Battle of the Bismarck Sea
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea took place in the South West Pacific Area during World War II. Aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the Japanese task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy. The Allies claimed to have shot down 69 Japanese aircraft for the loss of 10 of their own aircraft.
About Battle of the Bismarck Sea in brief
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea took place in the South West Pacific Area during World War II. Aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the Japanese task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy. The Japanese made no further attempts to reinforce Lae by ship, greatly hindering their ultimately unsuccessful efforts to stop Allied offensives in New Guinea and the Solomons. The Allies claimed to have shot down 69 Japanese aircraft for the loss of 10 of their own aircraft. The battle for Guadalcanal ended in victory for the Allies with the withdrawal of Japanese forces from the island in early February 1943. The Allied forces captured Buna–Gona, destroying Japanese forces in that area. The ultimate goal of the Allied counter-offensives was to capture the main Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain, later codified as Operation Cartwheel. Six months after Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States won a strategic victory at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. In December 1942, Imperial General Headquarters decided to take steps to strengthen the Japanese position in theSouth West Pacific. The convoy was a result of a Japanese Imperial General HQ decision in December 1942 to reinforce their position. The plan was devised to move some 6,900 troops from Rabaul to LAE and advance inland to capture Wau. On 28 February 1943, the convoy – comprising eight destroyers and eight troop transports with an escort of approximately 100 fighter aircraft – set out from Simpson Harbour in Rabaul.
All eight transports and four of the escorting destroyers were sunk on 4 March. Only about 1,200 of the troops made it to L Mae. Another 2,700 were rescued by destroyers, submarines and returned to Rabaul, and the convoy was eventually destroyed by Allied air attack on 2–3 March 1943. Although 739 of the 1,100 troops on board the ship Nichu Nichu were rescued, so was all of the medical supplies on the board the transport Myu Maroko, which was so badly damaged that it took it so long to reach Lae. On January 1943 the 5 convoy, which consisted of five transports, set out for Wewak, which had been captured by the Allies by the Japanese. The 5 convoy was intercepted by Ultra, United States Army Air Forces and Royal Australia Air Force aircraft, which spotted the convoy and attacked the convoy which was shielded by low clouds and Japanese fighters. On 4 March 1943 the convoy, with five transports and five troop transports, was attacked by the Allied Air Forces, and all eight transports were sunk. The convoy consisted of 5 transports, which were carrying 5,000 troops and 5 destroyers. On 29 December, the 102nd Infantry Regiment and other units under the command of Major General Toru Okabe, the commander of the infantry group of the 51st Division, to move from Rabau to Wawak. On 1 January 1943, Adachi ordered the 101st Infantry Regiment to move to Wau to advance inland.