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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 Audiobook, by James Campbell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00676113360324 out of 53.00676113360324 out of 53.00676113360324 out of 53.00676113360324 out of 53.00676113360324 out of 5 3.01 (247 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Campbell Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2007 ISBN: 9781400175765
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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!

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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.”

    Booklist

  • Audie Award finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 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 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? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 1/22/2014

    " A little dry, but offered insights into what it was like to battle in the South Pacific "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn Snow | 1/16/2014

    " This book gave a detailed account of a group of soldiers fighting in the mountains and jungles of New Guinea. The author recounts in great detail the feelings of the soldiers as well as the conditions these soldiers had to fight in. This book would be good for people who like to read war novels in the first person with graphic detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Seena | 1/7/2014

    " I learned so much about New Guinea where my Dad served. Amazing story in impossible geography and climate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey | 11/20/2013

    " An Aspect of World War II that is often overlooked for the bigger battles of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray Pierson | 11/12/2013

    " This...was interesting. A good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Sakievich | 10/30/2013

    " Great story about the forgotten war in Indonesia and New Guinea. Riveting tale of the sacrifice and efforts of GIs in WWII. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John Kelly | 7/1/2013

    " Not compelling. I usually like WWI stories. This one did not draw me in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Howard Berger | 10/30/2012

    " I knew nothing about this topic until I saw the author speak at the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum. It's a captivating and engrossing read. It's hard to imagine what those soldiers went through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 10/30/2012

    " Excellent history of an often forgotten corner of WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 7/17/2012

    " A harrowing yet fascinating account of the grossly ill equipped troops who were sent at the last minute to New Guinea instead of Europe during WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/5/2012

    " Well written, difficult subject "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arcticvet | 12/3/2011

    " This book is well written and easy to read. It tells of the very difficult struggles and hardships of those who fought in the Battle for New Guinea during the Pacific War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sidney | 9/19/2011

    " It was interesting to read about this battle, but it wasn't my favorite book. But, I can't believe these men survived New Guinea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 8/16/2011

    " Winner of the RR Donnelley award from the WLA. Excellent history for adults and teens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debby | 8/1/2011

    " My uncle, Kenneth, who I never met died in Buna, New Guinea during WWII. This book gives a grueling picture of the battle and what those men underwent. Yikes! The men featured in this came from Michigan and the Midwest and were part of the same division my uncle was in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 2/28/2011

    " Not compelling. I usually like WWI stories. This one did not draw me in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debby | 8/21/2010

    " My uncle, Kenneth, who I never met died in Buna, New Guinea during WWII. This book gives a grueling picture of the battle and what those men underwent. Yikes! The men featured in this came from Michigan and the Midwest and were part of the same division my uncle was in.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 6/8/2010

    " A little dry, but offered insights into what it was like to battle in the South Pacific "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 8/2/2009

    " Great story about the forgotten war in Indonesia and New Guinea. Riveting tale of the sacrifice and efforts of GIs in WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samuel | 5/14/2009

    " A great retelling of a little known part of WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 3/23/2009

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dean | 1/17/2009

    " A great read about a forgotten and grueling battle. The author deeply researched the struggle, hiking across a forbidding mountain jungle to experience what the GIs did in getting into position for a hopeless assault on Japanese trenches. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 7/10/2008

    " Winner of the RR Donnelley award from the WLA. Excellent history for adults and teens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mick | 3/24/2008

    " Pretty good read, about a forgotton campaign. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/12/2008

    " A harrowing yet fascinating account of the grossly ill equipped troops who were sent at the last minute to New Guinea instead of Europe during WWII. "

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About the Author

James Campbell mounted an expedition to New Guinea to retrace the route of the Ghost Mountain Boys and discovered a wilderness almost unchanged in more than sixty years. He is the author of The Final Frontiersman and has written for Outside magazine as well as many other publications.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End. His audiobook narration has won him fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards.