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The Doolittle Raid 1942Campaign 156

The Doolittle Raid 1942
America’s first strike back at Japan


by Clayton K S Chun

illustrated by Howard Gerrard


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Campaign 156, The Doolittle Raid 1942, America’s first strike back at Japan, by Clayton K S Chun, illustrated by Howard Gerrard, Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 1-84176-918-5
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 96 pages
Price: GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Good coverage of the raid, the aircraft and the ships in words and photos; attractive and helpful colour profiles.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by John Prigent

Osprey's "Doolittle Raid” will be available online from Squadron.com



Most of us know of the Doolittle Raid but few of us know much more than that US bombers hit Tokyo very rapidly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Here is the full story, from the initial concept to the actual raid and its aftermath.

Attack options were being looked at as early as January 1942, but without long-range bombers capable of reaching Japan it was clear that a carrier-borne operation was needed. The reasons for choosing the B-25 are examined, and the special training for Army pilots to fly from a carrier is described. The planning stage is dealt with in the same chapter. Then the voyage toward Japan, cut short when the fleet was spotted by Japanese ships, the attacks on those ships which showed problems with aerial bombing and gunnery not to mention with naval gunnery, is fully described. The main meat of the book is of course its coverage of the actual raid, and here is the most detailed account anyone could ask for. 40 pages detail the attacks of every B-25, with their courses shown by good maps. Not all of them were detailed to attack Tokyo - Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya were also targets.

The results of the raid were not particularly significant in terms of damage to Japanese factories, but their psychological impact was considerable in both countries. Japan strengthened its home defences at the cost of reducing those in its conquests, and changed its future strategy, while the US received an enormous boost in morale. This really was a raid with an effect far out of proportion to the forces used.

Alas, there are few available photographs of the B-25s used, but most of them seem to be here and the modifications to the planes are described so modelling one will be quite possible. The colour plates show their markings, too.

Recommended to both modellers and WW2 historians.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

The Doolittle Raid 1942
(Campaign 156)
Visit Osprey Publishing
Author:  Clayton Chun
Illustrator: Howard Gerrard
US Price: $18.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: January 31, 2006
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-918-5
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Review Copyright © 2006 by John Prigent
Page Created 20 February, 2006
Last updated 21 February, 2006

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