Defending the Driniumor : covering force operations in New by Edward J Drea; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

By Edward J Drea; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

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Extra info for Defending the Driniumor : covering force operations in New Guinea, 1944

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In practice, on 7 June 1944 the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, held a 1,800-meter front running south from the mouth of the Driniumor. The 1st Battalion, 127th Infantry, defended a 3,300-meter front that extended north from the vicinity of Afua. 33 The two rifle battalions were greatly overextended and, given the jungle terrain, were in fact isolated. Japanese reconnaissance patrols easily infiltrated through the porous American lines. S. front lines that the Americans thought that Japanese reconnaissance patrol activity near the Driniumor had slacked off in early June.

Nakai communicated his plans for such a 29 June attack to 18th Army. 64 The SIB for 27-28 June reported this development along with the facts that Japanese units were far understrength, suffering severe supply difficulties, and cut off from possible reinforcement. 66 Also present at the 28 June meeting was General GilI, now commanding the Eastern Defense Area, Gill voiced his concern over his force being overextended and thus unsupportable because of the difficulties in moving artillery and supplies through the jungle from Aitape to the Driniumor.

The artificial structure of battle necessarily imposed by higher headquarters could not accurately represent every event at the tactical unit level. The vast increase in human activity at the lower links in the chain of command precluded that. From the idealized solitary figure of the commander pondering his next order to the range of complex preparations of a rifle squad before patrol-and the squad was only a tiny fraction of a battalion-generalizations based on individual unit reports could place a patina of order on the chaos of battle.

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