World Battlefronts: Snake on the Beach

This week, 25 days after the Battle for Buna began, Allied infantrymen swept out of the slimy, matted New Guinea jungles into the tiny village. Thereby they cut off the head of the 13-mile-long, snakelike Jap line which lay writhing on the beach.

Capping a week of desperation, the Japs had tried to reinforce the area adjoining Buna. But bombers and strafing fighters sank nearly all their landing barges after hitting the warships which were standing by. Though they knew they faced annihilation, the Japs fought fanatically. In one pocket, where 638 Japs were killed, the living were observed wearing gas masks...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!