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Ki-43 ‘Oscar’ Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – March 31, 2009
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“The Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine) was produced in greater numbers than any other land-based Japanese fighter of WW2, and more Japanese pilots achieved ace status in this aircraft than any other. This title is the first in the English language to focus on their exploits.” ―Wonderpedia
“Hiroshi Ichimura has done a great service by recording the exploits of the most important Japanese army fighter of the Pacific War. The Type 1 Fighter (the Ki-43/Oscar of the book's title) was probably second in importance only to the Japanese navy's Type Zero carrier fighter, for which it was often mistaken, among Japanese warplanes in that conflict. While the navy's Zero had proved itself in combat over China in 1940 and 1941 before war exploded in the Pacific, the Type 1 Fighter was just coming into operational service when the war began... Hiroshi Ichimura is to be congratulated on an excellent effort. This book covers a gap in available literature on the Pacific air war. The book provides insights into a notable fighter, its units, pilots and the campaigns where it operated. This book is a keeper; recommended both for the libraries of Pacific war neophytes and aficionados.” ―Richard Dunn, www.warbirdforum.com
“Full of photos of the aircraft and their pilots, we can see how these men did as the lr carried on. As with all of Osprey's 'Aces' books, there are several pages of color profiles of their planes as well as a table of the aces and their eventual fate. It is an excellent look at a subject that has a lot of interest to many people and one that I know you will enjoy.” ―Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (April 2009)
About the Author
Hiroshi Ichimura is the son of a JAAF wartime pilot. He has worked as the editor of various modeling magazines in Japan since 1981, and is presently editor-in-chief of Scale Aviation. His publishing house, Dai Nippon Kaiga, has also been releasing Japanese-language Osprey series titles in Japan since 2000 - indeed, he has translated five of them. The author/co-author of four JAAF-related titles, this will be his first book for Osprey.
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Top customer reviews
However, I can say that, without a doubt this volume is one of the best of any of the Osprey publications. I couldn't put it down. The author does a great job in telling the stories of the different aces who flew the Ki-43 at some point in their careers, with particular emphasis on aces who got all or the vast majority of their kills in the Ki-43.
The book starts with an overview of the aircraft itself. When the Ki-43 was first going thru design and testing it was not immediately a hit with the pilots of the JAAF. They had been use to flying the ultra-maneuverable Ki-27 and found the Ki-43 too heavy. The designers came up with the distinctive "butterfly" flaps and worked hard to lighten the aircraft as much as possible. This emphasis on lightening led to some early models shedding their wings. The Ki-43 was introduced to service just before the outbreak of WWII in the Pacific.
The bulk of the book describes the use of the Ki-43 in different theatres, starting in the Burma, Singapore, Malaya area. This is where the Ki-43 got its introduction to combat. The most famous of the Ki-43 aces, Kato and Nakamura started building their scores in Malaya. The book then moves from theatre to theatre describing the units that used the Oscar in each, and discussing the aces in those units. In addition to Burma, Singapore and Malaya, the Ki-43 was also used in China, the Southwest Pacific, Philippines and the Home Islands. Numerous descriptions of combats involving the Oscar make up large portions of the text.
As with all of the Osprey books, the center section contains color side views of many of the aircraft of the aces discussed in the text. The illustrations, though of the left side of the aircraft only, provide the modeler with inspiration for numerous builds. The book is 96 pages with numerous black and white photos and 7 pages of color illustrations.
I can recommend this book without reservation.
You'll never end knowing facts from someones that -once- were ferocious and skilled adversaries.
Excelent consulting history book full of data and interesting stories of human beings from "the other side".
Thanks and greetings.