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Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942-April 1943    by Bruce Gamble order for
Fortress Rabaul
by Bruce Gamble
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

During World War II, Rabaul, on the northern tip of the Southwest Pacific island of New Britain, was developed into a major, fortified Japanese complex. The key to Japan's operations in the region, Rabaul housed thousands of soldiers and sailors as well as 600 planes in 1943.

At the outset of the war, only the Royal Australian Air Force stood against the amassing Japanese forces on New Britain. Eventually American units joined them as the struggle to tame Rabaul began in earnest.

The focus of concerted Allied attacks from the beginning of 1942 to the end of the war in August 1945, the fight for Rabaul was the longest ongoing battle in World War II.

In this well illustrated (32 photos and 5 maps) volume Bruce Gamble draws on Japanese and Allied sources to create a compelling history of the first 18 months of Rabaul's transformation, from the Japanese invasion through the efforts to build an impregnable fortress.

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