A lot of Pacific WWII media out there right now

I often find that there are waves of interest in different parts of history in popular culture. Right now, it seems that we’re having a slight uptick in interest in the Pacific theatre of WWII. I thought it’d be fun to point out a few of them that I’ve noticed recently including one that is right from IL-2 – let’s have a look!

Battlefield V: Chapter 5 “The Pacific”

When I’m not flying something like IL-2 or DCS World, I’m usually playing Battlefield V… flying. Battlefield V is no flight simulator but the series has historically be a very fun combined arms game featuring infantry, tanks, and yes… aircraft.

Battlefield V launched with a British versus Germany line-up featuring aircraft like the Bf109, Ju87, and Ju88 on the German side and the Spitfire, Mosquito and Blenhiem on the British side. Now, with the launch of Chapter 5 the series has had a change of scenery taking the battle to the Pacific theatre with two new maps, the Japanese and American armies, and two new aircraft: the F4U Corsair and the A6M Zero.

Note that I’m not being too specific about variants and versions as Battlefield takes accuracy only to a certain point and these aircraft are only representations rather than true historical recreations like we expect for IL-2, DCS and even War Thunder. Still, despite that they can be fun to fly with and I’ve had plenty of fun with the more casual yet very competitive gameplay.

Battlefield has also had a bit of a rough go of things in it’s first year with a producer that quit/was fired before release and a lot of bugs, performance problems, lack of content and so on. The release of Chapter 5 in the last few days seems to have changed the conversation with the team behind Battlefield, DICE Studios, bringing a laundry list of fixes and changes to the series along with the new theatre of war. Chapter 5: The Pacific has turned around the conversation on the title and seemingly given it a new lease on life.

Bottom line: flying the Zero and Corsair over the Pacific in Battlefield has been fun.

Midway (2019)

On November 8, a new Midway movie comes out. I was initially extremely skeptical about it but I’m starting to think that this may be a decent retelling of the Midway story. It’s not the classic 1976 movie but but as a modern re-telling it looks like the creators behind this movie have actually done their homework getting the aircraft looking right. SDB’s, A6M2’s and other aircraft appear and while there is some Hollywood overly dramatized moments in there… A lot of stuff looks right right down to the SBD’s release mechanism.

Will it be good or not? Hard to say without seeing the movie but the trailer is worth a watch.

A little Easter egg in IL-2

There’s a small Easter egg in IL-2 and it can be found on the QMB in the aircraft selector screen. If you have a look at the Axis Powers icon you can see that a representation of both Germany and Japan are located on that screen.

Less obvious is the nations list in the Full Mission Builder which now also includes countries such as Japan and Italy. Italy is less surprising as the MC.202 is already an aircraft in the set but Japan is slightly more surprising.

Does it portent the imminent announcement of a Pacific scenario? I wouldn’t get your hopes up just yet on that. Jason was quick to point out that this was something the artist for the GUI had done and it wasn’t especially indicative of anything.

Still, it’s a fun indication of what still might happen in the future either near or far.

Drydock Dream Games’ Task Force Admiral

Indie developer Drydock Dream Games is busy developing a carrier fleet command sim called Task Force Admiral vol.1: American Carrier Battles. The developer is intending to represent carrier battles from Coral Sea to Guadalcanal using a 3D interface and realistically portrayed operations.

Check out their pre-alpha demo reel to see what they are intending to do with the series. If you’re interested have a look at their website or follow them on Twitter.

Other mentions

I recently re-watched HBO’s The Pacific. The mini-series came out in 2010 and it was a spiritual successor to the highly acclaimed Band of Brothers. While I enjoyed Band of Brother’s significantly more, The Pacific was still grueling in its depiction of World War II in the Pacific as a brutal conflict.

I’m also reading The Pacific War: The Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War by William B. Hopkins. I’m only into the first few chapters but so far it’s a brilliant look at the behind the scenes of planning and politics that dominated the late 1930s and the lead-up to the war. Later the book gets directly into the conflict but this is one of the best setup’s to the actual conflict that I’ve read in quite some time.

Watched, read or played anything WWII Pacific recently? Give me a shout in the comments!

22 Comments Add yours

  1. bigalrico says:

    A beautiful contribution as always!

    In fact, 2019 seems to be the year of the Pacific. The media attention would certainly be an ingenious thing for Il-2, if they dare to venture into these waters 😉

    Overall, probably adding Japan in the Mission Editor gives me the most hope. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to add a nation that will be added at least 1 1/2 years in advance (if it has nothing to do with the next expansion).

    Even if Il-2 would decide not to cover the Pacific with the next title, I would still be happy if some new games come to this. This chapter of World War II undeservedly receives very little attention in the western world (except America). Here in Germany it is mostly reduced to a small chapter with the “most important” stations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It’s interesting that degree of representation that different parts of WWII get. In Canada it was World War I and parts of WWII that really received the attention. The Pacific and the Eastern Front were both chapters but perhaps a little lesser in our context.

      For me, however, one of my favourite flight sims and the one that perhaps really locked me into being a fan of flight simulation as well as an avid reader of history was Aces of the Pacific. I played that sim to death and it really helped educate me on that theatre of war. I feel an article coming on! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. harryvoyager says:

        Aces of the Pacific was my first 3D flight sim. I spent years looking for something that could really follow that one up, and it wasn’t until I found the original Il-2 Sturmovik that I felt like I had found it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jonathon Coughlin says:

    I am listening to Retribution by Max Hastings on audiobook and it is excellent. I’m learning a lot more about China and India than I expected to.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Francesco Kasta says:

    Kind of disappointed to see only the German and Japanese flags represented in the Axis Power icon. If I recall correctly, Italy did help Germany to miserably lose the war, I think it deserves a spot in the friggin icon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That is an interesting omission to the graphic. Perhaps it’s an oversight that will be corrected later.


  4. Luke says:

    I’m currently reading vol. 3 of South Pacific Air War by Michael Claringbound & Peter Ingman. A series that covers they early years of WW2 in the Pacific up to the battle of The Coral Sea, includes lots of details about the Japanese side of the campaign, which I haven’t read much of before. From the ground side of things A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune does a good job of covering the Papua campaign from platoon up to the strategic level.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Great suggestions Luke! Thanks for sharing!


  5. I just finished and strongly recommend ‘The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors’ about Taffy 3 and the Battle off Samar.


  6. Gretsch_Man says:

    That trailer of the new Midway movie looks a lot like Battlefield V. Perhaps they were using the same graphic engine…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      The CGI is strong there. Yes. But we’ve seen far worse.


  7. Det says:

    The thumbnail from the Midway trailer makes it look like some sort of comedy flick.


  8. DEN says:

    Pretty much this;
    3D Mini-Documentary about The Battle of Midway

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Looks interesting and I’m going to have to watch that one later!


  9. Blue 5 says:

    Wow, Midway looks like the worst bits of Pearl Harbour, Red Tails and Red Baron. I still do not get why something as dramatic as attacks on 4 Japanese fleet carriers should need teeth-grinding: there are enough sources on what happened and it does not need embellishment as though some one is trying to remake the Battle of Endor sequences.

    Hopeless hokum, as per Hollywood standard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It’s tough to find any good war movies from Hollywood. This one looks like they had people on production try and make an effort towards accuracy – but I’m sure there’s an executive somewhere who said it needed to be more exciting.

      You’re right though. What could be more intense than the actual battle?


  10. Michael Dwyer says:

    One of the pod casts I listen to is doing a 4 part series on Japan starting with it’s involvement in China, Dan Carlin’s Hard Core History is a great podcast for military history https://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/ The third (current) one covers Dec. 41 to the fall of Singapore and the Philippines. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. VK-94 says:

    I cannot recommend enough “Fire in the Sky : The Air War in the South Pacific” by Eric M. Bergerud

    A very exhaustive book on the matter, everybody interested in this period/theater should have it in their library.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Francesco Kasta says:

      I agree, its massive size also makes it kinda of intimidating, looks great in my war library.


  12. Blue 5 says:

    Shattered Sword as well: Midway from the Japanese perspective. Very interesting and some accounts from the blazing Japanese carriers are unsettling if not a little creepy.

    I never realised, BTW, that the strange open fore-structure of the Akagi and co. were due to originally having several take-off decks.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ian says:

    Anyone who watches that trailer and wastes their time and money going to see “Midway”……really?
    To save you the effort, I can reveal here exclusively, the final scene: In the grand tradition of “Fury” and “Saving Private Ryan”, the grand finale will feature a pilot flying a TBD, it’s missing it’s tail plane and one wing, he’s flying it with his toes, using his browning pistol he fends off an entire sentai of Zeros. The Japanese pilots circle him endlessly, not daring to shoot and ruin the movie ending. Eventually they are all shot down. The pilot lights a cigarette, and hands it to his wounded gunner while ditching next to a USN destroyer. Camera zooms out to the horizon, credits roll.


  14. 71st_AH_Gamecock (XR-G) says:

    A book I have read and re-read several times is “Strong Men Armed” It a story of the US Marines in WWII. The author -Robert Leckie is an excellent storyteller. His work had alot of influence on “The Pacific” miniseries.


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