Victory in the Pacific: Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives (Images of War) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/10/1
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Victory in the Pacific tells the story of the last six months of the war against Japan in the Pacific, the Philippines, Burma and China in words and pictures, culminating in the Atom Bomb raids and the occupation of Japan.
Andy Rawson has spent many months researching the material for this book on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author of numerous Pen and Sword titles and this is his third Images of War series work (Battle of the Bulge and Victory in Europe). He lives at Skipton, Yorkshire.
There is a separate chapter on the fighting in Burma and China but the primary emphasis of the book is on the island-hopping campaigns, beginning with the assaults on the Phillipines (3 chapters) and continuing with the assaults on and around Iwo Jima and Okinawa (4 chapters). There is a final brief chapter on Japan's surrender but there are no photos of the devastation wreaked on Hiroshima or Nagasaki, nor (oddly, enough) of the effects of any bombing runs on Tokyo or anywhere else on Japan.
The photographs are fascinating and, in most instances, extremely clear and crisp, the best ones I have seen in any one of the numerous books I own in this "Images of War" series. (Whether that is due to the quality of the original photos or the quality of the press run for the book I have no way of knowing.)
As with its twin by the same author on the Victory in Europe, the book is full of action photos of Allied troops (primarily Americans, as with the European counterpart) engaged in various phases of battle (i.e., just before, during, and just after).
There are a wide variety of photos of beach landings and assaults, including an interesting aerial photo of parachutes littered across the landscape.
As with other books in this series, there is little text (1-2 pages for each chapter) and the emphasis is on the photos, which are accompanied by informative and expansive captions.
One drawback I found is that there seem to be too many photos of dead Japanese soldiers (at least for me), more than, for example, dead photos of Germans in the volumes on D-Day and Victory in Europe. The only one of these that is out of the ordinary is a photo of a U.S. Signal Corps cameraman, fully outfitted in all his photographic paraphernalia, with his gun drawn after shooting a Japanese soldier who had just tried to ambush him. Another drawback is that there is only a brief mention of "Gen. Kruger" (a personal favorite of mine, whose actual name was Walter Krueger) and his role in these operations, much less any photos of him.
In any event, overall the book is a fine photographic rendition of the battles in the Pacific theatre during the last six to eight months of World War II, with superb and well-chosen photos (over 250 altogether).
The names and battles are familiar; the images are not. The photo of one US Marine jumping into a crater while another Marine takes a break, his arms lazily cradling his head, gives us the bizarre logic of wartime courage. The picture of a cameraman killing a Japanese soldier is remarkable in its combination of surprise and banality.
The sight of an American GI and his Japanese prisoner walking side-by-side, each smiling for his unseen audience, captures the collision between the reality of war and an image of it. We are seeing something false at the moment of its creation, and few things are ever as honest. This book is filled with many equally compelling images
VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC tops off at 160 pages with chapters on the CBI, Philippine Islands campaign, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the surrender of Japan, etc. Iwo Jima gets expanded coverage; two chapter being devoted to the bitter fighting there.
The emphasis in Rawson's book is the land campaign. Almost all of the images, most of which are National Archives shots, depicts the lowly G.I., Marine and Tommy in action. Isolated pix of ships and aircraft are scattered throughout the book. As mentioned, the photo quality is much better than the ETO book, which seems odd since both volumes were published in the same year.
In any case, VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC ia a handy photo-guide with hundreds of well-reproduced, nicely-captioned images of the Pacific war. Recommended.