This book is based on the author's visits to four of the key battlefields of the Pacific War (Papua New Guinea, Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands, Bougainville and Ballale and Tarawa). Each chapter consists of a history of the relevant battles, a good collection of photographs and an account of the author's visit to the island or islands. This last part of each chapter includes a description of the current situation on the islands, the author's travels, and the condition of the relics the he discovered.
The battle histories are nicely written, clear and well structured, and provide a good background to the visits. They also go beyond the areas covered in the visits, so we get the complete picture of a battle rather than just the snapshots that fit with the author's travels (although only within the particular battles - there isn't really the space for an overview of the entire Pacific War!).
Personally I would have liked more material from the modern-day travels in the islands (what we have is very interesting), and shorter historical introductions. The sections we do get provide an interesting combination of commentary on the current situation on these former battlefields and an examination of the archaeological remains. There is also a good selection of wartime and modern photos - in some cases wartime relics have survived remarkably well.
Papua New Guinea
The Solomon Islands
Bougainville and Ballale Island
The Gilbert Islands - Tarawa Atoll
Author: Tony Maxwell