‘The Dutch Naval Air Force against Japan’ is a recent book release from McFarland Publishers in the US. It is written by Tom Womack, vice president of a large PR firm in Dallas Texas. Mr. Womack was apparently intrigued by the fierce war that was fought at the Second World War between Japanese forces invading the Netherlands East Indies and the Dutch naval air force Marineluchtvaartdienst or MLD.

Dutch Naval Air forceIn the Netherlands the story is well known and documented in a number of books and magazine publications. However, if you do not master the Dutch language, these books are only interesting for the pictures and they will definitely not give a good account across the Dutch borders of what has actually happened.

The general impression that the Dutch MLD only fled without doing too much battle with the Japanese is totally incorrect. The MLD fought a hard and bitter war against overwhelming Japanese forces with many losses of planes and fatal casualties and there were many dramatic and heroic moments during this war. Womack gives now for the first time in the English language an extensive and detailed account of this battle in a clear and easy to read style. From the literature list it is evident he has extensively used Dutch publications and archives and I understood he even learned the difficult Dutch language! The book is not a luxury edition printed on high quality glossy paper, but that means it can be sold at a very reasonable price.

Womack uses in his publication only 35 photographs, but most of them are from private collections and were never published before!

In short it is, to use a Dutch phrase, ‘een prima boek!’ (an excellent book!).

Book details:

Author: Tom Womack
Title: The Dutch Naval Air Force against Japan – The defence of the Netherlands East Indies, 1941-1942.
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc Publishers, Jefferson – North Carolina and London.
Published Feb. 2006. ISBN 0-7864-2365-X
Soft-cover, 207 pages with 35 photos and 6 map drawings.
Price $35

Nico Braas

Author grant thanks to Mr. Tom Womack and publisher for the sample book.