Avonmore's South Pacific Air War Vol 5

Author/Artists: Michael Claringbould & Peter Ingman




$48.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 236 pages, softbound, profiles and photos.
ISBN: 978-0-6489262-9-0

Volume five continues from where the previous volume left off and covers the air war in the south Pacific from September through December 1942. It was a time when the Japanese had the greatest advances in New Guinea/Papua and also when they started retreating from those advances.

The big air raids over Port Moresby had ended, though nuisance raids were still fairly commonplace. The Allies were still building up strength with a lot of new units and their untested air crews. Australian units had finally started making ground after being pushed back for months. US units were also getting started into the ground fighting.

The end of this volume sees the Allies finally over the Owen Stanley mountains and starting to push out the Japanese from the northern coastal areas, though even this wasn't gooing as well as folks would wish. Prior to December, all of the Japanese aviation assets were naval aviation, and these units had seen a lot of losses. It was only then that the Japanese army started providing air power assets, which eventually became the majority for the rest of the time during operations in Papua/New Guinea. The Navy concentrated on the Solomons and New Britain, though there was some overlap of forces.

As with the previous editions, this book follows pretty much the day to day operations on both sides. Divided into chapters of 7-10 days, we are provided with a great deal of information and detail that has not previously been recorded. One thing that the reader learns, and it shouldn't be surprising, is that there was a huge amount of overclaiming of not only air to air victories, but also of successes in terms of bombing and ground attack.

Filled with great period photos, interesting stories, and some equally superb color profiles and artwork, it is a book that is not only an excellent reference, but a fascinating read as well. What is even better is that is is not the usual US-centric history but provides a lot of coverage Australian forces, which did the majority of the fighting in this theater during this time. It is a book that I most highly recommend.

May 2022

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

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