21 December 1942

As the Allied troops push on relentlessly against the Japanese at Buna, the surviving defenders begin to despair of the promised reinforcements, as Pte Uchiyama Seiichi writes:

“Oh! Are you going to let us die like rats in a hole? Sgt Ogawa reported that reinforcements are coming … one cannot accept such reports except as a temporary relief to one’s feelings, or as yet another false rumour. Enemy bombing fiercely and our end is coming nearer and nearer.”