Japan’s Indian Ocen Raid 1942

Review by Martin Koenigsberg

Fresh off their stunning masterpiece of an attack on Pearl Harbor, in early 1942 the Japanese sent their combined aircraft carrier fleet to do the same thing to the British Far East fleet at their ports in Ceylon- modern day Sri Lanka. This was to be combined with assaults to dominate the Islands of the eastern Indian Ocean-securing Burma and Thailand’s western flank. Aptly sub titled “The Allies Lowest Ebb”- this book covers the story of that raid- how it went – and how lessons learned responding to that attack informed later Allied moves in the war. Mark Stille, a veteran of the intelligence community and a prolific author on Naval and Pacific warfare, keeps the action moving as we see the Brits toy with foolish aggression- and then settle for strategic flight. Produced in the Osprey style as Book 396 in the “Campaign” series, there are tonnes of b/w pics, maps, diagrams, and some wonderful paintings of key actions by Jim Laurier. This sequence features the first carrier sunk by carrier borne aircraft- before the Battle of the Coral Sea. There is a lot of strategic use of code intelligence- the British and Americans had broken Japanese Naval codes and were learning how to read them. The Japanese weakness with Aerial fleet Reconaissance -the over reliance on Float planes and flying boats first shows itself here too. The Allies may not be fighting back that effectively by this time- but at least there are signs of minimising losses and picking battles. Merely avoiding destruction at the hands to the powerful IJN fleet proves to the the British salvation. Both sides were still learning the capabilities and weaknesses of the carrier warfare that would be the iconic signature of the Pacific War. There are few adult themes, and not that many graphic violent passages, so this is a fine read for the Junior Reader over about 11/12 years with a historical interest. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast this is an interesting resource. The Gamer gets a scenario, or a series of scenarios, for games like Blood Red Skies/Victory At Sea- or a game that encompasses Aerial and Naval warfare in one. There are even a few islands taken by the Japanese- so one could add a few land actions. For the Modeler, lots of build and diorama options- many may not have considered early WWII Royal Navy/IJN builds. The Military Enthusiast gets to see the IJN combined fleet in action at the peak of its power- and the Allies trying to buck the tide. It is a strong package to inform any reader of a lesser known Pacific War struggle. #WhatAreYouReading #BookReviews #20thCenturyHistory #MilitaryHistory #NavGeek #NavalHistory #AvGeek #AviationHistory #ImperialJapaneseHistory #BritishImperialHistory #IndianHistory #SriLankanHistory #CarrierWarfare #IndianOcean #PacificWar #WWIIHistory #SWWHistory #WWII #SWW #WargameResearch #JapansIndianOceanRaid1942 #TheAlliesLowestEbb #MarkStille #JimLaurier #CampaignSeries396 #OspreyPublishing #VictoryAtSea #BloodRedSkies #WorldWarIIWargaming

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