3 January 1943

With the Japanese positions at Buna captured, the Allies turn their attention to the enemy stronghold at Sanananda, further north along the coast.

Originally, around 6000 Japanese troops defended Sanananda. They included many sick and wounded. They set up an intricate, interwoven defensive position on the only dry ground in the area, forcing the Allies to attack them from the surrounding swamps.

The Allies badly underestimate the number of enemy and after early setbacks, adopt an holding pattern while they await reinforcements from the troops attacking Buna and Gona.