The War in the South Pacific





...a new Images of War title from Pen and Sword


Title: The War in the South Pacific

Author: Jon Diamond

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-47387-061-1

The Images of War series keeps on growing, and this time moving back to the PTO (Pacific Theatre of Operations) this 234 page book is one of their larger examples, offering excellent value at £14.99.  It is split into 6 chapters, and looks at elements of the war against Japanese forces in the Pacific which are sometime overshadowed by more well known events within the PTO.  It starts with an Overview of the South Pacific Campaign, moving on into Stepping Stones after Guadalcanal; New Georgia Invasion and Assault on Munda; Bourgainville Invasion at Empress Augusta Bay (Operation Cherry Blossom) and Beachhead Expansion; Japanese Counter Attack and Perimeter Defence March 1944; and rounds off with Australian Action on Bourgainwille November 1944 - August 1945.

Each chapter is introduced by a few pages of text which gives the background history and story of events for each element, and these are followed by a fine selection of archive photos, with informative captions which add to the detail of each part of the story. 

The subheadings in the chapters give even more of an idea of the lesser well known fighting that took place in the South Pacific area, , such as Australian Coastwatchers; the Russell Islands; the New Georgia Island Group; Arundel Island; the Treasury Islands and more.  Helpful maps are included while the photos which add to fill the 234 pages of the book.  The pictures, all with well informed captions that add to the historical story.  There are plenty of illustrations of the air element of the war in the Pacific, including the constructions of airfields plus a few wrecks of Japanese aircraft damaged or destroyed on the ground.  Others show the landing craft and ships which were a very necessary support for the Pacific fighting.  While heavier equipment such as tanks, LVT's etc are seen but for me the significant impression of the limited visibility in dense jungle and muddy conditions that the troops had to face.  It includes a number of images showing Japanese casualties who would die rather than surrender.  American, Australian and New Zealand troops are all included and the conditions they faced must have been such a difference experience from their homes.

Lots of interesting photo references in here, while the text provides an equally interesting background to one of the lesser well known parts of the war in the Pacific.  Another good addition to the Images of War series.