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by Robert Mikesh
Schiffer Publishing  1993
192 pages
photos, index
ISBN: 0887404472
Cover Price:
Language: English

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Japanese Aircraft
Code Names & Designations

This book is a guide book to the Allied TAIU (Technical Air Intelligence Unit) that applied simple nicknames for Japanese aircraft. Women's names for bombers and transports and men's names for fighters.

The book begins with an excellent introduction about the process of assigning nicknames to Japanese aircraft. With little known about Japanese aircraft types and designations at the start of the Pacific War, Americans needed to quickly learn about the aircraft opposing them by studying captured and wrecked examples. The Allies found the Japanese system of designation to be cumbersome, such as Mitsubishi A6M2 Navy Type 0 Carrier fighter, thus simple nicknames like "Zeke" were devised to describe this aircraft.

The bulk of the book is an alphabetical listing of names, from Abdul to Zeke. Each page details the full Japanese designation for the same aircraft, making this book an excellent quick reference for types, along with a summary of the plane, and the history of the TAIU nickname.

Each listing is cross references, making confusing nicknames more understandable. For instance, the Zero fighter was known by several nicknames at various times including Hamp and Zeke. Also of interest were nicknames assigned to aircraft the Allies expected the Japanese to use, but were never deployed. These include German aircraft the Japanese were known to have imported for testing, but never produced or fielded in combat.

For anyone interested in the development of TAIC nicknames or a quick reference to Japanese aircraft, this book is a highly recommended addition to your library.

Review by  Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 23, 2017

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