Book Review
Japan Triumphant the Far East
Images of war Japan Triumphant the Far East Campaign 1941 - 1942
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering Japan Triumphant the Far East Campaign 1941 - 1942 is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering Japan Triumphant the Far East Campaign 1941 - 1942 has been authored by Phillip Jowett. The contents of this title are provided over 184 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Japan Prepares for War 1940/41
Chapter 2 – The British Empire in the Far East Prepares 1941
Chapter 3 – Defence on a Shoestring – The Philippines Army, 1935 -41
Chapter 4 – The Forgotten Army – The Army of the Netherlands East Indies 1941
Chapter 5 – The Japanese Empire Versus the USA – Japan Strikes 1941
Chapter 6 – For Reason of Prestige – The Fall of Hong Kong 1941
Chapter 7 – The Malayan Campaign 1941/42
Chapter 8 - The British Army’s Greatest Defeat – The Fall of Singapore 1942
Chapter 9 – Battle for the Philippines 1941/42
Chapter 10 - The Burma Campaign, December 1941 – February 1942
Chapter 11 – The Burma Campaign, March – May 1942
Chapter 12 – The War at Sea, December 1941 – May 1942
Chapter 13 – The Conquest of the Netherlands East Indies 1942
Chapter 14 – Japan’s Spreading Tentacles 1941 - 42

The dedicated text in this offering is far more than I have seen in other examples and covers the full spectrum of the war in the East after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour at the end of 1941. When the Japanese are covered during World War 2 it tends to be the attack on Pearl Harbour or the atrocities that they carried out on both the local civilian populace and the soldiers that surrendered due to various situations; this book however tends to look at the conflict from all sides and does not get hung up in areas that most will already be aware of. The text is well written and provides a very good introduction to the chapters in this title.

The photographs in this offering are all period black and white offerings with very good captions that clearly explain who or what and where and when where possible. I was a little disappointed that this title covers so much of the actions taken by the Allied Forces against Japanese forces and for that matter prior to war with the Japanese breaking out. A look at Google for images of Japanese troops during World War 2 highlights the issue the author would have been confronted by; there are quite a few images there but they nearly all concentrate on atrocities or Japanese forces at rest, there are very few what could be considered action shots. I feel that may be what dictated the contents of this title which is after all an ‘Images of War’ title.

As I have already said I would have liked this title to be heavily concentrated on the Japanese forces, but I muse congratulate author Phillip Jowett on providing a balanced look at the war in the East between the Japanese, Allied forces and native people in what can only be considered as one of the most brutal aspects of war due to the warrior code which the Japanese forces followed. The photographs have been well chosen to represent the areas the author has looked at and further improved with the addition of those very good captions for which these titles are so well known to me for now.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images of War’ series is another great addition to that series. This book I feel can be best described as a visual history of the events that took place a little prior to the outbreak of war between Japan and the Allies and covering events up to and including 1942. The text is well written and I appreciate the balanced way in which the author has covered the first year of combat against the Japanese who seemed to be unstoppable in these early stages. I would have liked to see the Japanese forces covered in more of this title due to the title leading me in that direction, but then the title would not have had the balance that I enjoyed so much. In closing I will add that this title concentrates on the conflict itself and not the barbarism that went on around that conflict and which tends to be the aspect most often covered.
Highs: The quality of the writing in this title and the balance that the author has brought to the book.
Lows: I would have liked to see more on purely the Japanese but the balance would then have been off.
Verdict: Great photographs covering the early years of war against the Allies and at an incredibly appealing price.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781526734358
  Suggested Retail: £11.99
  PUBLISHED: May 02, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


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