In early 1943 Japanese forces in the South Pacific had suffered three key strategic setbacks at Guadalcanal, Kokoda and the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. However Japanese strength in the theatre was far from spent, and the commander of the IJN Combined Fleet Admiral Yamamoto sensed an opportunity.
By temporarily bolstering his air force at Rabaul with carrier-based airpower, Yamamoto assembled a strike force of hundreds of aircraft. With these he planned to overwhelm Allied defences in a multi-day blitz against four crucial locations. Named Operation I-Go, it would be the largest IJN air operation ever launched in the region.
The odds favoured the plan, but by 1943 I-Go was a huge gamble. Would it strike a body blow and give the Allies reason to pause their advance? Or would it cause irrecoverable wastage of IJN offensive air power?
The results of I-Go were surprising, although it only achieved a fraction of what the Japanese claimed. The greatest irony was that it led to the death of its architect, Yamamoto.
This is the first detailed account of I-Go written with reference to both Japanese and Allied sources, and it surely sets a new historical benchmark for this key chapter of the Pacific War.
Country of Publication:
01 July 2020
Professional and scholarly
1. Introduction 2. Assembling the I-Go Air Force Zeros, Vals and Bettys Air Bases Aircrew Morale and Health Carrier Pilots Reconnaissance Missions & Floatplanes Command and Leadership Admiral Kusaka's Activities 3. Strike X - Guadalcanal Shipping Allied Photo Reconnaissance Japanese Formations The Ships Condition Very Red Koli Point Lunga Point Nakagawa's Adventure Toyoda Misrepresented Swett's Medal of Honor 4. Strike X - The Allied Response Missing Airacobra Fightin' Wildcats Corsairs Most Exciting Day Two Zero Pilots Captured Retaliation Gone Wrong Claims versus Losses 5. Strike Y - Shipping at Oro Bay Strike Y Force - Oro Bay Claims versus Losses 6. Strike Y1 - Port Moresby First Combat The Fighters Allied Losses Claims versus Losses Damage from the Raid 7. Strike Y2 - Milne Bay Gremlins RAAF Kittyhawks Sole Lightning Dive-Bombers and Fighters Claims versus Losses 8. Postscript Myths Which Endure Conclusions Flaws and Controversies Appendix 1 Allied Aircraft Losses Appendix 2 Japanese Aircraft Losses Appendix 3 Aircraft Profiles - Three Way Appendix 4 Aircraft Profiles - Side View
Raised in Port Moresby, Michael Claringbould is a globally recognised expert on the WWII South Pacific air war and Japanese aviation in particular.
Reviews for Operation I-Go: Yamamoto'S Last Offensive - New Guinea and the Solomons April 1943
From our vantage, Operation I-Go is the pick of this fine litter. Readers can't go wrong with any of these new books from Avonmore, but this one is likely to better stand the test of time. * Stone and Stone *