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
The winner of the Gold Medal (Military Writers Society of America) and Editor's Choice Award (Stone & Stone Second World War Books) is now available in paperback format. Since its 2010 release, Fortress Rabaul has been hailed as the triumphant midpoint of Bruce Gamble's award-winning military nonfiction trilogy, following his critically acclaimed Darkest Hour (December 2006) and preceding Target: Rabaul (November 2013). In this, the Zenith Press series' renowned second installment, Gamble chronicles the crucial role of Japan's island stronghold - Fortress Rabaul - located in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. For most of the war, the mere mention of Rabaul sent shudders through thousands of Allied airmen. With millions of square feet of housing and storage facilities supporting a hundred thousand imperial Japanese soldiers and naval personnel, Simpson Harbour and the airfields there were the focus of hundreds of U.S. Air Force missions. Recounted through Gamble's meticulous, airtight research and told in his signature accessible narrative style, you'll quickly see why Colonel Walter Boyne, USAF (Ret.), has called Fortress Rabaul his "tour de force."
"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
AIR CLASSICS "Drawing on a variety of sources from both sides, the author has written a detailed reference book that reads like a novel."
WWII HISTORY MAGAZINE "...Fortress Rabaul opens a broader vista on this under-studied campaign with its wide research, thoughtful analysis, and gifted story-teller's panache."
Anthony Tully, coauthor of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
"Continuing his theme of Rabaul opened in Darkest Hour: The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul, Bruce Gamble now continues the saga, moving forward with the Japanese occupation in January 1942 to the almost immediate start of the Allied counter air-offensives against Rabaul. Gamble sets the stage magnificently, with a compelling description of the geography, volcanic origin and cultural setting and development level of Rabaul at the time of the Japanese occupation. After an excellent description of the too little, too late attempts to prepare for the Japanese invasion and the futile attempts to repel the powerful Japanese carrier strikes, the focus shifts to the Japanese construction at Rabaul that will make it the famous fortress port of the Solomons campaign. The human drama, Allied and Japanese, is enriched by skillfully placed anecdotes, like a botched demolition of an ammo dump by the Allied garrison to Japanese carrier aircraft having embarrassing results in bombing runs, to behind-the-scenes bickering of officers and staffs. The
WORLD WAR II
"Using international sources, Gamble musters anecdotes from airmen on both sides to illustrate the appalling natural challenges and capricious weather, miserable living conditions, primal diseases, and frightful hazards posed by limitless spans of water and cloud-cloaked jungle peaks. He also incorporates incisive sketches of key leaders among the antagonists, notable American Maj. Gen. George Kenny and Japanese Vice Adm. Jinichi Kusaka, and underlines the logistical nightmares that rendered both aircraft and spare parts scarce for combatants locked in war at such distant reachesâ?¿.Fortress Rabaul opens a broader vista on this under-studied campaign with its wide research, thoughtful analysis, and gifted story-teller's panache."