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by Richard M. Bueschel
Schiffer Publishing  1997
Soft cover
59 pages
photos, unit list, specifications
ISBN: 0764303449
Cover Price: $14.95

Language: English

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Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu
In Japanese Army Air Force Service

This book covers an important but largely forgotten Japanese Army medium bomber.  The book is lavishly illustrated with wartime photographs and covers the complete history of this aircraft type, from its design until the end of the war.

Like the history of the war for the Japanese, the story of the Ki-49 mirrors that of the fortunes of the Japanese Army.  At first, the bomber was hoped to be a superior replacement for the Ki-21 Sally, but proved to have only a marginally better bomb load and performance. It was the first Army bomber with a manned tail turret, and other features like self-sealing fuel tanks.

As the war turned against the Japanese, Ki-49s were used in other roles, as transport planes, and later stripped down for Kamikaze attacks. Many of this type were disabled on the ground by Allied low-level strikes and parafrag attacks, and saw entire units decimated.  The bomber failed to reach its full potential, and at the end of the war was replaced by the Peggy although some served until the end of the war.

The book ends with an appendix of all Donryu units in WWII, and also details regarding the specifications of all variants of the bomber.

Review by  Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 23, 2017

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