The Japanese offensive in the Far East in 1941-2 was extraordinary in its ambition for their aim was to advance across the entire region. They clashed with an array of forces in a series of lightning campaigns that included famous episodes like the raid on Pearl Harbor and the conquest of Singapore. Among the opposing armies were those of the Americans, Dutch and Filipinos as well as the British imperial forces which included the Indians, Malays and Burmese. Philip Jowett in this vivid photographic history covers the whole course of the offensive, portraying not only the Japanese military which achieved such incredible success but the armies they overwhelmed.
In a sequence of over 200 wartime photographs – many of which have not been published before – he focuses on the land, sea and air fighting as the Japanese occupied so much of the region. Rare images of the Japanese forces as they prepared for war and then made seemingly unstoppable progress are matched by a selection of images of the armies they surprised and vanquished. The book gives a powerful impression of the character of the war in the area and records the appearance, equipment and weaponry of the armies involved and the conditions in which they fought.
The book is a particularly valuable addition to the literature on the Second World War in the Far East because it draws attention to important events, like the conquest of the Dutch East Indies, which are often overlooked.