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Japan Triumphant: The Far East Campaign, 1941–1942 (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

WWII Japan & the Pacific Front WWII Photographic Books Military

By Philip Jowett
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781526734358
Published: 3rd April 2019

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The Japanese offensive in the Far East in 1941-2 was extraordinary in its ambition for their aim was to advance across the entire region. They clashed with an array of forces in a series of lightning campaigns that included famous episodes like the raid on Pearl Harbor and the conquest of Singapore. Among the opposing armies were those of the Americans, Dutch and Filipinos as well as the British imperial forces which included the Indians, Malays and Burmese. Philip Jowett in this vivid photographic history covers the whole course of the offensive, portraying not only the Japanese military which achieved such incredible success but the armies they overwhelmed.

In a sequence of over 200 wartime photographs – many of which have not been published before – he focuses on the land, sea and air fighting as the Japanese occupied so much of the region. Rare images of the Japanese forces as they prepared for war and then made seemingly unstoppable progress are matched by a selection of images of the armies they surprised and vanquished. The book gives a powerful impression of the character of the war in the area and records the appearance, equipment and weaponry of the armies involved and the conditions in which they fought.

The book is a particularly valuable addition to the literature on the Second World War in the Far East because it draws attention to important events, like the conquest of the Dutch East Indies, which are often overlooked.

Of all the World War 2 campaigns in which the British were involved the campaign in the Far East against the Japanese is by a massive margin the least recorded and mentioned. They used to call the British Army in Burma the “Forgotten Army” and the quantity of available literature in English reflects this situation.

Compared to other theatres literature on the campaign against the Japanese is sparse and this excellent book helps to rectify that situation. The main advantage of this book is the superb photographs it presents covering all combatants – British, Indian, Australian, American, Dutch and of course, the Japanese.

There is a good amount of background text which sets the context of the campaign and this text gives an overview of the situation. Although the text is very interesting it is not exceptionally lengthy and detailed, but this is a common feature of all “Images of War” volumes. Their main features are rare and exceptional photographs. In terms of pictures this book is superb with many photos giving close-up details of various items of interest.

I must say that the photos in this book are a treat for anyone interested in the early years of the Far East campaign. If you are a historian, uniform or equipment buff or re-enactor then these photos will spoil you. This is undoubtedly the volume to buy if you want to see highly detailed early Far East campaign photos and the author has done a splendid job in collating these excellent images.

Military Archive Research, Dr Stuart C Blank

Another documentary gem in the Images of War Series, which will delight the modeler dedicated to World War II.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

One of the best book of images related to the Japan War machine that dominated the Asia and Pacific Theaters of War in 1941 thru 1942. Hundreds of images that clearly detail the path of their destruction and the forces arrayed against them.

Argunners, Christopher 'Moon' Mullins

A fascinating collection of archive images, the bulk of which I had not seen before, and they illustrate how the ground troops worked with equipment that was not up to the quality being used in Europe, though the Japanese Aircraft and Naval units were well equipped. Plenty of reference information for historians and modellers alike, with some light tanks and artillery that might inspire some dioramas thanks to the Dutch and Commonwealth units as well as the Japanese.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

In this book there are not only the usual outstanding images expected of this series, but coverage of a wider brief than most historians of this struggle. The main focus has been on Pearl Harbour, the fall of Singapore and the Japanese troops reaching into Indian territory, overlooking the other important events, including the actions in the Dutch East Indies. - Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

The book would will be of interest to anyone who wanted to increase their limited knowledge of the Far East War, and for a modeler with an interest in some unusual figures or dioramas.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

The Images of War series is one of the best Pen & Sword series and this book also proves it.
I think it's a great starting point to investigate the various campaigns of conquest of Japan in the first months of the war, and deserves to be on the shelf of every people interested in the Second World War and in the war in Asian theater.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

The text is well written and I appreciate the balanced way in which the author has covered the first year of combat against the Japanese who seemed to be unstoppable in these early stages... Great photographs covering the early years of war against the Allies and at an incredibly appealing price.

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Armorama

As featured 'On The Shelf'

Wargames Illustrated, April 2019

About Philip Jowett

Philip Jowett has been writing military history since 1997. He has published many books on the armies of Asia in the first half of the twentieth century, and has made a special study of the armies of China. He has also published on the Russo-Japanese War, the Mexican revolution and the Italian and Japanese armies of the Second World War.

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