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Invasion Rabaul    by Bruce Gamble order for
Invasion Rabaul
by Bruce Gamble
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2014 (2014)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

At the outset of World War II, a small island garrison in New Britain, New Guinea, with fewer than 1,700 soldiers and airmen came under attack by a much larger Japanese invasion force.

Lark Force, as the defenders were dubbed, was attacked early in 1942 and Rabaul, the island capital, soon became a Japanese stronghold in this area of the South Pacific, and a jumping off point for other island invasions.

Based on military records and interviews with the soldiers, nurses, and citizens who survived the ordeal, this book is the first of a trilogy of works about the fight for control of Rabaul. First released in 2006 under the title Darkest Hour, this first volume focuses on the initial attack on Rabaul and what followed as the Lark Force survivors fled into the jungle. Those not so fortunate were either imprisoned or massacred in cold blood.

Those interested in military history, World War II, and the campaign in the Pacific will find this story of the valiant garrison fascinating reading. The other two volumes in this history will soon be released so it would be a good idea to have this one finished before they become available.

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