Bruce Gamble is a retired naval flight officer and a former historian with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books about the Pacific War: Swashbucklers and Black Sheep (2012), an illustrated combat history of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in the Pacific; Black Sheep One, the definitive biography of Greg "Pappy" Boyington; Invasion Rabaul, the first book of the Rabaul trilogy; and Fortress Rabaul, the second book of the Rabaul trilogy. Bruce lives near Panama City, Florida. For more, visit www.brucegamble.com
As the final book in Bruce Gamble's esteemed trilogy on the War in the Pacific, Target: Rabaul picks up where Fortress Rabaul, the second installment, leaves off--and sets the stage for the major Allied aerial engagements of 1943-1945, which would result in the defeat of Japan.
March 1943, Washington, D.C.: Major General George Kenney, commander of the 5th Air Force, begins to formulate plans for Cartwheel--a 2-year campaign to neutralize Rabaul, Japan's most notorious stronghold, with the use of unescorted daylight bombing raids against the base and the heavily-defended satellite installations nearby. The undertaking would prove to be anything but straightforward, and the story of Rabaul's destruction remains one of the most gripping of World War II's Pacific Theater. In Target: Rabaul, award-winning military historian Bruce Gamble expertly narrates the Allied air raids against the stronghold: the premature celebrations by George Kenney and Gen. Douglas MacArthur; the bequeathing of authority to Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey; the unprecedented number of near-constant air battles that immediately followed; the Japanese retreat to Truk Lagoon in 1944; and their ultimate surrender to Allied forces in August 1945. This amazing story, one that profiles the bravery and resolve of the Allies in the horrific Pacific battleground, is the turbulent conclusion to an acclaimed trilogy from one of today's most talented nonfiction military authors.
"Bruce Gamble has done it again! An impeccable researcher and master storyteller with a keen eye for detail and characters, Gamble presents Target: Rabaul, a powerful conclusion to his must-read trilogy on the battle over Japan's Southwest Pacific stronghold. The heart-pounding stories of aerial combat read like a thrillerâ??and show why he is one of the finest writers working today." - James Scott, author of The War Below and The Attack on the Liberty
"The new book offers the same strengths as the first two: Serious research, strategic and operational background, mission-by-mission action, and compelling stories about the human dimension of warfare in the Pacific, including painful accounts of POWs in Japanese captivity. Andâ??as with the first two booksâ??Gamble continues to demonstrate his mastery of writing history that hooks the reader and engages as it informs. Target: Rabaul ends up being packed with mountains of hard data about the air siege of Rabaul, but Gamble wraps the strategic and operational history in plenty of human-interest stories, making the book a quick and pleasurable read." - StoneBooks.com
"This is Bruce Gamble's final book in the Rabaul battle trilogy and shows well his 15 years of research as well as his deep understanding of its complex history. Without Gamble's work it is entirely possible this significant and incredibly long battle would be largely forgotten to most." - Travel for Aircraft
"With the publication of this magnificent Rabaul Trilogy, former Navy flight officer Bruce Gamble has established himself in the foremost rank of Pacific War historians. In a compelling narrative that reads like an exciting novel, Gamble details "a history of World War II's longest battle," from the capture of Rabaul, New Britain, by the Japanese in January 1942, to its isolation, bombardment and final liberation by Allied forces in August 1945." - Armchair General