Dutch New Guinea was the western half of New Guinea, bordering Papua New Guinea to the east. After Indonesian Independence, the area became known as "Irian Jaya". Since 2002, divided between Papua Province (Irian Jaya) and West Papua (West Irian Jaya).
On March 5, 1942 Imperial General
Headquarters by Navy Directive No. 62 ordered Commander-in-Chief,
Combined Fleet, upon completion of the Battle of the Java Sea was to annihilate
the remaining enemy force in the Dutch New Guinea and to occupy
strategic points of that territory. The objectives of the occupation
were to survey the country for possible sites for air bases,
and oilfields, as well to secure a good communication and supply
line with British New Guinea. The Japanese claimed zero casualties
in their occupation of the area.
area was the site of several daring island hopping amphibious
landings by Americans, but the history of operations in this
region are less known than more "famous" battles
in Papua New Guinea. Many of the Japanese
troops in this area were isolated until the end of the war,
to starve or otherwise bypassed by Allied island hopping
and attacked from the air.
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February 4, 2018