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Pacific World War II Book Review  

by Lance Taylor
A Sogeri Publication  1992
350 pages
photos, illustrations, maps
ISBN: 0803292600
Cover Price: $16.00
Language: English

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Snake Road
A Guide To The History, People and Places of the Sogeri District

Written by Lance Taylor who worked as an English teacher at Sogeri National High School starting in 1979 and his interest in the history of the immediate area, including the formation of a "History Club" at Sogeri National High School to explore the area. In the course of his research, Taylor contacted many veterans who served in the area and incorporates their recollections and remembrances.

The book is an exhaustive history of the Sogeri area, based around "Snake Road", the winding roadway that connects coastal Port Moresby to Sogeri in the foothills of the Owen Stanley Mountains. Well written and researched, the book traces the prehistory, colonial era, World War II era and contemporary history up to the early 1990s. The book is divided into chapters that detail each section of the road and all historical sites in that area, including the side roads. Snake Road can be used as either a historical text or a trekking guide for visitors to the area.

This book of is of particular interest for the author's detailed research into Australian Army and U.S. Army units based along the Snake Road, and the engineering units responsible for expanding the road. The only draw back of the book is that it lacks an index or detailed citations for wartime information.

The book does mention several wartime wrecks including an A6M2 Zero crash during early May 1942 and the crash of a B-24D Liberator 42-40984 into Varirata National Park. Taylor describes efforts to locate a No. 75 Squadron P-40E Kittyhawk [P-40E A29-21] that was not located.

Although originally published in 1992, the book is still a valuable resource for trekkers in the area. Despite the increased interest by Australian trekkers in the Kokoda Trail, most never explore the equally interesting "Snake Road" area. This book s a must for anyone visiting the area or studying the ample wartime history in the region.

Review by Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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