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Pacific Star

The war in the South Pacific saw some of the most gruelling fighting of World War Two. Conditions were unpleasant - fetid heat, torrential downpours and hostile flora and fauna - while the Japanese enemy were ruthless and would often fight to the last man. Amphibious warfare, jungle warfare and the need to co-operate with our American ally all meant that new demands were made on New Zealand soldiers. Yet the war in the South Pacific came to be seen as an easy war, generally overlooked (with the exception of Guadalcanal) by historians. From ignorance of what the soldiers were called upon to endure, the notion arose that service in the South Pacific was somehow less worthy than the `real war' in Europe against the Nazis. This attitude continued in the post-war world and today the soldiers of 3NZ Division are all but forgotten. Pacific Star sets the record straight, shedding new light on the sacrifices and tribulations which the soldiers of 3NZ Division had to endure in the service of the Allied cause. The book covers their initial deployment in Fiji and New Caledonia, and describes the major battles the division fought in the Solomons: Vella Lavella, the Treasury Islands and the Green Islands, as well as their sometimes strained relationship with the US military. Reg Newell has interviewed veterans for this book, which includes new maps and previously unpublished photographs.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Note on nomenclature Preface 1. The Great Pacific War: A brief overview 2. Defence Dilemmas and Strategic Nightmares 3. New Zealand's Achilles Heel: The vulnerable northern approaches 4. Into the Pacific: Fijian genesis 5. Japan Enters the War 6. Confusion and Obfuscation: Forming a division 7. Growing Pains 8. New Caledonia: The land of the Niaouli trees 9. To the Solomons: Into the forward area 10. Fighting on Vella Lavella: Initiation to battle 11. The Treasury Islands: Operating Goodtime - A Diversionary Operation 12. The Green Islands: Operation Squarepeg 13. Death of a Division 14. 'Mud, Mosquitos and Monotony': The hard slog 15. Columbia's Apprentice: Fighting with the Americans 16. Aftermath 17. The Achievements of 3NZ Division Notes Appendix: The organisation of 3NZ Division at its height, early 1943, New Caledonia Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author

After gaining a master's degree at the American Military University, Reg Newell completed a doctorate at Massey University on New Zealand's involvement in the Pacific in World War Two. Pacific Star is based on his research. He is passionate that 3NZ Division is properly recognised and remembered.

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