Imperial Japanese Navy Aces, 1937-45 (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces S. No.22)
By: Henry Sakaida (author), Mark Styling (illustrator)Paperback
1 - 2 weeks availability
The outcome of the Pacific War was heavily influenced by the results of naval battles between the Imperial Japanese fleet and the US Navy. One of the key weapons of the former force was its large fighter component, which had gained valuable experience supporting bombing sorties on Manchuria, China and Mongolia in the late 1930s. Flying A5M Claudes, at least 21 pilots achieved 'acedom' whilst securing total air superiority for the invading Japanese forces. Manufacturer Mitsubishi derived much from these limited campaigns, and subsequently produced one of the best fighters on eighter side during World War 2, the A6M Zero-Sen. Employing this fighter to telling effect, navy pilots proved to be both relentless and highly skilled when engaged by the Allied forces that attempted to stop the Japanese invasion of the Pacific. Pilots like Nishizawa, Iwamoto, Sagita and Sakai cach scored more than 60 kills apiece, dominating the skies until well into 1943. The tide of war slowly shifted following a series of key carrier battles, forcing navy pilots to operate predominantly from shore bases in New Guinea, The Philippines and finally the Japanese home islands.
New fighter types like the Raiden, Shiden/Shiden-kai, Gekko and later versions of the Zero only helped delay the inevitable defeat of Japan, and hundreds of naval pilots paid the ultimate price in the final months of war as kamikazes.
A third generation Japanese American (Sansei), Henry Sakaida has spent much of his life researching the shadowy history of the Japanese fighter pilot. His eye for detail, and exhaustive research, has led to him being given access to much archive material by former aces who have remained silent since the end of the war. This is his second book for Osprey.
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- ID: 9781855327276
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