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Bloody Shambles, Vol. 1: The Drift to War to the Fall of Singapore: First Comprehensive Account of Air Operations Over South-East Asia, December 1941-April 1942 v. 1 Hardcover – 30 Apr 1992


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Bloody Shambles, Vol. 1: The Drift to War to the Fall of Singapore: First Comprehensive Account of Air Operations Over South-East Asia, December 1941-April 1942 v. 1 + Bloody Shambles: The Complete Account of the Air War in the Far East, from the Defence of Sumatra to the Fall of Burma, 1942 v. 2 + Air War for Burma: The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South-East Asia 1942-1945 (The Bloody Shambles Series, Vol. 3): Air War for Burma: The Allied ... Fight Back in South-East Asia 1942-1945 v. 3
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street (30 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094881750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0948817502
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 628,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By m.j.towsey on 2 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying this is not a easy book to read, Its full of facts and figures and may seem to many to be hard work. However I give this book 5 stars for this reason if you want to know about the Air war in the far east it's the best book I know of by far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Towell on 28 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first of two volumes and if you have read some of the author's previous books such as Spitfires Over Malta, Malta The Hurricane years etc you will some idea of what to expect.This volume covers the early operations in Malaya, Singapore, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. Details are given of the units involved, the encounters and casualties. The writing style is a little on the dry side but the authors are well informed and very interesting. A must have book for any one with an interest in the air war of the far East.
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By John M. Bannerman on 9 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More of the absolutely essential Shores series. Whilst very detailed it really gets across the operations in each theatre, explains the units involved, and shows the outcomes via carefully researched actual loss rates, not nonsensical over claims. Buy these books - all of them - if you are even vaguely interested in the WW2 Air War.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Details Tell the Story 27 Feb 2003
By Mark C. Neuville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Bloody Shambles is an extraordinarily detailed study of the utter futility of the first months of the war in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. While providing little overview or narrative, the detail of the experiences speak for themselves. Inadequate equipment, both, quality and quantitative, flying procedures designed more for regimental show than for effect, and a complete lack of cooperation between services, were the hallmarks of the impending disaster.
The loss of the British battleships, Repulse and Prince of Wales, are examples of the short service life that was awaiting those who took a cavalier attitude towards the power and complexities of managing air assets. When combined with a lack of coherent intelligence, the impossible situation of the British High Command is felt as much as understood. Given Churchill¡¦s widely quoted disparaging remarks at the lack of ¡§fight¡¨ put into the defense of Singapore, the details point to more insidious reasons. Most notably, almost no air defense was anticipated for Singapore¡¦s defense. The collapse of the Malay Peninsula put Japanese artillery within easy range of Singapore¡¦s defenders and the inability to respond to the daily air attacks were the coup de grace to the morale of the island.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Best Book of its kind 13 April 2006
By Rodney J. Szasz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book details the initial air operations over SE Asia at the beginning of the war. There is a good chapter on the initial encounters over the Philippines, but the emphasis is on the far vaster involvement of the Dutch and British Commonwealth against the initial Japanese onslaught.

There is a fair amount of Japanese translated documents used and encounters are cross-referenced to check claims and who actually was involved. This makes it virtually the first of its kind.

There are a few surprises. The RAF and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered, undertrained, ill-equipped and dubiously led, but they did inflict a little more punishment on the Japanese than we give them credit for. The Buffalo was not as widely despised as one would expect... pilots were more hoping for an upgrade or the machine, better machine guns, a more reliable engine. I had the impression that these planes fell in every combat with the Japanese. They did, but they also do have some credits for kills, even for some Navy A6Ms (Zeros), which one is surprised to learn.

Lots of heroism here, as British, Australian, New Zealanders, Indians and Canadians and Americans (in either RAF or RCAF uniforms) take on Japan's best aces.

A ripping read!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An excellent work for the serious historian 26 Jun 2007
By Bill Hensler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When you read this book a good historian or soldier comes away with the two lessons: there is nothing like unity of command in military operations and no substitute for good training. This book covers day-to-day military operations in the South Pacific area. There is a second to none index which gives the names of nearly every allied figheter pilot and all significan events in the South Pacific area. It's staggering to read and that alone should rate the book three stars. I can't add that this book did a fantastic job of telling me how "the Brits, Aussies, Dutch, and Americans make a 'muck' up of things." In less than 30 days in most instances the Allied airpower was reduced down to near nothing. The second rate aircraft and second rate training the allied pilots received made them no match for the excellent aviatiors that flew for Japan. Once again, this book gives a day to day account of the results of the wretched defensive air force operations conducted by the Allies at the start of WWII. All in all this book covers about the first 90 days of the Pacific war. I knocked off a star from the book. Why? I know aircraft but a person who does not know Zeros, Buffalos, Hurricanes, P-26 Peashooters, P-35s, P-36, and P-40 aircraft might not know what the author is talking about. An index of aircraft and a performance chart would have been nice. Also, once in a while the author will confuse the caption of a P-40A or B with a P-40E. It's not a huge mistake but can be somewhat distracting from this generally fantastic work on the first 30 days of the Pacific war.

4 Stars and it really should be 4.5 Stars. Yes, it's that good.
Five Stars 2 Dec 2014
By RAYMOND C. CLAY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
one of the best books i have read in five years.
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