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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Chuck Thompson
Greenline Pubns  2002
224 pages
Index, photos
ISBN: 0966635264
Cover Price: $19.95
Language: English

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The 25 Best World War II Sites
Pacific Theater

Ever consider traveling to the real Pacific battlefields of WWII? If so, this is the essential travel and history reference for 25 of the best sites in the 20 million square miles of the Pacific Theater. As this book proves, even for those who only dream about travel, it is still an impressive reference to the history and sites today.

25 Best Pacific Site
Author Chuck Thompson draws from his vast travel experiences to present the best sites of the Pacific. He begins the book by explaining the criteria for rating the 'best' sites of the Pacific, by three equally important criteria: historical significance, the amount of attractions at a give site, and finally on its merits as a travel destination (services, natural beauty, desirability). Although subjective, it is a excellent rating system.

The book profiles the 25 best Pacific sites including: 1. Pearl Harbor/Oahu, 2. Corregidor, 3. Singapore, 4. Saipan, 5. Hiroshima, 6. Peleliu/Palau, 7. Solomon Islands, 8. Aleutian Islands (Unalaska/Dutch Harbor), 9. Okinawa, 10. Marshall Islands, 11. Tokyo, 12. Guadalcanal, 13. Tarawa, 14. Nagasaki/Kyushu, 15. Leyte, 16. Tinian, 17. Kanchanaburi, 18. Chuuk (Truk), 19. Manila, 20. Guam, 21. Nanjing, 22. Bataan, 23. Emiej Island, 24. Papua New Guinea, 25. North America. The book also profiles more difficult or expensive sites including Burma (Myanmar), Darwin, Eniwetak, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iwo Jima, Midway and Wake Island.

Travel Guide Reference
A chapter is devoted to each of the 25 locations, complete with sites of interest and detailed maps. A one to five 'star rating' system rates each site, in terms of its interest level. Although all sites are important, the star system helps travelers with limited time, or budgets choose what they will want to see. Also, Thomoson draws upon his own travel experiences and suggests the ranges of time required to see the WWII sites - everything from a single full day in some locations, to several days in order to reach every sites.

Well Known & Obscure Location Details
Each chapter covers a wide range of both well known sites, and more obscure ones. For instance, in the Ohau chapter, the natural importance of Pearl Harbor Memorial is fully detailed, but also, lesser known sites, like the "Natsunoya Teahouse" where Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa conducted much of his surveillance of Pearl Harbor. Also, lesser known and out of the way sites, like the barracks, airfields and forts of significance. Each details any special permissions, limited access, contact information, entry fees and other related information.

More Than A Travel Guide
Author Chuck Thompson has done more than just write a travel guide book, in the traditional sense of the term. Each chapter begins with an informative, concise and well researched historical summary of each of the 25 best sites. Also, a list of suggested reading & references related to that location, that includes history books, veteran memoirs and reading.

For those that dream of exotic Pacific travels, and even those who have already been to some of the 25 best sites, this guide book come highly recommended, and a worthy addition to your history library too, for perspective on the wartime sites today. After completing the book, any reader will be tempted to travel to one, or all 25 of these sites - as soon as possible!

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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