Truk 1944–45

Truk 1944–45

The destruction of Japan's Central Pacific bastion

Air Campaign 26
  • Author: Mark Lardas
  • Illustrator: Adam Tooby
  • Short code: ACM 26
  • Publication Date: 23 Dec 2021
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

A fully illustrated history of how the US Navy destroyed Truk, the greatest Japanese naval and air base in the Pacific, with Operation Hailstone, and how B-29 units and the carriers of the British Pacific Fleet kept the base suppressed until VJ-Day.

In early 1944, the island base of Truk was a Japanese Pearl Harbor; a powerful naval and air base that needed to be neutralized before the Allies could fight their way any further towards Tokyo. But Truk was also the most heavily defended naval base outside the Japanese Home Islands and an Allied invasion would be costly. Long-range bombing against Truk intact would be a massacre so a plan was conceived to neutralize it through a series of massive naval raids led by the growing US carrier fleet. Operation Hailstone was one of the most famous operations ever undertaken by American carriers in the Pacific.

This book examines the rise and fall of Truk as a Japanese bastion and explains how in two huge raids, American carrier-based aircraft reduced it to irrelevance. Also covered is the little-known story of how the USAAF used the ravaged base as a live-fire training ground for its new B-29s -- whose bombing raids ensured Truk could not be reactivated by the Japanese. The pressure on Truk was kept up right through 1945 when it was also used as a target for the 509th Composite Squadron to practise dropping atomic bombs and by the British Pacific Fleet to hone its pilots' combat skills prior to the invasion of Japan.

Biographical Note

Mark Lardas has been fascinated by things related to the sea and sky his entire life. From building models of ships and aircraft as a teen, his interests led him to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and work as a navigation engineer for the Space Shuttle program for 30 years. Currently he works as a contract technical writer. He has written extensively for Osprey and is the author of over 25 books, including ACM 21 Battle of the Atlantic 1942-45: The climax of World War II's greatest naval campaign and ACM 09 Japan 1944-45: LeMay's B-29 strategic bombing campaign.


Long-range air power in 1944
The ‘Gibraltar of the Pacific'
Keystone of the Pacific War
Allied objectives and plans
Japanese objectives and plans
From feared bastion to the Allies' punchbag
Background: 1939-January 1944
Operation Hailstone: February 1944
April Showers: April 1944
Truk Besieged: March 1944-June 1945
Operation Inmate: June 14-15, 1945
Surviving Aircraft

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