Published on
September 30, 2012
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Compiled by Neil Robinson, Illustrated by Peter Scott
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 96 pages, multiple 3-view illustrations

After receiving this review sample, I have to say I have yet another favorite publisher. I have a particular interest in the Pacific theater of WWII, and this book succinctly discusses the history of the air war between the start of the conflict at Pearl Harbor through the battle of Coral Sea. It also discusses many of the battles in between. The book includes not just the US and Japanese forces, but also sections dedicated to Allied forces from Russia, England, the Netherlands, and the AVG in China.

There are ten sections to the book:

  • Section 1: The Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Section 2: French Indo-China
  • Section 3: Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore
  • Section 4: Battle for the Philippines
  • Section 5: Guam & Wake Island
  • Section 6: Dutch East Indies & New Guinea
  • Section 7: China, Burma, and the AVG
  • Section 8: Australia – The Darwin Islands
  • Section 9: The Doolittle Raide
  • Section 10: The Battle of the Coral Sea

Each chapter contains a brief history of the battle, along with a detailed analysis of the color schemes and configurations of the aircraft involved. Far from being technical or overly analytical, the text is very easy to read and understand. In fact, while this AIRfile volume is clearly a great reference, it’s also just a good book for sitting down and reading when you have a spare moment.

Even more so than the text, the most outstanding feature of this book are the illustrations – and there are lots and lots of illustrations. As noted above, many different nations are represented through each of the sections of the book. The pictures in the book don’t disappoint, providing side views of army and navy fighters and bombers. If you want to build a Russian Polikarpov I-16, there are illustrations of that aircraft from the CBI theatre. Do you want to replicate a Bristol Blenheim? There’s a great 3-view of one based in Singapore. Naturally, the focus of most of the book is on the aircraft from Japan and the USA, so if you want to do a Zero, Wildcat, or Catalina, there are plenty of references.

All in all, I can highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Pacific Theater in WWII.

Many thanks to AIRfile Publications Ltd. for the review copy and IPMS/USA for letting me review it.


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