This Army University Press (AUP) virtual staff ride examines the XIV Corps defense of the Bougainville lodgment, with its three newly established airfields, as part of OPERATION CHERRYBLOSSOM in 1943-44. The airfields were critical to the larger campaign, CARTWHEEL, in the isolation of the Japanese air and naval base at Rabaul.
The study begins with a brief examination of the campaign, the Marine amphibious assaults, and the establishment of the lodgment. The study continues with a detailed study of the relief in place of the Marine force with the Army’s 37th and Americal Divisions through the Japanese counterattacks to defeat the invasion. The study contains a separate add-on module on health service support for interested organizations.
The primary learning objective is to discuss the insights and lessons learned in conducting a defense in a jungle environment, especially at the brigade/regimental level and below.
The Bougainville VSR is fully exportable to any organization that has access to the Army-authorized gaming software, Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3). Each exportable package includes full instructor support materials, participant readings, and instructions on how to use everything. Please see below.