Annapolis, 1st ed., 2005. X + 348 pp., photo-ills. D.j., 23 x 16cm. FINE. This book examines the inexorable thrust of the U.S. Army's 5th Air Force, under air commander Gen. George C. Kennedy, in the hard-hitting campaigns against the Japanese Army Air Force bases in New Guinea. During 1943 and 1944, the 5th Air Force destroyed its Japanese opponent three times, eventually opening the way for the advance – ahead of schedule – of MacArthur's Allied forces through New Guinea to the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. No other book describes these crucial operations in such breadth or detail. Of particular merit is the author's portrayal of the Japanese side of the conflict, including the problems of the Japanese Air Force high command, drawn from unpublished information from captured Japanese documents, interrogations of prisoners and decoded Japanese radio traffic. The author explains the varying degrees of understanding the concept of air power exhibited by both Japanese and U.S. commanders – not only the type of aircraft produced by each country but also the ways in which the aircraft were used.