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by Tom Laemlein
Armor Plate Press 2007
Cover Price: $35.00
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via Armor Plate Press
Captured and Wrecked Japanese Aircraft in WWII
This book is a brilliant photo study of Japanese aircraft captured throughout the Pacific war. Divided into three sections: bombers, fighters and other aircraft (seaplanes, recon, transports and suicide aircraft).
Like the title says, the book depicts captured or wrecked Japanese aircraft. Each page includes brief captions, and the photos are reproduced at superb quality, as either full page photographs, or half or quart page views. These large sized photos make the book an excellent reference. It covers equally Navy and Army aircraft.
Geographically, photos span the entire Pacific war, including the Solomons, New Guinea, Philippines, Marianas, Okinawa and some selections from CBI. The photographs are excellent quality and resolution, scanned at National Archives and private collections.
Some photos are familiar to readers familiar with this topic, like the famous photo of the "Alaska Zero" on page 80, G4M1 Betty bomber floating on the surface of Iron Bottom Sound after the August 7, 1942 on page 32. Or the Ki-61 Tony 263 captured at Cape Glouchester on page 99.
The majority of photos will be "new" to any reader, or alternate views of known wrecks. Author Laemiein has discovered rare additional photos of known wrecks that I have never seen before, testament to his stills researching at the National Archives.
Of particular interest are four pages devoted to decoy aircraft. Eight pages are devoted to the MXY7 Ohka "Baka bomb" showing nearly every angle, plus the warhead cockpit and rockets. The book ends with several interesting pages devoted to aircraft machine guns, cannons, turrets and torpedoes. This book is highly recommend for any reader's Pacific book collection.
In 2009, a followup volume, Setting Suns II was also published.
Review by Justin Taylan
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