Having enjoyed the first instalment, CHRIS CLIFFORD now examines The Darkest Hour Vol.2, which further describes Japan’s Indian Ocean offensive in 1942.


Publisher Helion & Co is to be applauded here, for offering such a detailed focus on a subject that has rarely been covered before. Michał Piegzik’s first look at the Japanese 1942 Indian Ocean campaign offered a wealth of information, but visually centred mainly on Japanese material. Volume 2 switches to a more allied focus; although Japanese ships and aircraft appear in the photos, the 13 aircraft colour profiles represent RAF and Fleet Air Arm types exclusively – and include the Hawker Hurricane, Fairey Fulmar, Grumman Martlet and Consolidated Catalina. This redresses the balance, as Vol.1’s profiles were mainly of Japanese ships/aircraft.

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