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Turning Point

September 1942 marked the high-point of Axis conquest in World War II. In the Pacific, Japan's soldiers had seemed unstoppable. However, the tide was about to turn. On Sunday, 6 September 1942, Japanese land forces suffered their first conclusive defeat at the hands of the Allies. At Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea, a predominantly Australian force - including 75 Squadron (fresh from their action in 44 DAYS) - fought for two weeks to successfully defend a vital airstrip against a determined Japanese invasion. The victorious Australian army units were crucially supported by two locally-based squadrons of RAAF Kittyhawks. The Battle for Milne Bay and victory for the Allies was a significant turning point in the Pacific War, but while it received worldwide publicity at the time, it has since been largely forgotten... It deserves to be remembered. Michael Veitch, actor, presenter and critically acclaimed author, brings to life the incredible exploits and tragic sacrifices of these Australian heroes in another fast-paced and thrilling tale.
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: Turning Point
  • Author: Michael Veitch
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: Hachette Australia
  • ISBN: 9780733640551
  • Subtitle: The Battle for Milne Bay 1942 - Japan's first land defeat in World War II
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Military
  • Publication Date: 23/07/2019
  • Pages: 336

RATINGS & REVIEW

4/08/2019 1:04:06 AM - Peter
The truth about the Battle for Milne Bay has now finally been told, in full
There's obviously an exceptional level of research required, when adopting an approach that allows such a sense of absolute reality as is conveyed by this latest offering by Michael Veitch. It was quite possibly Veitch's conscious plan, all along, to use the existing non-fiction in this subject area as a strong starting point, and to then - without taking any risks regarding its historical accuracy - infuse the participants' shared story with much greater detail than is possible in a mere "dry" history book. I once heard him say in a radio interview that through his previously having met many of the veterans in question, over the years, to help with the earlier telling of many of their individual stories - chapter by chapter - where each volume took the form of a series of interviews grouped into books published books in the mid-to-late 2000's... during which time he also met various of their family members, both back then, as well as again more recently. The resulting insights, apart from helping him to breath extra life into his subject matter, have seemingly allowed the author to make this latest book both an effortless and a stimulating read. Considering the extremely serious nature of the topic, it's amazing that he was able to (again) come up with a book that's so accessible and easy to read for all concerned. Interestingly, after the writing of his recent non-aviation maritime historical book 'Hell Ship' he seems more skilled than ever at doing this. By using this highly 'literary' approach, as a means of relating historical events and thus taking his story-telling skills to yet another level, he has excelled himself with his current offering. All very well researched/ well-crafted as a piece of writing, and very good! Having been to Milne Bay myself in recent years, it struck me as quite amazing that anyone could achieve what seems to me to be such a compelling sense of being 'transported to another time & place' right from the first page."
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21/08/2019 7:51:56 AM - Margot
Important Aussie History
'Turning Point' tells of unbelievable and shocking events which were endured by both sides of this almost unkown episode in Australian military history in 1942. He personalises the participants' stories with a much higher level of detail than is possible in mere 'dry' histories, by adopting a literary style which evokes a real sense of being there - which certainly immerses the reader. The complexity of the interaction between geographical and meteorological considerations is considerable, let alone the intricacies of the battle itself. The resulting insights which his unique style has to offer, apart from helping to breath extra life into his subject matter, have allowed the author to keep this latest book accessible and easy to read. Whilst I knew a little already, through relatives who'd fought in Papua during WWII, the thorough research by Veitch has extended my own knowledge and insights . Milne Bay was a classic example of an ‘unheard of’ level of close air-to-ground support, like never before or since, between any Army and any Air Force. Everything about it was hellishly gruelling for the Australians, and for the Japanese… complete with mud, rain, malarial swamps & jungles, rugged terrain, etc. Cannons would fire until they were red hot. Australians fearlessly forged into areas thick with tree-top snipers, who constantly fired upon them, leaving them vulnerable just like sitting ducks. RAAF Kittyhawk pilots strafed and obliterated the invading barges and supplies unrelentingly, along with Japanese ground troops. Retreat, especially for the Japanese, was completely unthinkable. However, somehow the Australians managed to prevail thanks in large part to the brilliant leadership of General Cyril Clowes of the Australian Army, and the Japanese ground forces were finally left with no choice except to engage in a sort of ‘fighting retreat’. All in all, it's a very well researched, well-crafted piece of writing in which Michael Veitch tells the true story of another highly precarious major military situation for Australia in 1942 at Milne Bay in WWII - which, though largely overlooked at the time & now almost completely forgotten, things could have so easily have gone the other way and possibly changed the outcome. Hard to put the book down.
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