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Word Count: 2,326
World War II came without warning or invitation for the people of the South Pacific and brought issues that few understood The war became a period of excitement hardship and at the same time of material abundance Their islands the place they called their homes were abruptly exposed and used as never before to new outside influences and by uninvited guests Their harbours were used by fleets of warships while onshore bases were built to house troops and landing fields were constructed to service a suddenly created aircraft traffic Howe 156 Pacific Islanders were for the most part observers of the war and the turmoil it generated rather than constituents Although there were a number of them who were actively and directly entangled and played crucial roles there are still very few published accounts of Pacific Islanders camaraderie in the war Their involvement had gradually disappeared over the years in the record books as so did their island paradise World War II cast a dark shadow in the South Pacific The Islanders were in no doubt victims of the war mere bystanders innocent and oblivious to the outside world before the invasion It was a terrible and untamed place to fight a war The South Pacific was home for a population that was quite large considering the lack of towns and economic development during that time There were perhaps 25 million people living in New Guinea and the Solomons during World War II Bergerud 104 Much of the Solomons was concealed paradise although colonized for centuries before Large areas of the inland mountains of New Guinea had no or little direct organized contact with the Western world whatsoever until the war The population consisted of scores of linguistic and ethnic groups that possessed markedly different cultures in numerous ways A coastal villager from the Solomons might well speak English read the Bible and periodically work at a nearby coconut plantation While a hill tribesman in
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