Western New Guinea, 1942-1944: Japanese invasion, Dutch resistance and Allied re-occupation.


Keen to extend their defensive perimeter out into the southwest Pacific, and hampered by difficult terrain of swamps and mountains, the Japanese were unable to dislodge Dutch forces from western New Guinea. Small Dutch units waged successful guerrilla struggles in several districts, while the Merauke region to the south remained entirely under Dutch rule.

Further reading

Drea, Edward J., In the service of the Emperor: essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Ford, Jack M., ‘Allies in a bind': Australia and the Netherlands East Indies in the Second World War. Loganholme, Qld: Australian Netherlands Ex‑Servicemen and Women's Association, 1996.

Taaffe, Stephen R., MacArthur's Jungle War: The 1944 New Guinea Campaign. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Map number from Cribb, Historical Atlas of Indonesia (2000)


Year span

1942 - 1942