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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Hiroshi Ichimura
Osprey Publishing  2009
Soft cover
96 pages
Ace List
Color Plates of
aircraft & aces
ISBN: 1846034086
Cover Price: $22.95
Language: English

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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 85
Ki-43 'Oscar' Aces of World War 2

Well researched and written, author Ichimura tells the story of the Ki-43 Oscar's development, which was plagued with weak wing structure and defective explosive shells that prematurely detonated after being fired, damaging the engine. Contrary to many published sources that have repeated inaccurate information, the Ki-43, was armed with 7.7mm and 13mm machine cannon in the nose.

The first chapter details the Ki-43's debut at the start of the Pacific war, supporting the Japanese Army operations in Malaya and Singapore against the RAF, RNZAF, RAAF and AVG. In combat, the Ki-43 was often mistakenly identified as the 'Zero' by Allied pilots.

The majority of the book details combat in Burma. Other chapters cover China, New Guinea and the Philippines.

Each chapter is written as a narrative history, detailing specific combats and claims from both the Japanese and Allied claims. The book openly explores the weakness of the Ki-43 and put pilot claims into perspective. Many Ki-43 claims are compaired to actual Allied losses, and in some cases dispelled. The famous Ki-43 pilot, Anabuki, who made extensive claims that can not be matched to actual Allied losses.

With very little published in english on JAAF pilots and aces, this book is a valuable contribution to history.

Note, some online retailers display a pre-release cover art, instead of the actual cover that depicts a Ki-43 piloted by Captain Miyamaru shooting down a Hurricane.

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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