Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Book Review
The wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon (formerly called Truk Lagoon) are the most amazing dives I have ever experienced. The quantity and quality of the Japanese wrecks (and a few planes) are simply amazing. Over two days in February 1944 (and some follow up attacks later that year), dozens of Japanese ships were attacked and sunk. Today they are still in excellent condition and contain more artefacts (right up to tanks and airplanes) than all the other wrecks I have dived outside the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu.
On my three trips to Chuuk I have prepared beforehand by watching a video I have of the attacks and the wrecks and re-reading two books on the subject. One of these books is WWII Wrecks of the Kwajalein and Truk Lagoons by Dan E. Bailey. This book has 128 pages on the the lead up to and the actual attacks of 17 and 18 February 1944 and the follow up attacks later that year. This is quite an extensive coverage and very interesting. Following this, there are 66 pages of descriptions of each of the wrecks (and planes) and many black and white photographs of the ships and the main attack as well as colour photographs of the wrecks today.
While this is an excellent book, it is not the best book on Chuuk and it has some inconsistentencies and possible (probable) errors relating to the description of the attacks. Its descriptions of the wrecks and their contents are not as detailed as the other book.
Despite my misgivings, if you are going to Chuuk and you cannot get the other book ( Hailstorm over Truk Lagoon), then this is still worth purchasing and will still help you prepare for the trip and prepare for each dive when there.
There is a third edition which I have not seen. I was also been advised by Dan Bailey that he was working on a completely new edition which should be available mid to late 1998 (see how long ago I wrote this!). From what he told me, it sounds like it will be a very good book and much improved on this edition.