The New Georgia Campaign, June–August 1943
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The New Georgia Campaign
Munda Trail is the dramatic, harrowing story of green American soldiers encountering for the first time impenetrable swamps, solid rain forests, invisible coconut log pillboxes, tenacious snipers tied into trees, torren¬tial tropical rains, counterattack by enemy aircraft and naval guns, and the logistical nightmare of living and moving in endless mud. A carefully planned offensive quickly degenerates into isolated small-unit actions as the terrain breaks unit cohesion and leads inexperienced soldiers into deadly ambushes. As physical and psychologi¬cal strains mount, Army doctors begin to define a new disease nearing epidemic proportions—combat fatigue. Men without injuries simply become useless for fur¬ther fighting, the advance bogs down. Yet, over time, the scared American soldiers find their inner resolve and climb out of the psychological abyss, emerge steady and true, combat veterans at last—and victors.
The New Georgia Campaign was, in Ham¬mel’s words, “a graphic study of the universal military truths attending the feeding of innocents to the ravenous dogs of war.” Yet when it was over, there was no question in anyone’s mind that the tide had turned, that the forces moving through the Solomons would be American, and that they would move toward Japan.