Book - "The Ghost Mountain Boys"

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Anyone read this book? About the 32nd Inf Division in 1942 New Guinea. I have the audio book for this, and WOW! Once I am done, I will write a little summary of the book.

    If you like reading about the war in the SW Pacific, then this is the book for you.

    "Ghost Mountain Boys" by James Campbell
     

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  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the link Syscom! I will purchase the book in the near future.:thumbright: :cool:
     
  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I look forward to your summary Sys. How are the Australian soldiers portrayed in this book? I only ask because this line from the book's overview seems a little exaggerated-
    If this was the most grueling mission of the Pacific, then what of the Australian Army's Kokoda campaign?? Surely just as if not more "grueling".
    Anyway it's good to see a book about the 32nd, IMO there's not enough written about the New Guinea Campaign so I'll definatley be keeping an eye out for this one.
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    If it pans out as good as your recommendation for "Shattered Sword" then I will definately read it! :D
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I read it a year or two back. Good book. Especially the first part of it, covering the American attempt to cross NG from the south. I can see how you would lose a division or so in that country.

    The second part is about Buna. Sad to say, the US Army was still learning how to fight in the jungles and against the Japanese. And it shows. Pretty much everything that could go wrong (intelligence, planning, logistics, tactics, you name it) did go wrong. Bad leadership too.

    But a good book. Worth the read.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Not to jump the gun .... but ....

    The Aussies so far have been descibed as being nothing but supurb. And the route the 32nd was ordered to take can be compared as this: The Kokada track was a paved highway compared to the "unimproved trail" the 32nd was ordered to take. Literally.

    And my opinion of MacArthur has gone down a few pegs (already).
     
  7. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    I'm putting that book on my list sys.

    Thanks!

    TO
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    If I was an infanteer with any American or Austrailian Division MacArthur would have been fragged , a true knob. I'm reading of this phase of the Pacific campaign but in another book
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    BTW - "Ghost Mountain" refers to the name the native Papuan's called the summit of the trail. They were scared of what was up there in the clouds and told the US infantryman ..."nothing good is found up there". And they were right to a point.
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Not jumping the gun mate, just interested that's all. The New Guniea Campaign is my favourite theatre of WWII, so I'm always interested in any new books dealing with the subject.
    A agree that MacArthur doesn't come out looking too good from the whole Buna-Gona-Sanananda campaign, neither did Blamey for that matter. Both had high expectations and an almost criminal lack of understanding about the terrain they were ordering their men to fight and die in, ala the swamp lands surrounding Buna.
     
  11. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Agreed. It seems the Japanese did a better job of handling the local conditions. But, in a sense, they had too. They had a much smaller logistical train so were forced to pay attention to what they could get locally. They were fighting a "poor man's war" almost from the start.

    I am no fan of McArthur. But he did learn a lot at Buna. The guy had an excellent mind, especially for a solider. Problem was, he was a little nutty (ok, a lot nutty) when it came to his persona. Meglomaniac, paranoid, mercurial, bi-polar, you name it.

    Mind was clear but his soul was nutz? Something like that.

    Don't know enough about Blaney to have a position that is fair.
     
  12. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Whats the opinion of MacArthur in Austrailia?
    He was pretty demeaning of the Austrailians in PNG from what I've been reading and totally out of touch with what was occuring there. I was surprised to learn that he never went to PNG at all so was out of touch with the realityof the situation.
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I have to look up the info to be sure, but he was present in PNG in 1943. I think he was at Nadzab.

    I could be wrong though ....
     
  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    could be i'm still in the beginning
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I think he watched the Nadzab drop from a circling B-17. Didn't he and Blamey tour the Buna battlefield after the defeat of the Japanese there?

    The Australian people and politician's greeted him as a hero on his escape from the Philippines, Australian soldiers and Airmen however usually felt angered and neglegted at the way they were treated by MacArthur - especially so later on in the war when MacArthur would assign them mopping up duties, deliberatly keeping them out of the front lines, as in the case of the liberation of the Philippines.
     
  16. huppmoile

    huppmoile New Member

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    Mr. Campbell has written an excellent book and was kind enough to send my Dad a signed copy. My Father, Staff Sergeant Donald C. Boyd, also served with the 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, 128th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company. He fought on Leyte, Luzon, the Druiniumor River, and the Villa Verde Trail where he drove an M7 Priest, carried an M1 Garand, and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism. He is currently recovering nicely at home in Swanton, Ohio from recent triple bypass surgery. A short interview and recent images of my remarkable Dad may be viewed at this link. America's Greatest Generation: Army Heroes: Donald C. Boyd
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    General Macarthur was in Port Moresby starting around Nov 1942.

    And my opinion of him has gone down significantly. The lessons he supposedly learned at Bataan were not applied to the Ausies and 32nd Division.

    Even more incredulously, he never grasped the realities of jungle warfare like what NG had to offer. I don't suppose that a basic lesson in command school is when your subordinates fighting the battle warn you about terrain and supply difficulties, you send in some staff officers to look things over?
     
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