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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Richard L. Dunn
Richard L. Dunn  2011

photos, illustrations
ISBN: 1450773052
Cover Price: $29.95
Language: English

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Exploding Fuel Tanks
Saga of Technology That Changed the Course of the Pacific Air War

During the Pacific War, gun camera footage and photographs recorded spectacular images of Japanese aircraft on fire or exploding when hit by gunfire. Allied personnel came to regard Japanese aircraft as inferior and prone to explode when hit.

While most focus on armament or performance characteristics of aircraft types, the story of protected fuel tanks is one of the most important aviation developments of the 20th Century. Until now, adequate treatment of this topic has not been adequately explored.

Richard Dunn's new book documents the development of fuel tanks, from the earliest stop-gap measures to reduce tank venerability, to factory production. This incredible story is told from both the technical standpoint and from actual air combat missions.

For those familiar with Dunn's past research articles and commentary, his depth of knowledge and understanding of Allied intelligence material is second to none. Meticulously research, the book includes intelligence documents, captured aircraft, diagrams and photographic evidence.

The story begins with Britain and Germany's development of the first crash proof fuel tanks, and how the United States rushed to adapt this new technology. One of the most important revelations is that contrary to popular belief, the Japanese Army and Navy both implemented protected fuel tanks.

Without a doubt, the release of Exploding Fuel Tanks fills a gaping void in the history of aviation technology and air combat history. Certainly, any student of Pacific aviation or World War II air combat history will want to add this important release to their library.

Interview with author Richard Dunn

Review by Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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