View Full Version : Fan of New Guinea Action????...........

08-11-2005, 10:47 AM
Hi All;

Breezing through one of the new books I've picked up I feel compelled to report on one. This book in particular has really struck me as a valuable resource, even though I have just flipped through the pages glancing here and there.

MacArthur's Eagles (The U.S. Air War Over New Guinea, 1943-1944) by Lex McAulay, ISBN #1-59114-479-5 ......... Is nothing what its title touts it to be.

Though supposedly about the 5th Air Force, It very quickly turns into a cataloging and listing of dates, planes, weapons, units, and men involved in day to day actions.....OF BOTH SIDES, and ALL GROUPS involved!!

From major things like the number and types of planes, flown by X men, using Y weapons, to pound Wewak....To who looked to the left spotting 9 enemy in a slit trench as they snuck in from the back separate from their group.

It is as though every report from BOTH sides is unbiased listed right down to the smallest detail, yet put in a "story" format, yet without the made up fluff you find in so many other books (where creative license obviously went wild).

Simple things even such as X Japanese unit sent 20 pilots to Java to pick up 20 planes is there, right down to naming names and ranks of each man involved...Yet it doesn't end there.

Hard to find information showing actual "daily" gains and losses of men and machines are included...and with each if possible "how".

Glancing at the reference list and credits in the rear, it's clear this is a meticulously researched book, that eliminates much of the confusing bulk found in reports, yet puts it all there in a readable format that keeps it interesting instead of just listing numbers.

If Pictures and not text is your thing, then don't buy it (and miss out big time).....However, if you want a resource that tells both sides stories through factual brief accounts right down to the individuals involved (and not just the big wigs but the ammo loading grunt)....and more so tells Both sides tale (Japanese info so hard to find).......Then buy it.

This is an excellent valuable resource and a MUST HAVE if 5th AirForce/4th Kokugun action and facts are your thing. It will truly help fill in the gaps of information you have struggled to find.

08-11-2005, 11:21 AM
You cannot go wrong with any book from the Naval Institute Press as far as my experience goes. I have over a dozen titles from them, easily. Excellent book.

I recently got Warpath Across the Pacific, a title I'd been meaning to buy for a while. A shame the author never got around to the other 3 titles he promised, it's an excellent unit history in text AND pictures--many from private collections of vets.


08-11-2005, 02:21 PM
Another author who excels at this style of detailed, day-by-day action is Brian Cull. He and his collaborators have created many volumes of histories on the air war in many theatres. Sometimes wearying... but great for research.

Try and find:

Bloody Shambles (vol. 1, 2 and now 3) on the battle for the Dutch East Indies, Phillipines and Malasia.

Hurricanes Over Tobruk
Hurricanes Over Malta

Malta: the Spitfire Year

Twelve Days in May (Battle of France)

I believe he also has one on the battle for Greece and Yugoslavia, too.

All Grub Street publications.

08-11-2005, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the heads up Billfish.

The land based air war over PNG was far more important to the oveall defeat of Japan than the naval aviation enthusiasts would have you believe.

08-11-2005, 05:06 PM
Thanks, BF. I'll order it.

In return, I highly recommend "Touched by Fire" (land campaign) and "Fire in the Sky" (air campaign) both covering the battles for the Solomons and New Guinea in 1942 and 1943, which actually were the same campaign aimed at protecting Australia. Both books by historian Eric Bergerud and highly readable.

Thanks again,


08-12-2005, 06:28 AM
Thanks for the tip.