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Aerogram December 2014
Carrier Attack Darwin 1942
The Complete Guide to Australia’s Pearl Harbor
Review by John Baxter
From the Avonmore Books stable in South Australia, this is a book that I’d
been looking forward to! If you have ‘Zero Hour in Broome’, then this is a
‘must have’ to stand beside it on your bookshelf! ‘Carrier Attack Darwin
1942’ is a hardback of 368 pages with plentiful colour maps, 21 colour
aircraft and 19 ship profiles, and 84 b&w photos (plus a smattering of colour
photos in the appendices) to illustrate the text – all on glossy stock. It is co-
authored by Dr Tom Lewis and Peter Ingman.
This book provides an extensive guide to the attack on Darwin in February
1942 analysing and explaining events from a military point of view in a
steady, workmanlike and objective timeline. It draws upon a lot of new
material as well as previous sources – and does it very well. The
bibliography is immense, indicating a depth of research I can’t recall
achieved previously on this matter. The chapter end notes also are very
extensive. It is a timely update from the earlier ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’ by
Douglas Lockwood in 1966 and the more recent ‘An Awkward Truth’ by Peter
Grose in 2009. And it’s put together quite succinctly.
The raid is dissected from every conceivable angle – naval, air, ground
defence, leadership, American actions, Australian and Japanese strengths
and weaknesses. It covers the reasons why, the execution of the raid, the
combatants and their weapons, and the result. It does it well, in plain, simple
and easily readable style. And through more than a dozen appendices,
dispels several long held myths. It’s a very interesting and enlightening read,
I enjoyed it.
Without a doubt, this is a very impressive book for any Australian military
enthusiast at a very competitive price. It is available from Hyland’s Bookshop
in Melbourne www.hylandsbookshop.com.au or 03 9654 7448 for about
$55. This is the first hard cover book produced by Avonmore and they have
set a very high standard of quality in its production – highly recommended.
ISBN 978 0 9871519 3 3.
Many thanks to Peter Ingman of Avonmore Books for the review copy.
Chinese Fighter and Bomber Aircraft Development
Review by John Baxter
When asked if I’d like to review this book, I jumped at the chance. As a
quality book on Chinese aviation is often difficult to locate, mind you the
recent Hikoki publication (add title) is also worthwhile, this particular
publication presented a great opportunity to hopefully see what was going on
within military aviation circles in the People’s Republic of China. And I was not
Now, Classic Publications have built up a considerable reputation for
producing quality books. The research is extensive, the text well presented
and tightly written and the illustrations are always top notch. This title is no
different! This book is unusual, as it self proclaims, as both secrecy and
language barriers have made it difficult to obtain accurate and up to date
information. The author, Andreas, Rupprecht, has attempted to rectify this
and the result is truly remarkable.
My knowledge of Chinese aviation is extremely limited when compared to
most other nations or periods, ie World War Two. So, with no real depth of
knowledge, it took some time for me to assimilate the data within. Despite
this drawback, the information is well presented and what a wealth of detail
there is. But, be aware that this book is not one that you would pick up for
pure reading enjoyment, well not in my case. Its vast amount of information
is at times daunting and almost tiring in trying to take it in. However, it
remains a great source of information and is spectacularly illustrated with
216 colour photos, 39 black & white photos, 17 colour profiles and 29 cgi,
which are all top class.
The book is letter size with laminated covers and contains 224 pages all of
glossy stock so there is excellent reproduction of pictures and text – crisp,
clean, just what you want and expect from Classic. Finding something of this
nature and quality is rare. If you are in the slightest way interested in modern
Chinese military aviation, you do not want to let this opportunity pass you by!
Without a doubt, this is a great book for any military enthusiast at a very
competitive price. It is available from Hyland’s Bookshop in Melbourne
www.hylandsbookshop.com.au or 03 9654 7448 for about $60.
Many thanks to Ms Orietta Colussi of DLS Australia for the review copy.
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