Japanese Army in World War II: The South Pacific and New Guinea, 1942-43 (Battle Orders) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/12/10
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The 1941 Japanese Pacific onslaught saw the defeat of Allied forces on all fronts, with the Philippines, Netherlands East Indies, and Commonwealth possessions falling under their control. During 1942-43, the Japanese consolidated their gains and redeployed forces in an attempt to break the Southern Lifeline between America and Australia. These plans were affected by the defeat at Midway, which forced the Japanese onto the defensive. This book examines Japanese forces employed in the follow-on conquests of 1942-43, and describes how unit organization, weaponry, and equipment were found lacking in the harsh environment of the Solomon Islands and on New Guinea.
Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969–70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a special operations forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Centre for 12 years and is now a freelance writer. He lives in Cypress, Texas.
Introduction ....................... 2 pages
Combat Mission ................. 6 pages
Unit Organization ............... 15 pages
Doctrine and Tactics ........... 8 pages
Weapons and Equipment. .... 7 pages
Command and Control ........ 7 pages
Combat Operations ............ 39 pages
Lessons Learned ................. 2 pages
Chrnology .......................... 2 pages
I found this book to be a wealth of useful information, far surpassing my expectations. From the above list, it can be gleamed Mr Rottman succinctly describes a creditable war profile of the Japanese during the war years. What's even more interesting is studying the trilogy the author has written, comparing the changes in the Imperial Army as the war progressed. Watching its star rise, crest then fall was a shattering experience for the Japanese command.
There are many, easy to understand organization charts of the troop dispositions in this sector. The charts provide specific info on the different outfits and at different times. A table of special interest to me was the listing of all divisions in the covered area, providing a brief history of the unit, its commander and its happenstance at the end of the war.
Combat Operations is the largest chapter and covers the key action on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, New Geogia and the northern coast of New Guinea where the heaviest fighting occurred. These summaries are good but due to space limintations are not comprehensive. In addition to the Army, Mr Rottman also covers the Army Air Force.
In addition to the many charts, the author provides fifteen 2-D maps. Many of the maps involve New Guinea and Guadalcanal. They have good eye appeal but a few of them were generic, not showing specific unit designations. There is also a two page chronology that covers the two year range which showcases the key events. A Bibliograpy of secondary sources is provided as is an Index.
If you're interested in the Pacific War, this book and its two companion books will make a good reference library for you. These books will definitely help your learning curve when you're reading the Campaign series. Mr Rottman also has written a trilogy for the American side. With all the charts, maps and base information of both series on your library shelf, you'll have a great foundation of WWII.