Book Review
Pacific War
The Gilbert and Ellice Islands - Pacific War
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering The Gilbert and Ellice Islands - Pacific War 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 cornucopia 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 The Gilbert and Ellice Islands - Pacific War has been authored by Jim Moran. The contents of this title are provided over 176 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Introduction and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 – The Gilbert and Ellis Islands: Pre Second World War
Chapter 2 – The Japanese Occupy the Gilbert Islands
Chapter 3 – US Marine Raiders Assault Butaritari (Makin)
Chapter 4 – Japanese Build up in the Gilbert Islands
Chapter 5 – The United States Occupies the Ellis Islands
Chapter 6 – The United States Assault on Tarawa, Makin and Apamama
Chapter 7 – The United States Occupies Makin and Tarawa
Appendix 1 - Casualties
Appendix 2 - Task Organization

The dedicated text in this offering is different from nearly every other book I have seen in the series as the author Jim Moran has provided very well written segments for each of the chapters. the details provided in these written areas is well presented and I particularly like the text when it is the words of the men on the ground being provided, this sort of text is in my opinion the best way to learn about a conflict element as it is these people who had to deal with what was in front of them rather than worrying about an overall picture.

Once you move on from the text elements of the book and move onto the photographic areas you will find images that show just how hard these areas of conflict were as well as seeing how they were prior to the arrival of war to their shores. the photographs all have a written captions by the author and do a reasonable job of setting the details of the image, some have very long captions that provide excellent details on the person or persons' in them. The text included has been well written and provides varying levels of information, it is the captions that make the picture glorious reference for the modeller and in many cases those wanting to know about the conditions.

The photographs in this offering are well chosen as they tell the story of relatively peaceful life thrown into the cauldron of war and the way that war was fought. Death and destruction of men, vehicles and materials is very present in a good number of photographs that some may find ghoulish or disturbing, but I feel these kind of photographs must be included to give a full view of what this war was like between the Japanese and the Americans for the most part. when you look over them it is fully understandable why so many who returned were never the same again or suffered for the rest of their days due to the demands war put upon them.


This title as part of the Images at War series is an exceptional addition to the range because it shows the brutality of war and the results of that brutality. The war fought between the US Marines and the Japanese for the most part tends to be covered from the American side and view point mostly, but I like how this offering endeavour's to show the conflict as it was rather than how many want it portrayed. The amount of death and destruction shown here on both sides tells a story all of its own that words alone can never portray and also shows why this war had to be fought. Excellent work by Jim Moran who has provided a more rounded offering in the images of war series via the addition of his text.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘The Gilbert and Ellice Islands - Pacific War'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781526751195
  Suggested Retail: £12.79
  PUBLISHED: Aug 26, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United States

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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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