The Australian and American operations to secure the Japanese beachheads in Papua were arguably some of the most difficult of the Second World War in the Pacific. They have become notorious for the ignorance of senior commanders to the challenges faced by forward troops, the grinding brutality of the combat, and heavy casualties.

This presentation looks beyond this established narrative. Contrary to the notion that the allies stubbornly committed to the same clumsy methods and practices, it demonstrates that there was a concerted effort to learn and adapt. Although not always successful, it was this effort that enabled allied victory.

Watch the recording here.

About the speaker

James Brien is a PhD scholar from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. His research interests are centred on the history of warfare in the 20th century and military learning and adaptation. His research on the beachhead operations grew out of an Australian War Memorial Summer Vacation Scholarship project and has been supported by an Australian Army History Research grant.

Event details

Event date

Mon, 19 Jul 2021, 6 - 7pm

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