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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Richard M. Bueschel
Schiffer Publishing  2000
Soft cover
300 pages
Index, photos
ISBN: 0764300695
Cover Price: $14.95
Language: English

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Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien
In Japanese Army Air Force Service

This book covers the Japanese Army Air Force Ki-61 Hien, code-named 'Tony' by the Allies. Most Japanese Army and Navy aircraft were equipped with radial engines, while the Tony was one of the first with a liquid cooled engine. In 1937 Kawasaki had purchased a licence to build the German Daimler Benz DB.601 engine, used in the Messerschmitt 109.  Kawasaki revised and lightened the engine, creating their own new design in 1940 the Ha-40, inverted V-12 engine. 

The Tony actually saw its first combat, accidentally, when it was in the air when the Dolittle Raid was in progress, and intercepted the B-25s!  Rushed into combat, the fighter was plagued by teething problems and high maitence but served until the end of the war, including being up-gunned for intercepting B-29s and finally in taiatari (ramming) attacks and kamakazie missions.

This book is full of photos and information on each variant and examples captured by the Allies.  One of the few books solely on the Tony, it is a great addition to your book collection.

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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