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Human face of war
Lae–Salamaua campaigns
Australian units were strengthened around Wau in preparation for future offensives against Lae and Salamaua after the failure of the Japanese offensive against Wau in January 1943, and the loss of a large number of the Japanese 51st Division in the battle of the Bismarck Sea in March.

The Australian 3rd Division replaced Kanga Force in April and pressed Japanese positions towards Mubo and in the mountains to the west of Salamaua. In June, American landings in Nassau Bay provided an advance base and supply route for Allied forces during these campaigns.

Offensives against Lae and Salamaua involved a three pronged attack: the 3rd Division continuing to draw Japanese formations towards Salamaua; the 7th Australian Division approaching Lae from the Markham River Valley; and the 9th Australian Division landing on the coast north of Lae.

By mid-September, the Allies had recaptured Lae and Salamaua. The operations were notable for both the use of intensive artillery in the mountains, and the ability to supply a force in difficult mountain terrain. Japanese forces from the area retreated to Finschhafen on the Huon Peninsula, or over the Finisterre and Sarawaged Ranges to the north suffering heavy losses.

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Lae–Salamaua campaigns
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