While not as numerous as other nations' airborne forces, Japan's separate Army and Navy paratroop units reached a strength of approximately 18,000 men. They carried out several pioneering operations in Sumatra and Burma during the invasions of 1942 and in Leyte and Okinawa during the defensive fighting of 1944-45. Nothing authoritative has been published on this subject since a reprint, in 1973, of a US Military Intelligence booklet of 1945. This title corrects and expands on that information, covering formation, training, organization, doctrine, tactics, aircraft, uniforms, weapons and equipment, as well as the actual operations that were fought by these elite forces.
Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments, retiring after 26 years. He was a special operations forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Centre and is now a freelance writer. Mike Chappell comes from an Aldershot family with British Army connections stretching back several generations. He enlisted in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1952 and retired in 1974, as RSM of the 1st Battalion The Wessex Regiment (Rifle Volunteers). He began painting military subjects in 1968 and has gained worldwide popularity as a military illustrator. Mike has illustrated many books for Osprey.
Introduction - background & correct terminology; Myths and misconceptions; Formation and training; Unit organization, IJA and IJN; Doctrine - tactics - carrier aircraft; Weapons - vehicles; Parachutes and personal equipment; Uniforms and insignia; Airborne assault operations: Palembang, Sumatra - Menado, Celebes - Koepang, Timor - Lashio, Burma - Leyte, Philippines - Okinawa; Land operations: Saipan - Philippines