On 20 August 1942, Robert L. Eichelberger departed the United States for Australia to serve under General Douglas MacArthur in the war for the Pacific. He was thrown into the heat of the action, as within a matter of months, the Allied armies stormed the Japanese beachheads at Buna.
Eichelberger stated that though the Buna campaign was the first Allied Ground Force victory in the Pacific “it was bought at a substantial price in death, wounds, disease, despair, and human suffering.” For the next three years, Eichelberger and the men that he led, fought bloody campaigns at Biak, Leyte, Mindanao, and elsewhere as they attempted to defeat the Japanese. Eichelberger and the Eighth Army conducted fifty-two separate D-days between the Battle of Leyte and the Japanese surrender. It is little wonder therefore that John C. Frederiksen in American Military Leaders stated that Eichelberger was “The Pacific theater’s most successful exponent of amphibious warfare.” Our Jungle Road to Tokyo is not merely an account of military operations as Eichelberger also comments on Australian-American relations through the Pacific campaign, Mrs. Roosevelt’s visit to the troops, the daily life of his men, how they survived the inhospitable jungles of the pacific islands, and the realities of the military occupation of Japan. “a vital record on an important phase of the Pacific story.” Kirkus Reviews