In 1942, the island of New Guinea served as a hinge between the Allies to the south in Australia and the Japanese Imperial Army to the north in the Philippines. For the Allies, holding Australia and regaining the Philippines required battling Japanese forces for control of New Guinea. The campaign lasted virtually the entire Pacific War, with the initial fighting in 1942 setting the tone for what would follow. Joining VBC Greatest Generation Live are the leading experts on the 32nd Division and the Battle of New Guinea. Historian James Campbell, author of The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea–The Forgotten War of the South Pacific, has not only mastered the archival sources on the New Guinea Campaign but has also trekked across the battleground himself, gaining a first-hand view of the rough terrain and forbidding environment. In addition to James, we’ll be joined by Chris Kolakowski, Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the museum’s Education Specialist Erik Wright. Finally, our own resident teenage expert, Henry Schoepke, will be on hand to discuss the role of the 32nd Infantry Division in winning the fight for New Guinea.
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