Malaya & Dutch East Indies 1941-42
...Air Campaign 19, from Osprey Publishing
Title: Malaya & Dutch East Indies 1941-42
Author: Mark Stille
Publisher: Osprey Books
Number 19 in the Air Campaign series of books from Osprey, a 96-page soft-cover book, in the standard style for the series. Dealing with a period in the early stages of the war in the Pacific, when the Japanese offensive was expanding their conquests in the region. Specifically, this book focuses on the air campaign.
An Introduction, with a Chronology and nice clear map to set the scene, then 2 chapters which examine firstly the Attackers Capabilities and then the Defenders Capabilities. These include one of the neatest explanation of the organisation and basic tactics of Japanese air units, both their Navy and Army Air Forces. The allies cover the RAF, the Dutch Army and Navy Air Forces plus the USAAF. Next comes the Campaign Objectives, with the Japanese objectives as well as the allied defence plans. The largest chapter then covers the Campaign itself, in a chronological sequence, between 8 December 1941 and March 9 1942, when the Dutch East Indies surrendered. All well explained and equally well illustrated with excellent maps, archive images and colour artwork. Everything is rounded off by some Analysis & Conclusions.
I found this an interesting read, and equally how the Japanese aircraft were designed with little armour, nor self-sealing fuel tanks, all to save weight in exchange for range. Well trained and experienced aircrew all played a part, though rivalry between the Japanese Navy and Army air forces was a continued problem. Things changed in later years, but at this point in the war, the Japanese forces were in the ascendancy so this makes interesting reading for focussing on the air campaign, which of course includes the destruction of the Royal Navy Battleships of Force Z. The ground war of course is a different story.
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.