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Brutal War: Jungle Fighting in Papua New Guinea, 1942

James Jay Carafano
Brutal War: Jungle Fighting in Papua New Guinea, 1942
ISBN: 978-1-62637-942-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-951-0
2021/283 pages
"Useful introduction to the Second World War in the Southwest Pacific, reminding readers that there was more to the global conflict than Nazis and D-Day." —Karl James, War in History

"A perceptive, vivid, and insightful panorama of one of the most brutal, yet least understood, campaigns of the Pacific theater of World War II. A must read!" —Russell A. Hart, Hawai'i Pacific University


In 1942, US and Australian forces waged a brutal war against the Japanese in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Plunged into a primitive, hostile world in which their modes of battle seemed out of place and time, they fought, suffered, hated, starved, and killed in muck and mud.

James Carafano's vivid history brings this all to life. Ranging from detailed descriptions of specific battles to accounts of the fates of prisoners and the crucial role played by New Guinea's Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, Carafano chronicles the grueling, and ultimately successful, Allied campaign, telling a tale of war at the very edge of human endurance.


James Jay Carafano is vice president of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, as well as E. W. Richardson Fellow, at the Heritage Foundation. His previous publications include G.I. Ingenuity: Improvisation, Technology and Winning World War II;  Waltzing Into the Cold War; and After D-Day.


  • A War to Remember.
  • The Allies' War.
  • Japan's War.
  • Of Muck and Men.
  • Forward into the Jungle.
  • The Jungle's First Battle.
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
  • Regulars, by God.
  • Don't Come Back Alive.
  • An Unfair Fight.
  • Aftermath.