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Java Sea 1942

Java Sea 1942 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review May 2022 Title Java Sea 1942
Author Mark Stille Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472831613
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.00


Imperial Japan’s February 1942 victory in the Java Sea nearly expunged Allied naval power from the Southwest Pacific during WWII.

Now Mark Stille surveys the pivotal clash in Osprey’s eponymous account – 344th in the publisher’s vast “Campaign” range.

Subtitled “Japan’s conquest of the Netherlands East Indies”, contents follow the series’ familiar format.

Stille sets the stage with useful background notes – including the sinking of the area’s most puissant Allied vessels, Britain’s “Force Z” battleships, in December 1941.

In typically methodical manner, he subsequently chronicles opposing commanders, fleets, and planning. And coverage next chronicles the battle, associated actions, and “analyses”.

Photos, illustrations, and references supplement this tidy tome. And maps graphically and handily chart actions.

But the lack of annotations can confound clarity. Are, for instance, Stille’s performance assessments of key commanders his opinions – or those of others?

This businesslike little book nicely complements Osprey’s The Royal Netherlands Navy of World War II – 285th in Osprey’s huge “New Vanguard” line. Tackle both in tandem.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!