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Bernstein, Marc Damon 1999 Hurricane at Biak: MacArthur against the Japanese, May - August 1944 (Douglas MacArthur, Indonesia), MA Thesis, San Jose State University.
    © Marc Damon Bernstein, 1999. Use of any part of this thesis for any purpose must be acknowledged.


This thesis discusses the invasion and capture during mid-1944 of Biak Island, off the coast of New Guinea in the Southwest Pacific, by Allied forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Conduct of the Biak operation was the responsibility of the Hurricane Task Force, initially commanded by Major General Horace H. Fuller. The island proved much more stoutly defended than anticipated, and General Fuller failed to capture Biak's vital airfields as quickly as MacArthur demanded. Under pressure, Fuller resigned and was replaced as Task Force commander by Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger. He succeeded in breaking effective Japanese resistance in less than two weeks, though the campaign officially continued for another two months. Many lessons can be drawn from Biak, including the need for accurate intelligence and proper tactical handling of troops, the need to isolate the battlefield, and the risks commanders must take to achieve desired results. Biak was a costly operation, but a vital step in MacArthur's return to the Philippines.


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