of fighting, the 32nd Division, reinforced by the fresh Australian 18th Brigade and with the help of the tanks, advanced along the coast from Duropa plantation to Buna Mission, taking the remaining Japanese positions on 2 January 1943.[103]

This is meant to cover 10 days (plus) of the most intense fighting on the Warren Front and the only advance of any significance made on that front since fighting commence a month before.

The total text for the existing article (exclusive of footnotes, references and bibliography but inclusive of captions etc - a straight cut and paste from the first word in the lead to the last in the aftermath) is 11953 words and in the draft, it is 27401 words. Without the section on 'Japanese strength' it is 25656 words. This section does not belong in the readable text of the document. The draft is about twice the size of the existing. These figures do not represent readable prose. Each grouping of citations count as a word. Exclusive of the 'Battle' section, the draft is 16283 words. I have put these figures down, not to justify the size but to put some perspective on things.

In draft - total - 27410 (25656 less Japanese strength)
Battle sub sections - 7839 (includes Gona/West of Gona)
Fire support - 4219
Logistics - 1755 (up from 1269)
32 Div - 1883 (up from 539 but covers AMF)

Buna-Gona is one of four significant land battles that marked the 'turning of the tide', including: the Kokoda campaign, Milne Bay and Guadalcanal. Kokoda is notable for its place in the Australian consciousness and that it prevented the invasion of Port Moresby, even though strategically, this can be attributed, in part, to the Guadalcanal campaign. Milne Bay was the first strategic land defeat for the Japanese. It was possibly as much a defeat for the Japanese as it was a victory for the Allies. Guadalcanal was strategically significant.

Buna-Gona was not of great strategic significance but it was seminal in respect to jungle warfare in the same way that Guadalcanal was to amphibious operations. It was also significant as the first major commitment of the US Army since the fall of the Philippines and for the number of casualties.

There are major themes that emerge from this battle: logistics, air support, armour, artillery and disease; that are at least as important (because of how they shaped future developments) as the chronology of the battle. There are also two major issues: criticism of the 32nd Division (and AMF) and command pressure from MacArthur.

The battle was fought over two months by six brigades and four regiments on four fronts. It was not punctuated by a series of actions like rounds in a boxing match, but more like a continuous slugging match. If there were clearly separate engagements (eg Kokoda Track Campaign) it would be easy to deal with size by having a main page for the campaign and linked pages for fuller detail of each battle. An approach could be used that uses linked pages to deal with each front. This is inconsistent with the semi-chronological format that has been adopted. It would be difficult but not impossible to rearrange and the Cape Killerton-Sanananda-Giruwa phase could be a little problematic.

In writing the draft, I have been very conscious of not duplicating material.(BTW - not saying this is perfect and can't be improved) Where I have made reference to events to develop a theme, I have made only a passing reference to these events in the chronology of the battle. A consequence is that the Battle section and the issues need to be kept together for continuity.

In writing this, I have also been very conscious of retaining as much of the original material as possible. You will note from my critique of the original article, apart from balance of coverage there were issues with ordering/grouping of ideas togeather and repetition. It was not my aim to totally rewrite the existing article but to address the issues of sequencing and repetition and to expand upon the article to provide better balance. I was working from a new structure. In the first instance, I collected together existing material on a subject by cutting and pasting it from a working version of the original material. By cutting it as I went, I avoided duplication in the new material. I then worked on integrating and developing the material into a new section. If I were writing the draft from scratch, I would not necessarily have used all of the material that I did from the existing version. Having said that, I am not now saying it should go.

I would be interested it determining the readable prose. I copied that line from User:AustralianRupert/monobook.js. for prosesize into my monobook but nothing seems to happen. Help on how to do this or could someone run it please. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 22:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC) Cinderella157 (talk) 22:31, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

G'day, I ran the script and it provides "137 kB (23329 words) readable prose size. To make the script work, once you've installed it in your monobook, refresh the article and on the tool bar to the left of the article you should see a "Page size" blue link. Left click it once and the article will be highlighted yellow. At the top the size of the text will appear in bold writing. Regards, 02:39, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks @AustralianRupert Cinderella157 (talk) 09:53, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Options for dealing with size[edit]

  1. Ignore it - it is an option.
  2. Make linked pages and divide off - the order of battle is an option but these are not particularly big. It will save a under 1000 words. The the order of battle stuff does not count as readable prose and there is text of which, at least some, if not all would not migrate. The structure is such that most of the sections of the draft should not be split off into 'optional' linked pages, eg. battle sections need the fire support sections. I don't see other sections that might be dealt with by splitting off.
  3. The Japanese forces section is not intended to be readable prose. It would go as either a note or a linked page. There are other issues to decide before taking any such step.
  4. edit out text noting that size alone is not a reason for this.
  1. text dealt with elsewhere. On this basis, some of the sea route opened could go. I bought this across. i believe that some are attached to this. I do not tend to support such a step. It would be only a small saving.
  1. 32 Div I think that it develops stuff from the 32 Div page but for continuity, it needs to be kept together to facilitate the development.
  2. I don't see other options.
  1. remove duplicate material - small saving if any.
  2. remove off point text
  1. remove text from readable prose to notes where appropriate. Examples, explanations, qualifying statements and inconsistencies in material. Stuff off point but necessary for completeness, balance etc. Two conflicting schools on use of notes. Some capacity to increase notes but only small gain expected. I think that the balance is noy too bad now and any more would tend to be detrimental. But doesn't mean there aren't possibilities.
Expanding text. What are your reasons for not recommending use? See User:Cinderella157/edit. I have been playing around. Thoughts are that only sections greater than two images deep (high - without caption ie about 8 cm) would be collapsed. Every section would show one or two paras, eg 32 Div shows 2 I think because of Harding image but one would be more usual. I think the 'see more' might need to be more prominent. The Lead, Background, Battle (1st level) and Aftermath would not be collapsed. Myself, I think this has some promise without doing anything else. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 11:02, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
G'day, my concern with collapsible text is that it reduces the accessibility of the content. Users with different operating systems will have different experiences - some will find it difficult to find the "show" button as it tends to get lost underneath images etc (I myself had trouble finding it on your example here). Equally, I've never seen it used in this manner before (mainly only for tables/lists not prose) and would be concerned that it would be held against the article if/when it is reviewed for assessment. The most appropriate technique for reducing size is to create sub articles and use a summary style here. That said, I wouldn't worry too much about size at this stage. Focus on saying what needs to be said, and when you believe you've said everything that is needed, create the sub articles and look to tighten the wording in this article where possible through copy editing and employing summary style. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 20:56, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Providing context[edit]

Author, Peter Brune supports the assertion that pressure [by MacArthur] for results was a factor [that increased Allied casualties], but argues that it was Herring's willingness to respond to such pressure that exacerbated the issue; he also argues that this pressure resulted in inadequate provisions being made to provide sufficient artillery pieces and shells.{sfn

— Brune, 2003


Hi @User:AustralianRupert, Regarding the indirect quote you provided, I think it needs a little clarification/context. I have put a proposed addition in square brackets but these would not be used when inserted. I was hoping you could confirm or adjust. Regards Cinderella157 (talk) 05:01, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

G'day, that change seems reasonable. Sorry, I can't check Brune at the moment, though, as I am currently separated from my copy. I am in the middle of moving states, so half my library is across the other side of the country. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:59, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


Hi, @AustralianRupert I was wondering about progressing this draft?

G'day, yes I would be happy for this to be moved over to article space. To achieve this, I think it would require an Administrator to move and histmerge this Draft page with Battle of Buna–Gona using the special tools that they possess. Before we look to ask one to do this, though, I think it best to ask a few of the other contributors whether they agree or not as well. I think the best way to do this is for a message to be posted proposing this on Talk:Battle of Buna–Gona and here. If consensus is established, then we can look to ask an Admin to do the honours. @Anotherclown:@Btphelps:@Palmeira: have you any opinions on this proposal? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 00:49, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Quick scan only of latest. It looks much better than what is up now. I think it is ready to go on stage. Good work. Palmeira (talk) 12:24, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Looks good, go for it.— btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 20:51, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Agree. I've no issue with this being moved into mainspace over the existing article. There is of cse more work which could be done on the article by any editor that wished to further improve it, but this draft certainly covers the topic more thoroughly than the current mainspace version. Anotherclown (talk) 12:46, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Striking own cmt - per the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Quote_marks it seems my involvement in the development of this article is not welcome by User:Cinderella157 so I have no opinion on where we go with this draft. Anotherclown (talk) 00:15, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
@Anotherclown, To be clear, your edits have not been welcome where these have been executed contrary to the MOS. On the otherhand, your edits consistent with the MOS have been quite welcome. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


I note that the matter of abbreviations has been raised previously with the comment: "We generally don't use abbreviations for rank, probably best to write them in full", and "Non-standard abbreviations, for example, '2/6th Ind Coy' ...".

I see no advice regarding this at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Military history, having searched by both 'rank and 'abbreviation'. Regarding the use of abbreviations, I note from the MOS:

  1. Acronyms states "Unless specified in the "Exceptions" section below, an acronym should be written out in full the first time it is used on a page, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses ..."
  2. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations (lead) states: "Always consider whether it is better to simply write a word or phrase out in full, thus avoiding potential confusion for those not familiar with its abbreviation."
  3. Abbreviations widely used in Wikipedia lists (among others): Lt, Col and Gen, among other ranks.
  4. Abbreviations states: "When an abbreviation is to be used in an article, give the expression in full at first, followed immediately by the abbreviation in parentheses (round brackets). In the rest of the article the abbreviation can then be used by itself: ..."

I have utilised abbreviations IAW the MOS. Abbreviations have been (save the possible inadvertent omission) been introduced at the first use, writing out in full, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. The use has been generally restricted to large compounds (Maj Gen), relatively large words (Lt) and words used very frequently for units such as Bn, but only when used with a specific unit eg 2/9th Bn.

In response to earlier comments, I had reviewed the use of abbreviations and subsequently made the following response: "I have made some concessions WRT the use of military abbreviations but believe that where these remain, their use is consistent with the MOS. Further comment is welcome, as are any corrections of errors or inconsistencies with the MOS."

I see nothing to mandate a change from the usages of abbreviations in the article? Cinderella157 (talk) 06:26, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Possibly true, and it may indeed be more out of custom that has developed over time than any explicit policy (or perhaps are more stricter interpretation of some of the existing policies you quoted). At any rate we need to write our articles for readers that do not necessarily understand military jargon (e.g. few would know what a Bde or a Bn etc was I assume), so why possibly confuse things when we can say what we actually mean? That said neither of these are technically acronyms AFAIK so they don't really fit the policy you mention above. Regardless, the way the article was written before seemed to make it somewhat inaccessible to me, hence why I rewrote the abbrevs out in full. Equally I don't think you will find many / any of our GA, As or FAs with these abbrevs (certainly not ones that have been recently reviewed) with the possible exception of some US Civil War articles which tend to use abbreviated ranks by consensus. Anotherclown (talk) 09:38, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Except perhaps by oversight or move to the order of battle, all abbreviations were introduced in the manner explicitly detailed in Abbreviations. Cinderella157 (talk) 13:58, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


@Anotherclown:, I am a little concerned about the conversion template being applied to the text. The sources mostly give measurements in imperial only. In this article, by convention, the conversion is provided in parenthesis. Conversions in the article may have been rounded to reflect significant figures. In effect, a double conversion may lead to an inadvertent misquoting of the source material. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

My only concern was consistency throughout the article. When I first looked it looked it appeared that you originally presented measurements as metric (imperial) but then seemed to swap to imperial (metric). Feel free to change it back if it is a big issue for you though. Using the conversion template will allow the script to calculate the conversion for you rather than having to do it manually. Anotherclown (talk) 08:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Original text was: "Buna air strip is 5 ft (1.5 m)" The template has convered 1.5 m to 4.9 ft. Decimal ft is uncommon (vs ft and inches) at first glance, it is easily confused with 4'9". The original measurement was 5 feet (1.5 m). The conversion template should be applied with caution. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:12, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Pls feel free to correct it of cse. That said there are ways of telling the template to round numbers which I believe are available through accessing the template documentation available here - Template:Convert. Anotherclown (talk) 09:21, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I changed a few back to imperial BTW as result of your query, although it is now really very inconsistent throughout the article. Anotherclown (talk) 09:53, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Single quote marks[edit]

I would note that the convention of usage is that single quote marks have been used in instances where quotemarks have been used for reasons other than 'direct quotes' (such as this). I believe that the MOS is silent (or largely so) since its reference to a preference for double is in the context of direct quotations. I would observe that 'corrections' have left a mixed style. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The "corrections" have left a mixed style because the article is so long. I might get there in the in end or maybe I'll just give up. I'm getting the impression you not particularly keen on me copy-editing this at any rate. Anotherclown (talk) 09:18, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Related discussion: WT:MOS#Quote marks. Please participate. — (talk) 00:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


TOC left was previously changed and reverted with the following comment:

You may know that TOC left on the Battle of Buna–Gona has recently been changed to TOC by Ww2censor who makes the comment: "TOC left is discouraged - Is there a good reason it is being used?" To do so would leave a large white space, which I think is a good reason.

Cinderella157 (talk) 08:48, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry pls just state what you want to occur - unfortunately I'm either too dense or your being too obtuse but I actually don't understand what you mean. Do you want it TOC left (unlike every other battle article we have) or do you not? Thanks. Anotherclown (talk) 09:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Revert your edit please as your edit leaves a large whire space. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:26, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Ack - done. The TOC now of cse squashes a number of images and text but that's the trade off I guess. That said I've no interest in arguing the toss about such pointless thing as an infobox so each to their own. Anotherclown (talk) 09:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

This and a number of other matters have been discussed or have been raised and are the subject of discussion. Certainly, this one is a trade-off. Thankyou. Cinderella157 (talk) 14:05, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Is there any way to use {{TOC left}} here without having it post below the infobox, as seems to be the case? To clarify, if the height of the infobox extends beyond that of the lead, the top of the TOC (on the opposite side) doesn’t appear until partway into the first section. — (talk) 02:20, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I wasn't aware of this discussion - I should have checked. The problem with the current coding is that it makes the TOC appear about halfway through the 'background' section, which is rather confusing, especially given how long this article is. The white space which results from the standard TOC seems to be the less-bad solution IMO. Nick-D (talk) 08:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I tried to move the map which was in the way but it still looks like arse having table of contents on the left. (talk) 09:43, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I worked it out by deleting the "TOC" which then appeared in the right place. (talk) 18:37, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Floating TOC left appears most consistent with the advice given in Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Elements of the lead and Help:Section#Table of contents (TOC) (particularly Help:Section#Floating the TOC, notwithstanding that there is an apparent conflict between Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Elements of the lead and the fifth numbered point in Help:Section#Floating the TOC, wrt floating the TOC within the lead. Cinderella157 (talk) 03:32, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

You seem to be the only one that thinks that but I guess you own the article so its ok to do whatever you like. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 32dDivGuy (talkcontribs) 20:01, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

By my assessment, there are four substantive options for the placement the TOC.

  1. The usual placement of the TOC following the lead but before the first section with no floating text. This is the most usual but creates a large area of white space to the left of the TOC as a result of the length of the TOC. The TOC, with only 2 levels is longer than one viewing screen. This is not desired.
  2. A floating TOC (left) could be place within the lead (see example, edit of 01:27, 24 August 2015‎). However,this is expressly deprecated by Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Elements of the lead because of interference with screen readers.
  3. The TOC could be floated somewhere into the background section. Both sources of advice (see above) advise that a floated TOC should be placed between the end of the lead and the first section but do not expressly deprecate this alternative. However; point 5 of Help:Section#Floating the TOC indicates that the TOC should (if possible) be visible on opening the article page without the necessity of scrolling down. This option would be contrary to this. I believe that without the recently added flags, the TOC placed just before the first section does satisfy this.
  4. Floating the TOC (left) immediately after the lead and before the first section heading. The advices above indicate that this is an acceptable option for a long TOC subject to consideration that the text area does not decrease below 30% of the average user's visible screen width (about twice the size of the Wikipedia navigation bar to the left) - see points 6 and 7 of Help:Section#Floating the TOC. My observation is that this option complies with these considerations. Forcing breaks immediately before the TOC (to put it just below the info box) would increase this margin of allowance but at the risk of dropping the top of the TOC outside the viewing screen on opening the article.

Considering these four options, the last option appears to be the option most consistent with the WP advice given on this subject and most suitable in this particular case - despite not being that option most commonly employed. Cinderella157 (talk) 03:42, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Link to history of draft[edit]

This article was overwritten by Draft:Battle of Buna–Gona on 02:22, 13 April 2015. A redirect was subsequently place on the draft article. To access the history of the draft document, use the following link.

Draft:Battle of Buna–Gona: Revision history

Cinderella157 (talk) 03:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)


1. Too long to read (this is the length of a book). 2. Macarthur section is biased (only negative opinions listed as facts). (talk) 18:35, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Bias – MacArthur section[edit]

  • @talk Balanced (as opposed to biased) does not mean equal. The section, in opening, does acknowledge the reasonable perception of the threat of Japanese reinforcement (as a fact) but, not withstanding this, it is well documented and widely held that MacArthur's command had a significant negative impact on the conduct of the battle. The section is consistent with the balance of the available literature I have encountered. The second last para of the aftermath section also provides balance on this issue. Personally, I am not happy with the section title nor with the sub-sections, which I think are tabloid like and could be removed. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:58, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
In the first para of sub-section "Demands results", there is also: "There was also the threat that the Japanese could reinforce the beachhead positions"; again adding balance.Cinderella157 (talk) 00:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I also meant to state that balance is achieved by proportionality. Cinderella157 (talk) 22:53, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
IP editor's lack of neutrality claim disputes fully documented and cited text in body. MacArthur's handling of this campaign has had numerous military critics, many cited. He managed the thing in detail from his luxurious rear area quarters, ignored accurate reports from front line commands and staged his only visit to the "front" as notoriously exposed by the presence of a sedan staff car in background that could not have gotten out of the vicinity of his rear area quarters. There is no way to come to the "biased" conclusion other than to ignore numerous cites by military historians. Unless those can be discounted the flag must be removed. Palmeira (talk) 13:29, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure the criticism of Gen. MacArthur is widespread and should be in here but this article doesn't balance it with any alternative opinions. That is what I meant but being biased. The person that wrote it then adopts the criticism as the article's own opinion by presenting it in the introduction (without saying who said it) as fact. I tried to remove that part but it got put back. There is something screwy here which I tried to fix but obviously am not allowed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 32dDivGuy (talkcontribs) 20:11, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
You may misunderstand the whole premise here. Body text requires citation to reliable sources—and the critics are reliable by standards here, published historians and such—with the introduction a summary of the body. The part you (presumably) took out is clearly based on such sources down in the body. If you have equally reliable sources disputing those assessments in the body then add and cite them there and I'd support some coverage in the summary. Unfortunately, except for MacArthur's cheerleaders the blunt assessment of his actions at this stage are not very favorable from contemporaries or historians. He allowed himself to be a "map general" making decisions that had no basis in the reality of the ground his people were fighting on or the nature and strength of the enemy they fought. Part was the woeful ignorance everywhere of the geography and a sort of Western arrogance (same as those "nearsighted Japs that can't see in the dark" that led to the USN Savo disaster) about the opposing forces. Those are well documented facts. I'm not a Mac admirer, thinking he re-earned his "Dougout Doug" for similar behavior in the Philippines earlier. I will grant that his campaign from here on out, with quite limited forces, and his (and staff) improvisation of logistics over such an area often approached brilliant. Palmeira (talk) 00:32, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
@32dDivGuy From he lead: "The demands were more [my emphasis] to politically secure and strengthen the position of MacArthur's command than for any strategic need." As stated in the reversion, the lead is a synopsis of the body and this statement is supported by the citations in the body. By virtue of "more", the statement is not categorical but is "to a greater degree" and thereby represents an appropriate balance of the critical commentary from the references identified and cited in the body of the text. An edit removing this sentence also removed that which followed. I also endorse the comments of Palmeira. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:54, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
As to the issue of bias or balance, I've contributed to this article off an on for several years because my father was in the 107th QM Btn, 32 ID. It was by this work that I first became familiar with MacArthur and his contributions to World War II in the Pacific. I had no real prior knowledge of his command behavior. Based on contemporary assessment by others and later comments by authorities, I believe that a fair balance has been struck in the current article. If you added an "equal" amount of content about his positive command actions, you'd hyperinflate what he did right in contrast to the mistakes he made.
Aside from any Japanese threat, MacArthur appeared to have personal motivations to get the inadequately trained 32nd ID into battle. When General Harding failed to lead the 32nd ID to immediate success, MacArthur sacked him. But the troops were not only inadequately trained, their were very poorly equipped and had continued supply problems--all due to command decisions that fell under MacArthur's responsibility. MacArthur, by requiring Harding to rely on aircraft for ground support, by relying on faulty intelligence, and by disallowing appropriate reconnaissance, among other things, had completely set Harding up for failure. MacArthur was utterly ignorant of the challenges Harding experienced on the front line. How can you "balance" this kind of abuse of his command authority? In my personal opinion, MacArthur was willing to sacrifice men's lives for the glory and attention he got for being among the first to attack the Japanese. The issue of "balance" in this article is a moot point. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 18:58, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the way to alleviate some of the concerns raised would be to move the MacArthur section into the Allied command section, thereby potentially reducing the undue weight that might be being perceived here (e.g. by reducing the heading level and treating as part of a larger topic, than by treating it separately). I think it is possibly a more intuitive place for the topic to be dealt with anyway. Thoughts? AustralianRupert (talk) 23:55, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
That sounds sensible. My understanding is that modern historians also rate the performance of the senior Australian commanders in this battle poorly as well, with some noting that MacArthur and the various other Australian and US generals were still learning how to fight the Japanese in the jungle (which seems a fair conclusion, though the consequences for the men under their command were terrible). Nick-D (talk) 07:38, 29 August 2015 (UTC)


I agree at 205Kb the article may be due for a split. I suggest that the entire prelude to the battle might be split into a new topic. That seems like the only logical division. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 23:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

@32dDivGuy, since you added the flag, I was wondering if you had anything to contribute to the discussion so far? Cinderella157 (talk) 00:02, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Battle section[edit]

I propose moving the battle section to a new page titled Battle of Buna–Gona: Details of battle. Only a slightly parsed version of the battle summary (section introduction) would be retained in the main article space. This is the first of a number of similar moves I would propose. Comments are invited. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

G'day, I understand the desire to reduce the length, but I don't think that approach would be ideal. Perhaps it would be better to create an article for each of the separate parts of the battlefield, e.g. Sanananda, Buna and Gona...not sure, really, sorry. Other opinions? AustralianRupert (talk) 05:57, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi, While the headings indicate different locations, I don't think think that the subsections can just be pulled apart into locations and maintain the same coherence. I also think that the intro is a nice synopsis - much more and where do you stop? With all of these proposed changes, only the MacArthur section, with all of its quotes, would appear slightly longer and most would be much smaller. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:59, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
No worries, although I've certainly seen them dealt with under separate headings in certain works. For instance, Coulthard-Clark's Encyclopedia of Australia's Battles splits it into "Buna" and "Sananada". I guess my main concern is that "Battle of Buna–Gona: Details of battle" doesn't seem a viable article title in that it should very clearly be a subtopic to Battle of Buna–Gona, but the casual reader won't really understand how "Details of battle" is a split. In this regard, I think it risks becoming a content fork if it is created in this manner. The other topics, especially the logistics section and orders of battle, quite easily lend themselves to a split, but perhaps the section on the actual fighting itself does not, if it can't clearly be delineated. Anyway, that's my opinion, let's see what the others come back with. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
"A content fork is the creation of multiple separate articles all treating the same subject. Content forks that are created unintentionally result in redundant or conflicting articles and are to be avoided. On the other hand, as an article grows, editors often create summary-style spin-offs or new, linked article for related material. This is acceptable, and often encouraged, as a way of making articles clearer and easier to manage." My perception(?) but not seeing the issue you allude to. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
My point of yesterday's date was not that it couldn't be split on a locational basis but rater, that it is not simply grouping the existing subsections by location without probably/possibly loosing cohesion. The split you refer to by Coulthard-Clark's is probably more correctly along the lines of the US and Australian AOs. A split by location should probably follow/be consistent with the subsidiary battle honours to make sense. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:30, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
G'day again, the issue I am alluding to is that readers will not see how "Battle of Buna-Gona" and "Battle of Buna-Gona: Details of battle" are different and subsequently over the course of time they will potentially cover the same thing in different ways...hence, a content fork. As such, a split needs to be made on very clearly defined terms. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 03:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree with AustralianRupert. In the relatively early days of Wikipedia we had short and long versions of articles on some battles, but they were all eventually merged together. It would be best for this article to provide a comprehensive, but not too long, summary of the battle, and have more detailed articles on its various aspects as appropriate. Nick-D (talk) 07:28, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Oppose Would fracture the article too extensively. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Allied forces section[edit]

I propose moving the subsection on the 32nd division and Australian militia to Battle of Buna–Gona: Allied forces order of battle and ammending the For more details ... as follows:

For more details on this topic, see Battle of Buna–Gona: Allied forces order of battle. The article also discusses the lack of training and its impact on the combat effectiveness of the US 32nd Division and Australian militia units.

Comments please. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think this proposal could be viable. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:01, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Oppose Would fracture the article too extensively. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Fire support[edit]

I propose moving the Fire support section to a new page titled Battle of Buna–Gona: Fire support. Only the section introduction would be retained in the main article space. Comments are invited. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:52, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Hmm, not sure about this one. Maybe. Again, is it just Allied fire support? If so, maybe Allied use of fire support during the Battle of Buna–Gona (or maybe just Allied fire support during the Battle of Buna–Gona), or if it is intended to cover both Japanese and Allied situations, then generically just Fire support during the Battle of Buna–Gona. Thoughts? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:06, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Oppose Would fracture the article too extensively. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)


I propose moving the Logistics section to a new page entitled Battle of Buna–Gona: Logistics. A brief synopsis would become the lead for the new article. It would also replace the section in the main article. There may be issues with fully referencing the synopsis which are acceptable as a lead but not when used within the body of the main article, even though it would be fully supported by the existing material. Comments pls. Cinderella157 (talk) 03:17, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

G'day, I think this could be viable in principle, although the article name should possibly be Logistics during the Battle of Buna–Gona, or something similar. Is the intent to focus on the Allies only, or on both Japanese and Allies? If just the Allied situation, I'd suggest the article title should reflect that, e.g. Allied logistics during the Battle of Buna–Gona, or something similar. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The existing section deals with both sides. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:38, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Then I'd go with Logistics during the Battle of Buna–Gona. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 22:55, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I am tending to a consistent format (here and any other sub pages) on the basis of Battle of Buna–Gona: Allied forces order of battle and the same for the Japanese order of battle but am happy to see where this leads. Thanks for the comment. Cinderella157 (talk) 23:17, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Consistency in this regard is probably not necessary, and I'd argue that "Logistics during the Battle of Buna–Gona" is probably more intuitive as a search term, but (as a military mind) I can certainly see the virtue in consistency/conformity. Anyway, it's not a warstoper. I found this as an example of a logistics article, which might help you in developing the article if you choose to go down that path: Battle of Pusan Perimeter logistics (it's currently rated A-class, so should be of reasonable quality). Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I also agree that this topic would work well as a separate article, though this article should include substantial coverage of the topic (as I understand it, a major reason that this campaign was such a nightmare for the Allies was that it was fought on a logistical shoestring, which meant that proper support for the troops wasn't provided). Nick-D (talk) 12:04, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Nick-D (talk) understands this well. The exceptionally miserable natrue of this thing for both sides hinged on logistics. The fact that any heavy logistical support was dependent on the U.S. Army Small Ships, so often crewed by Australians under contract, and even that was a shoestring until that large ship path was opened with Karsik arriving at Oro Bay the night of 11—12 December 1942. Think of it, nearly a month with nothing but air supply and what could come to Oro Bay by small vessel to be wrestled ashore without true port facilities and still having to be ported through jungle to the troops. Those troops were on the offensive against well dug in, if trapped and eventually even worse supplied Japanese troops on a thread at first. I think it was Omar Bradley that said "Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics” and this was a lesson of what happens when terrain and logistics were not studied well enough by those launching troops into this venture. Palmeira (talk) 12:34, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have previously discussed the matter of expanding the details of Small Ships and Lilliput in this section with Palmeira and have opposed this - not on the grounds of significance (it certainly is) but on the grounds that this tends to an unacceptable content fork, given this is covered in detail in the Operation Lilliput article. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:36, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Oppose Would fracture the article too extensively. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I certainly do not think the sea route needs expansion here; however, Operation Lilliput only deals with that specific aspect. There is a larger logistics aspect that just is not covered and could be covered in a separate article—though I am not sure it is worth the effort to try to surgically remove parts here in favor of that other discussion. The logistical issue for the entire early part of the war in SWPA went all the way back to Army in the U.S. with deep misunderstanding of the battle zone (Think piles of cans from waterlogged boxes that fell apart without labels because they also came off and wet ammunition, fast rotting uniforms). If you get out of the bang-bang histories into the logistics ones you find a massive effort back in QMC stateside kicked off by those Buna lessons. It extended from there to the frantic effort to put together "MacArthur's Navy" from every scow to new vessel they could commandeer, grab, hold in theater and otherwise draft into the logistics chain to assist the KPM ships that were the early core fleet.
It was "logistics" born in disaster, the fall of the Philippines, rerouting the Pensacola Convoy and scrounging through its holds for "stuff" that could be thrown into the forming SWPA forces (aircraft, but no coolant for engines, dive bombers without trigger motors, gunsight solenoids, and gun mounts). This particular first offensive action, with a logistics problem far beyond mere transport, after the holding of Milne Bay took place as that logistics nightmare was just getting some attention and before it began to resolve into something that could sustain a real offensive. One of the few things I personally think "Dougout Doug" did well with was pretty much solving the logistics nightmare while the whole of SWPA was actually low on the priority list. Creation of that "Navy" while shipping was so short worldwide and he way down from priorities such as Operation Bolero and Russian convoys was quite something. Palmeira (talk) 14:58, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

My sandbox (current version as at this date/time) has a cut down version of the article and includes a proposed summary version of the logistics section - it is about a quarter of the size (words) of the logistics section in the current article. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:18, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


I have experimented with the above changes in my sandbox. All of the above changes I propose (save the battle detail) reduces the size to about 177 K bytes (readable prose - 86 kB). Implementing a move of the battle detail further reduces the size to about 110 k bytes (42 kB readable prose). Moving the battle section alone reduces the file to 190 kB (readable prose - 83 kB). The readable prose of the current document is 127 kB (total size - 205 kB). The earlier version of this article 106 kB (61 kB readable prose). A reasonable amount of what was in the battle section of that article is covered in the "prelude sections" of the current article. Cinderella157 (talk) 09:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I'd note that there's also scope to streamline the existing prose - for instance, by reducing the use of quotes. Nick-D (talk) 12:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The three sections identified above (other than battle) were chosen on the basis that they could be replaced by a summary that might be substantially shorter than the existing section, while not substantially fracturing the main article. For example, splitting out the Japanese defences section is unlikely to produce a substantial saving, considering its existing length and the length of any coherent summary that might replace it. Forking out the indicated sections except for the battle is a saving of only about 15% and probably less, depending on the summaries that replace them. The question is whether this is a sufficient saving to warrant the changes - effort and impact on coherence of the article? Cinderella157 (talk) 04:08, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Prelude to the Battle of Buna-Gona[edit]

Too much content!

All of the various forks suggested above would greatly fracture the article and a reader's understanding of the context.

Here's my suggestion for cutting this Gordian Knot: Take the sections that set up the battle theatre and split them off into a topic named Prelude to the Battle of Buna-Gona. This incluces Climate and terrain, Logistics, Intelligence, Japanese defences, Japanese forces, Allied forces, MacArthur's pressure and posturing, Allied command, and Fire support. That's about one-half of the entire article. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

That suggestion makes some sense and could be seen as the prelude to the entire campaign beyond as it was the breaking of that sea route logistics jam that made all the rest possible—at least while Rabaul and the north were still Japanese air and naval factors. A careful split there, with enough left in the article to show how critical that logistics factor was to the battle itself and a "Main article" pointer is something I could support. It would just take time and effort so as not to leave bloody gaps where the roots of logistics have been pulled out. Palmeira (talk) 16:59, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Many of those topics that fall between the background and the battle sections are not preliminary to the battle and for that reason, they were not grouped under a prelude heading. Many of these topics (such as logistics) give a development from before the battle and then across the conduct of the battle. Even climate and terrain, which fall within the scope of the prelude was edited (not my choice) to include disease as a subsection - the issue of disease developed across the course of the battle. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:17, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I am unable to see how the objections to a page dealing with detail of the battle (ie - inappropriate forking and excessive fracturing) would not apply at least equally to this proposal? Cinderella157 (talk) 00:53, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

There's the preparations for and the background to the battle, and then there's the battle itself. Sure, some of the background affects the battle itself. But if you consider the two chronologically, I think such a split would be workable. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 00:58, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Disease, Logistics, Japanese forces, Allied forces, MacArthur's pressure and posturing, Allied command, Fire support and (to a small degree) Intelligence all have significant content that span the timeline of the battle (ie fighting). I submit that a chronological division would see much of the content retained in the main article but in a way that would be highly fractured. Cinderella157 (talk) 04:19, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Cinderella157, you've done a wonderful job in re-writing this complex topic. But I sense a little bit of ownership about the article and how it might be split. It feels like you're saying "my way or no way."
Any one else care to weigh in on how the article would best be split? I'd like to see a consensus. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:44, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
What I am saying is: the process that you have described is unlikely to produce an effective outcome since the material in the article prelude (ie between background and battle) is inconsistent with the premise that it is mainly chronologically before the fighting proper (in the article as it stands). My assessment is evidenced by the material itself. The MacArthur section deals with his impact through the course of the battle (about one-third is an introduction and preliminary. Almost all of the fire support section (except naval - which effectively wasn't used except in support of logistics) deals with the employment through the course of the battle. About half of logistics and almost all of 'sea route opened' deals with events through the battle. About half of the Japanese forces deals with reinforcement through the battle and changing dispositions. About one-third of 32 Div deals with the impact of training in battle and about half for Australian militia. In intelligence, perhaps a fifth deals with reconnaissance through the battle. if you envisage something different, then perhaps further explanation is require. I have done some working up in my sandbox for all to see. Perhaps your proposal needs a similar 'proof of concept'. I think you misinterpret my 'critical analysis' as "my way or no way". If I am to be expected to do this splitting (and this is what I sense), then I need to be starting from a workable practical plan. If this constitutes ownership, then ownership it is. However, no matter who is doing the leg work, there needs to be a a workable practical plan - that is my concern. You may notice that I have been somewhat critical of my own proposals. BTW/FYI, I posted an invitation on the MH talk page about 2 days ago to participate in this discussion here, since I too would like to see more ideas and a consensus. Cinderella157 (talk) 23:39, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Cinderella157, I don't know why you automatically assume you would be performing the split unless it's due to your feelings of ownership. I suggest we reach some agreement about the split and then individuals can volunteer to take on pieces of the job. As far as inviting others to discuss this on the "MH talk page" I think the discussion should remain here. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 16:27, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Not an assumption but a perception based on experience. I have provided a reasoned case why this proposition as you have described it is not likely IMO to produce the desired outcome. Alleging "ownership" or "my way or no way" does not address the reasonable concerns I have raised. I did not raise them in preference of another option. I have invited you to address these concerns. Cinderella157 (talk) 22:39, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistent use of British/Australian and U.S. units of measure[edit]

In the section about Climate and weather, the temperature is referred to using both Farenheit and Celcius as the primary measurement:

"Temperatures over the period of the battle ranged from an average daily low of 72 °F (22 °C) to 89 °F (31 °C) but with a humidity of 82 percent, this could be oppressive. In the humid conditions, kunai grass trapped the heat and it was not uncommon for temperatures to reach 50 °C (122 °F)."

The terrain is described using a mixture of feet, meters, miles, and kilometers:

"Buna air strip is 5 feet (1.5 m) above sea level. The elevation is only double this at Soputa, 7.5 miles (12.1 km) inland and 85 metres (279 ft) at Popondetta, 21 kilometres (13 mi) inland. The water table is reportedly shallow at about 3 feet (0.91 m)."

And a few sentences later:

"Average rainfall for December was 368 millimetres (14.5 in)".

Given there were a mixture of Aussie and American units on the front lines, I'm unsure what the preferred measurement method ought to be, but it should be consistent. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 19:15, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

I can tell you what was used at the time: a completely confusing and totally inconsistent mix of U.S. and Australian units. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:56, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Please be aware that Australia used British (imperial) units (as opposed to metric) and, for the most part, these are the same as US units. The two main (contemporaneous) histories were written with US and imperial units respectively. The mixed use of metric or imperial/US as the primary unit originally represented the units quoted in the source. It certainly was consistent in this respect. However, some subsequent edits by others has changed this to some degree and also introduced a greater degree of implied accuracy than is reasonable - ie 3 ft = 0.91 m rather than 0.9 m or 30 yds = 27 m rather than 30 m as in the case of, "well-trained infantry would look to advance as near as 30 yards (27 m) to the fall of the shot". My concern is that conversions represented as primary data can misrepresent figures cited in sources. To my mind, quoting a figure from a source is equivalent to quoting a passage of text - though perhaps this is a legacy of my scientific discipline. If a consensus is for commonality of primary units, then I would tend to US in this case. Cinderella157 (talk) 22:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
If it's a figure within quoted text, I can see the sense in retaining the original measurement. But the examples I cited were in such close proximity to one another it caught my eye. I wasn't sure if the Aussies were using Imperial units or not, so the presence of metric units is even more confusing. Given that we're writing a summary, is it critical that every measurement be converted exactly? Will minor differences materially affect the reader's understanding of the topic? — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 23:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
@btphelps Firstly, conversions should not be made exactly (ie reporting all of the decimal places that result from applying the appropriate conversion factor) but to a number of significant figures that is consistent with the precision of the original observation that is being converted. Hence, it is more appropriate to say 3 ft = 0.9 m not 0.91 m. To clarify (by way of explanation), from the perspective of my profession, writing, 3 ft (0.9 m) is implied to be "3 ft [0.9 m]" - the figure is a quote from the source. Specificity as to date, time or quantity is considered to be quoted from the cited source - though I think you understood this. This is the consistent rational that has be applied to the article (by me). I observe, given WPs pedantic obsession with verifiability and accuracy in citing sources that an obsession with conformity might out-weigh this is surprising. This is a general observation which is in no way intended to be personal.
With regard to the question, does primacy of a particular unit system "materially affect the reader's understanding?" I answer as follows. Primacy of a figure conveys to the reader a sense of superior reliability with a sense that the figure in parenthesis is somewhat inferior to the extent of conversion and rounding errors. The significance to the readers will depend on the reader's insight and the reader's intended on-use of the article. Notwithstanding this (and to my perception), the system of units given primacy does not affect the broader understanding of a passage of text or an article provided the conversion is clearly given , either expressly or by clear inference (such as a second identical figure given almost immediately following the first).
Your consternation appears to be with why the same system of units is not primary throughout and not with understanding the text. Perhaps this should be explained by way of a note? If this is still all too problematic, then my preference would be for US/imperial units to be primary. A well intended but (I believe) ill considered edit lead to "5 ft (1.5 m)" being changed to "1.5 metres (4.9 ft)" when 5 ft was the figure cited in the source. The text "... kunai grass could grow to over 6 feet (nearly 2 metres)", was edited to "could grow to 2 metres (6.6 ft) and the leaves were broad and sharp". The reference cited stated that the grass could grow to over 6 feet. My concern is that any broad change or subsequent changes should not affect the integrity of the article, such as has occurred in these two examples. Cinderella157 (talk) 05:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Cinderella157, I confess I'm not quite sure what you said, but I think I agree that the figures cited from source material should preserve the "integrity of the article". For ease of comprehension, I agree with your preference for primary use of US/Imperial units. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 05:51, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
btphelps I would be happy to explain any particular point of understanding (perhaps directly with you) if you desire. The key point is that changes indicated by the two examples in the last paragraph can adversely affect the integrity of the article. On a side note, omission of the US equivalent of battle honours was not a bias on my part - rather that I lack knowledge on the subject. I was hoping somebody might address this. Cinderella157 (talk) 06:49, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── G'day, just a quick comment/suggestion, but it is possible to flip parameters and limit the precision in the conversion templates. That might solve some of the issues raised here. See Template:Convert for more details about how to achieve this. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 05:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Some, but backtracking the well-intended edits previously made, makes this something of as task. Cinderella157 (talk) 08:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Could you "assume" that the first number would be from the source, then either use it or reverse convert it? ReTeam (talk) 13:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
No, since although that was how the article was originally edited, a well meaning editor has altered this when applying the convert template to the the manual conversions. Cinderella157 (talk) 13:26, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Understood. It's a shame, though, since most numbers seem to be approximations, anyway. Is it one identifiable editor? You could just go to the edit before them. That would be a lot of effort, but the mixed units look terrible.
This must have been addressed at some other article. ReTeam (talk) 15:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
This involved many changes per save, all well intended and some more valuable than others so, unfortunately, it is not a simple fix. Cinderella157 (talk) 23:03, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Script edit [4][edit]

@User:Darrend1967, @User:Meteor sandwich yum/Tidy citations.js and @User:AustralianRupert

I am concerned about this edit since it has produced widespread changes to references in the article which cannot be easily tracked, which appear to be largely 'cosmetic' and superficial rather than of any intrinsic value and which (by virtue of the number of changes involved), have a risk of corrupting data disproportionate to any benefit. I am not saying it has corrupted data but that this is a concern. The source code is not sufficiently commented for me to deduce the aim of the code, the criteria being applied or the logic by which this is being implemented. I see one undesirable outcome (IMO) - the change of citation section from three to two columns. This can be changed back separately but I am concerned about what is not readily apparent.

Would like to understand more about what this is doing, how it is doing it, why it is of benefit, what are the risks and whether the benefits outweigh the risks and are sufficiently mitigated? I have reverted the edit as a precaution. Please discuss. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:37, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

G'day, I wouldn't worry too much about this edit...looks largely just "wikignoming". Should be okay, IMO, but I can see why you might be concerned as it appears like a significant change at first glance. Anyway, all the best. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 08:49, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
No response from developer or editor making this edit. Will leave revert in place? Cinderella157 (talk) 21:59, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Two versions in search[edit]

A search (say just "Buna Gona" as the search string) returns two versions of this article in the results. Even though they appear different, they appear to redirect to the same page. Don't know why or how to fix it. Cinderella157 (talk) 21:56, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Edit to allied casualties in campaign box[edit]

@User:The Pittsburgher has made an edit to the allied casualties as it appears in the canpaign box of the article. See [5]. In the previous version ([6]), the statement made is supported by the discussion in Battle of Buna–Gona#Aftermath and by the footnote to the figures given. However, I acknowledge it is in error to the extent that it includes dead and this will be remedied.

The edit does not cite a page or pages in support which should be given and is in conflict with other sources and this should be reconciled (in the footnote at least if not in the aftermarth section). Likely, Gailey's references would need to be considered in reconciling this.

As a minor point the edit creates a referencing conflict wrt referencing format style as Gailey is quoted in the list of references.

I note that (not withstanding the cited reference) the previous edit gives a more accurate representation of the casualties than simply stating that "thousands were evacuated sick". I acknowledge the intent but do not believe that this is a "better" solution.

I am reverting this edit subject to a reconciliation of these issues with a correction to the original error.

@User:AustralianRupert, your advice and input would be appreciated. Signed late Cinderella157 (talk) 03:40, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

In making the edit I intended to make a distinction between combat and non-combat losses on the Allied side. The source in question (Gailey) unfortunately had no specific page citation though it mentions Australian losses of 8,546 (3,095 killed) and American losses of 847 killed and 1,918 wounded. There is also a round figure of ~12,000 casualties for the Japanese, which I left out because the current breakdown appeared more detailed. Those totals also appear in Dean W. Andersen's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Penicillin: Memoir of a Combat Medic in the Pacific in World War II" pages 34-35, and in at least one other source. There appears to be some confusion as to just what the real numbers were, as I have also seen the figures of 8,546 casualties and 3,095 killed appear in other places, though they are used to represent the entire combined Allied total, not just the Australians.
Sincerely, The Pittsburgher (talk) 02:43, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate the intent but here is the anomaly. The Dept of Vet Affairs (DVA) web page cited in the aftermath section quotes total Australian battle casualties of 3471 and 1204 killed. McCarthy may give a figure somewhere but not in the chapters I have downloaded (up to 17) I have very low speed so I can't do a further check atm. Brune (ABoAPlace) on a quick skim does not appear to give a figure either. Also, the non battle casualties are of great significance. Cinderella157 (talk) 03:40, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
G'day, I had a look at Keogh (p. 280), and he provides the following figures: 5,698 battle casualties (Australia) and 2,848 (United States). In addition, 15,575 non battle casualties (Australia) and 8,659 (United States); unfortunately the non battle casualties are only up until the end of 1942 (and it is for all of New Guinea). I also had a look at Coulthard-Clark. He lists Buna, Gona and Sananada separately and provides the following figures: Buna - 2,870 battle casualties (Allies); Gona - 530 battle casualties and sickness (AS 21 Bde only); Sananada - 2,100 Allied casualties. (pp. 232-236). As such, I think it would probably be best to provide a broad range (highest and lowest estimates) in the infobox, and then provide a full discussion in the body, which outlines the various different estimates. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:23, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

McCarthy (p 546) states:"casualties on the Australians and Americans in Papua of 8,546 between 22nd July 1942 and 22nd January 1943." The DVA gives Australian casualties total Jan 42 to Jan 43 as 5866. This is high compared with the sum of the individual battles (ie 5766), suggesting a calculation/typo error. From the same DVA source, total KIA and DOW for US and Aus army and air force is 3195, which may suggest a calculation error/typo compared with 3195. figures suggest that total Papuan figures have been quoted as being for BGS. Reporting this in the Aftermath and campaign box then becomes problematic in the same way that the Japanese strength and casualties were also problematic. I suggest it will require a similar solution. This was to look at the sources quoted by the authors. The elevated figures appear to probably be from listing total Aus figures for Papua as being for BGS. Coulthard-Clark's total is 5500 - these figures would appear to be rounded and would be low, give only 21 Bde is counted at Gona. The DVA total for Australians at BGS and for US army in Papua is 6000 if MIA (pres dead) are not included. The total give by Gailey appears to add US casualties to McCarthy's total, which already includes the US figure. Similarly, Gaileys Australians killed would appear to be the total killed in Papua including US figures. Inclusion or not of missing, can account for some small discrepencies (about 140 Aus army, for all of Papua and 176 US army).

Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to these references being quoted by both of you - help please. Cinderella157 (talk) 02:26, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Japanese strength in campaign box[edit]

Have reverted edit [7], amending figure of Japanese strength given in campaign box from "6,500+" to "11,000-12,000". Issue is how best to report this / deal with it?

The most often reported figure is 5500 or 6500, depending on when it is reported wrt early reinforcements. 11,000 - 12,000 is arrived at from a number of sources. Both are correct wrt the sources, though the latter (when qualified) is probably more accurate. Certainly a note would be appropriate. I have only reverted the edit by way of stimulating discussion and gaining a consensus as to what is best. For consideration is both the figure to be quoted and a note to be added. I would tend to the lesser figure and a not to see the section. Alternatively, "6,500+ (up to 12,000) - Note: see section, Japanese forces for details." @User:Nihlus1 @User:AustralianRupert Cinderella157 (talk) 09:16, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref group=notes> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=notes}} template (see the help page).