THE BATTLE OF THE BISMARCK SEA
Michael Veitch has developed a habit of writing about otherwise obscure events in Australian history. He’s particularly fond of topics that involve ships or World War II aeroplanes. He must have enjoyed writing this latest book, because it’s crammed full of both. In March 1943, the Japanese were making a last-ditch attempt to control New Guinea and, from there, be able to harass the Allied forces assembled in Australia. The battle took place over three days as a convoy of ships, crowded with thousands of Japanese troops, was sailing south to restock their base at Lae. The ships were met by RAAF and US air force planes, scrambled from Australian airfields. Veitch’s obvious passion for the technology of the time, and ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, again shines through. The result is a relaxing read that is part ripping yarn and part historical record.
JEFF MAYNARD VERDICT: Entertaining