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August 4, 2010

Book Review - Fortress Rabaul

Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942-April 1943As the steady trickle of my review posting continues, my review for Bruce Gamble's Fortress Rabaul is up on Curled Up with a Good Book. This is a great history of an ongoing battle during World War II that isn't really discussed much, except in passing. Through my many long years of reading books about World War II, Rabaul has often been mentioned in books on the Pacific War with Japan. But it's always been mentioned as a stumbling block in the United States' island-hopping campaign from Guadalcanal up to the Japanese Mainland. I've never really read a book on the struggle to put the Japanese fortress out of commission.

This is that book.

From the review:

"Fortress Rabaul by Bruce Gamble is an extensive history of one of the main Japanese Pacific strong points during World War II. For every plan they made, the Americans had to take Rabaul into account, like a little sliver that constantly calls attention to itself until it’s removed (if the sliver were actually so fortified that it could destroy any tweezers you tried to use to remove it). If the Australians knew what Rabaul would become for the Japanese, would they have let it go so easily? As strapped as they were at the beginning of the war, they might have. Gamble considers all of this in an excellent overview of the war in the Southwest Pacific."

If you're into World War II at all, especially the war in the Pacific Theater, you should get this book.

It's not without fault (as you'll see in the review), but it's definitely high up there on the list.

Thoughts on the review are always welcome as well.

(Many thanks to Zenith Press for providing the book, though this had no impact on my review of it)


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