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AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY COMMEMORATING THE DARWIN AIR RAIDS
It remains the most authoritative work on Darwin’s air war, and has been compiled from a wide range of sources worldwide, including Japan. This edition contains completely new photos, most of them from private collections. The entire scope of Darwin’s air war is covered, beginning with the pre-war defence build up. After the Pacific War began, Darwin was a key staging post in attempts to reinforce and defend Java, but this ended with the massive raid on 19th February. This was the first of many raids, and the table at the end of the book has been updated to include not only raids but reconnaissances, some of which were previously unrecorded. Clearly Japanese records have added much to the volume. Soon greatly aided by radar, Darwin was defended first by USAAF P-40s of the 49th Fighter Group and later by RAAF and RAF Spitfires. As Allied strength steadily grew, very limited resources were allocated to the area to allow strikes against the Japanese in Timor and surrounding islands. Eventually RAAF Liberators ranged deep into enemy territory. All in all this is a fascinating account of the war in a theatre which was always subsidiary to the main Allied thrust in New Guinea. Because of this, the bulk of Darwin’s air war was fought mainly by Australian forces. The book also includes a series of “pilot profiles” which describe the experiences of pilots of several different nationalities. It is well foot-noted throughout and contains a lengthy list of sources.
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