May 1-August 15, 1945 – In the last offensive operation in the South Pacific, Australian troops land on the island of Borneo.
In a series of battles, most notably at Tarakan, Balikpapan and Labuan, the Australians force the Japanese garrison from their strongholds on the island. The campaign ends with the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
As with the Bougainville Campaign, Borneo has been criticised as unnecessary – the Japanese defenders were cut off, and could simply have been contained until the Japanese surrender. However, the campaign did achieve its objectives of pushing the Japanese further away from Australia, and led to the liberation of Allied prisoners who were being held in deplorable conditions.
Visit the battlefields on one of our Borneo Flexi Day Tours.