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The Ghost Mountain boys: [their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea-- the forgotten war of the South Pacific]

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Pub. Date:
2007.
Language:
English
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Lying due north of Australia, New Guinea is among the world’s largest islands. In 1942, when World War II exploded onto its shores, it was an inhospitable, cursorily mapped, disease-ridden land of dense jungle, towering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and fetid swamps. Coveted by the Japanese for its strategic position, New Guinea became the site of one of the South Pacific’s most savage campaigns. Despite their lack of jungle training, the 32nd Division’s Ghost Mountain Boys were assigned the most grueling mission of the entire Pacific campaign: to march 130 miles over the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains and to protect the right flank of the Australian army as they fought to push the Japanese back to the village of Buna on New Guinea’s north coast.Comprised of National Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin, reserve officers, and draftees from across the country, the 32nd Division lacked more than training—they were without even the basics necessary for survival. The men were not issued the specialized clothing that later became standard issue for soldiers fighting in the South Pacific; they fought in hastily dyed combat fatigues that bled in the intense humidity and left them with festering sores. They waded through brush and vines without the aid of machetes. They did not have insect repellent. Without waterproof containers, their matches were useless and the quinine and vitamin pills they carried, as well as salt and chlorination tablets, crumbled in their pockets. Exhausted and pushed to the brink of human endurance, the Ghost Mountain Boys fell victim to malnutrition and disease. Forty-two days after they set out, they arrived two miles south of Buna, nearly shattered by the experience. Arrival in Buna provided no respite. The 32nd Division was ordered to launch an immediate assault on the Japanese position. After two months of furious—sometimes hand-to-hand—combat, the decimated division finally achieved victory. The ferocity of the struggle for Buna was summed up in Time magazine on December 28, 1942, three weeks before the Japanese army was defeated: “Nowhere in the world today are American soldiers engaged in fighting so desperate, so merciless, so bitter, or so bloody.”Reminiscent of classics like Band of Brothers and The Things They Carried, this harrowing portrait of a largely overlooked campaign is part war diary, part extreme adventure tale, and (through letters, journals, and interviews) part biography of a group of men who fought to survive in an environment every bit as fierce as the enemy they faced.
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ISBN:
9780307335968
9781400125760
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Grouped Work ID 8e30cdf8-f2ef-6144-cb23-0a121e0d2489
full_title ghost mountain boys their epic march and the terrifying battle for new guinea the forgotten war of t
author campbell james
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-05-26 04:52:45AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Hoye, Stephen.
author James Campbell
author-letter Campbell, James.
author2 Hoye, Stephen., hoopla digital.
author2-role Hoye, Stephen.|Narrator, hoopla digital.
author_additional James Campbell.
author_display Campbell, James
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collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
date_added 2009-06-26T04:00:00Z
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display_description

Lying due north of Australia, New Guinea is among the world's largest islands. In 1942, when World War II exploded onto its shores, it was an inhospitable, cursorily mapped, disease-ridden land of dense jungle, towering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and fetid swamps. Coveted by the Japanese for its strategic position, New Guinea became the site of one of the South Pacific's most savage campaigns. Despite their lack of jungle training, the 32nd Division's Ghost Mountain Boys were assigned the most grueling mission of the entire Pacific campaign: to march 130 miles over the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains and to protect the right flank of the Australian army as they fought to push the Japanese back to the village of Buna on New Guinea's north coast.

Comprised of National Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin, reserve officers, and draftees from across the country, the 32nd Division lacked more than training---they were without even the basics necessary for survival. The men were not issued the specialized clothing that later became standard issue for soldiers fighting in the South Pacific; they fought in hastily dyed combat fatigues that bled in the intense humidity and left them with festering sores. They waded through brush and vines without the aid of machetes. They did not have insect repellent. Without waterproof containers, their matches were useless, and the quinine and vitamin pills they carried, as well as salt and chlorination tablets, crumbled in their pockets. Exhausted and pushed to the brink of human endurance, the Ghost Mountain Boys fell victim to malnutrition and disease. Forty-two days after they set out, they arrived two miles south of Buna, nearly shattered by the experience.

Arrival in Buna provided no respite. The 32nd Division was ordered to launch an immediate assault on the Japanese position. After two months of furious---sometimes hand-to-hand---combat, the decimated division finally achieved victory. The ferocity of the struggle for Buna was summed up in Time magazine on December 28, 1942, three weeks before the Japanese army was defeated: "Nowhere in the world today are American soldiers engaged in fighting so desperate, so merciless, so bitter, or so bloody."

Reminiscent of classics like Band of Brothers and The Things They Carried, this harrowing portrait of a largely overlooked campaign is part war diary, part extreme adventure tale, and---through letters, journals, and interviews---part biography of a group of men who fought to survive in an environment every bit as fierce as the enemy they faced.

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local_days_since_added_arlington 3433
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oclc (OCoLC)122261936
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Arlington Public Library Online, Aurora Hills, Aurora Hills Online, Central, Central Online, Cherrydale, Cherrydale Online, Columbia Pike, Columbia Pike Online, Connection Crystal City, Connection Crystal City Online, Detention Center, Detention Center Online, Glencarlyn, Glencarlyn Online, Local History, Local History Online, Plaza, Plaza Online, Shirlington, Shirlington Online, Westover, Westover Online
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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (10hr., 30 min.)) : digital., xv, 378 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
popularity 5
primary_isbn 9780307335968
publishDate 2007
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publisher Crown Publishers,, Tantor Media
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subject_facet World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Papua New Guinea, World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- United States
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The Ghost Mountain boys : [their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea-- the forgotten war of the South Pacific]
title_display The Ghost Mountain boys : their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea, the forgotten war of the South Pacific
title_full The Ghost Mountain Boys Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea---the Forgotten War of the South Pacific, The Ghost Mountain Boys [electronic resource] : [their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea-- the forgotten war of the South Pacific] / James Campbell, The Ghost Mountain boys : their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea, the forgotten war of the South Pacific / James Campbell
title_short The Ghost Mountain boys :
title_sort ghost mountain boys their epic march and the terrifying battle for new guinea, the forgotten war of the south pacific
title_sub [their epic march and the terrifying battle for New Guinea-- the forgotten war of the South Pacific]
topic History, Nonfiction
topic_facet History, Nonfiction