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Raden Dunbar

The Kavieng Massacre: A War Crime Revealed

An engaging book revealing the shocking truth of the Kavieng Massacre in March 1944. During the push southward in the Pacific by the Japanese during World War II, a large group of expatriate Australian men and German Catholic missionaries were trapped on New Ireland, many interned by the Japanese in September 1942 at Kavieng. They disappeared without trace in March 1944.

After the Pacific war ended in August 1945, the Australian Government commenced a largely secret enquiry into the fate of these missing civilians. In June 1947 it was discovered that all the Kavieng internees had been secretly murdered by their captors because the Japanese had assumed Kavieng was shortly to be invaded by US Marines. Unknown to them, the US invasion of Kavieng had been suddenly cancelled by the US high command at the last moment and replaced with a diversionary naval bombardment. After the defeat of Japan, the Japanese naval officers responsible for the Kavieng massacre elaborately concealed their embarrassing crime to mislead Australian investigations. This concealment was successful and delayed revelation of the truth until 1947.

The war, the people, the crime, the cover-up, and finally the truth.

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