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Download The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea---the Forgotten War of the South Pacific Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea---the Forgotten War of the South Pacific, by James Campbell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (246 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Campbell Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Lying due north of Australia, New Guinea is among the world's largest islands. In 1942, when World War II exploded onto its shores, it was an inhospitable, cursorily mapped, disease-ridden land of dense jungle, towering mountain peaks, deep valleys, and fetid swamps. Coveted by the Japanese for its strategic position, New Guinea became the site of one of the South Pacific's most savage campaigns. Despite their lack of jungle training, the 32nd Division's Ghost Mountain Boys were assigned the most grueling mission of the entire Pacific campaign: to march 130 miles over the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains and to protect the right flank of the Australian army as they fought to push the Japanese back to the village of Buna on New Guinea's north coast. Comprised of National Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin, reserve officers, and draftees from across the country, the 32nd Division lacked more than training-they were without even the basics necessary for survival. The men were not issued the specialized clothing that later became standard issue for soldiers fighting in the South Pacific; they fought in hastily dyed combat fatigues that bled in the intense humidity and left them with festering sores. They waded through brush and vines without the aid of machetes. They did not have insect repellent. Without waterproof containers, their matches were useless, and the quinine and vitamin pills they carried, as well as salt and chlorination tablets, crumbled in their pockets. Exhausted and pushed to the brink of human endurance, the Ghost Mountain Boys fell victim to malnutrition and disease. Forty-two days after they set out, they arrived two miles south of Buna, nearly shattered by the experience. Arrival in Buna provided no respite. The 32nd Division was ordered to launch an immediate assault on the Japanese position. After two months of furious-sometimes hand-to-hand-combat, the decimated division finally achieved victory. The ferocity of the struggle for Buna was summed up in Time magazine on December 28, 1942, three weeks before the Japanese army was defeated: "Nowhere in the world today are American soldiers engaged in fighting so desperate, so merciless, so bitter, or so bloody." Reminiscent of classics like Band of Brothers and The Things They Carried, this harrowing portrait of a largely overlooked campaign is part war diary, part extreme adventure tale, and-through letters, journals, and interviews-part biography of a group of men who fought to survive in an environment every bit as fierce as the enemy they faced. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Fearsome, authentic, and brave. David L. Robbins, author of The Assassins Gallery
  • The Ghost Moutain Boys reads like an epic movie script, with nonstop action from beginning to end. Campbell has done a stellar job telling this remarkable story of perseverance, bravery, and human suffering. For those that already know the 32nd Division’s story, this work tells their tale with the sort of depth and detail that is sure to enlighten even further. For those that haven’t heard of their dramatic stand, this story will be forever etched in memory.”

    Martin Dugard, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The Buna campaign in New Guinea was one of the most awful slogs of World War II and one of the least reported. Now we are fortunate to have Jim Campbell’s outstanding Ghost Mountain Boys illuminate the heroes of the 32nd Division.”

    James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers

  • Sometimes you see it written in a fiction review that the geographical setting is as much of a character in the novel as the actual characters. This observation can be extended to nonfiction as well, for in James Campbell’s superb The Ghost Mountain Boys, the island of New Guinea is one of the most fearsome characters you will ever want to come across, in fiction or real life…The Ghost Mountain Boys is carefully organized, researched, and written with great sensitivity and understanding.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “This intense narrative is a fitting tribute and an excellent, relevant illustration of that elusive phenomenon known as the fog of war.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Campbell brings to vivid life one of the more forgotten, grislier campaigns of World War II, the Buna Trail campaign in New Guinea…The most poignant part of the book consists of the letters of an army surgeon who eventually committed suicide, but every part of the book entitles it to a berth in WWII collections.”


  • Audie Award finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sandy | 2/19/2014

    " Excellent book concentrating on one small but horrific battle on the wild unchartered island of New Guinea in World War II. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeffrey | 2/10/2014

    " Good, informative and easy read. Not good for gathering sources from if you are doing research on the 32nd Division, that campaign, or the war in the South Pacific in general as the citations are in mass market form. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David Bales | 2/7/2014

    " A very comprehensive history of the U.S./Australian effort to prevent the Japanese from taking over New Guinea and threatening Australia during 1942; the efforts of the U.S. Army in New Guinea is another "lost front" of World War II, having been overshadowed by the fighting on Guadalcanal and the Naval battle at Midway that was going on at the same time. General MacArthur sent ill-equipped and undertrained American troops over the Owens-Stanley Mountains of New Guinea to fight Japanese veterans of China at Buna, and the typical bloodbath ensued after terrible deprivations on both sides. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Frances Fuller | 1/24/2014

    " After much searching I finally found a book about a joint effort of the Austrailias and Americans in the South Pacific during WWII. What a let down. This author was unable to develop any connection from the reader to the soldier. Instead of an in-depth story as Band of Brothers, he attempted to tell one liners about a hundred different soldiers. It is possible to write a book about armies and yet understand the individual soldiers motivations and experiences. This book was disjointed, shallow, and a boring read. He did expand on what an ego-maniac and all round ass MacArthur was, but who doesn't already know that? "

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