Review By Lynne Marie Marx
A kidney specialist and author, Jon Diamond penned Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943, and he has had several military history books published, such as Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, and The Rhine River Valley Crossing. His love of history and collection of photographs merged to produce the Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943. Combining photos from his collection with the Library of Congress and the National Archives’ compilations, Diamond presents a compelling chronicle of the Battle of Papua New Guinea with rarely viewed images from World War II. Subsequently, Diamond’s Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943 merits a place on a historical collector’s bookshelf as it exhibits combat chronology from the Americans entering the war to MacArthur’s American and Australian Armed Forces’ triumph at Papua New Guinea.
First, the central theme was MacArthur’s offensive plan for Papua New Guinea in 1942-1943. Diamond provides the background of World War II in the Pacific Theater with brief introductions and numerous photographs in the first two chapters, and each one has a summary of the event portrayed. Then, he concentrates on MacArthur’s war plans and the outcomes for the rest of the chapters, which he supports with plenty of images, and each had a concise abstract. Finally, the pictures depict the combatants and the citizenry of Papua New Guinea.
Next, from select photographs in Diamond’s collection, the Library of Congress, and National Archives’ compilations, he meticulously arranged them into chapters. With his selection, the reader views rare images, which prompts the reader to continue the journey with Diamond as he displays the picture and imparts information about it. Thus, he presents his book like a docent revealing illuminating data about the specific photograph.
Furthermore, at the end of each abstract, Diamond informs the reader which collection has the image. Yet, he has not revealed who has taken any of the photographs. Also, there is no index as the book is primarily a collection of numerous images throughout all five chapters and organized by topic. Consequently, Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943 is a chronicle of the Battle of Papua New Guinea conveyed predominantly through the photographs of World War II.
Additionally, within the text, Diamond has included several maps, which gave his audience a great viewpoint of Papua New Guinea. First, he depicts the Southwest Pacifica Area (SWPA) and gradually shifts the perspective on the battlegrounds in Papua New Guinea. Every one provides vital information, which assists the reader in comprehending the locations of the battles on Papua New Guinea. Thus, the selection of maps divulges to the reader the SWPA and supports the images and text.
In closing, Diamond’s Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943 is a unique book. It portrays the Battle of Papua New Guinea almost exclusively with the photographs. With every image, the reader observes an aspect of the war in SWPA, and together they paint a picture of the combat in Papua New Guinea. Therefore, Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943 will remain an excellent book to add to any historical collection.
Diamond,Jon. Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943. South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Military, 2020.
Review by Lynne Marie Marx.
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