Avonmore's Pacific Adversaries Vol 2

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould




$36.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 108 pages, softbound, profiles and photos.
ISBN: 978-0-6486659-0-8

The air war in the Pacific was unlike war in Europe or North Africa. The Pacific war was a battle over islands that were separated by fairly large stretches of water. There were not large armadas of bombers nor was the fighter opposition very large either. The Japanese were constantly plagued with a poor supply line that often meant no spares to get planes up. For the Allies, missions meant long periods of time over water, not a very friendly area in which to be forced to ditch.

Most of the Japanese opposition came early in the war when their air units were at full strength and were manned by pilots with a goodly amount of experience. The Allies had the benefit of a decent logistics supply line, but were lacking in experience, something that was quickly learned simply by being in combat. Encounters with each other were fairly frequent during this period of time and as is often the case, both sides grossly exaggerated their successes against each other.

This is the second book by the author and covers events where the Allies met with the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Forces. This is not a strict historical record that goes from point A to B. Indeed, it is more a book of engagements and small events in the air struggle of this time. The author has picked fifteen different stories to provide the flavor of what combat and life itself was during the period covered by the book. I have to assume Vol 1 is the same, though I've not read it.

You get stories from both sides of the conflict including the use of A5M 'Claudes' in the early days at Rabaul, The ditching of a P-38 in the swamps of New Guinea, the rescue of a crew of a G4M 'Betty' that ditched in the Huon Gulf, and the adventures of a A6M 'Zero' pilot who got lost and crashed on an island far from the war. Each of these entries has a nice selection of profiles appropriate to the event as well as photos and reports from those involved.

It is a different way to tell a story and one that I found quite enjoyable. I know you will as well. This book is highly recommended.

May 2020

Review book courtesy of Casemate Publishing. You can get your copy from this link

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